Moving to Industry 4.0? Why you need to focus on scalability first

May 03, 2024 by Mark Dingley

Efficiency and scalability go hand-in-hand


So you’ve decided to make the move to Industry 4.0. What next?

Industry 4.0 is rapidly becoming a must-have for both large and small manufacturers who want to stay competitive, as it gives manufacturers access to real-time data analytics and business insights to improve efficiencies and maximise profits.

The challenge that manufacturers face is selecting the right Industry 4.0 software solution for their needs, and budget. Moving to Industry 4.0 is a solid investment, so you need to be sure that the solution you choose will keep your business future-ready, even as you embark on new growth strategies down the track.

That’s why there’s one factor you need to prioritise above all others:


So, why is scalability essential for Industry 4.0 solutions?

Let’s explain.

What is scalability?

Scalability means that an asset or system can adapt to a higher workload without losing performance or needing to be redesigned.

A higher workload could be more users, more data being collected and stored, more product details, higher speeds, or anything else that pushes the system past its original capacity.


It’s all about data

Data is the cornerstone of Industry 4.0. The success of any Industry 4.0 project relies on the fundamental ability to collect and analyse real-time data from the factory floor to make better decisions around improved operations, higher productivity, lower waste, and higher quality goods.

Scalable software solutions can deal with this ever-increasing volume of data. So, as you introduce more lines, equipment and sensors, you can be confident the solution can continue to interrogate larger, more complex data sets in real-time production environments.

Why scalability is essential from the start

Scalability isn’t a “bonus feature” of manufacturing software – it’s an essential component. Prioritising it from the start leads to higher lifetime value, lower maintenance costs and better user experience.

Choosing Industry 4.0 solutions with scalability saves time and money in the long run, as it can help future-proof your business.

Let’s say you’re a medium-sized food manufacturer who wants to transition your operations to Industry 4.0.

You implement a data-management platform to collect, store and analyse data from various sources on the production line. In 12 months, you decide to expand with more products, which means more lines, equipment, data sources and users. However, the increased workload puts too much strain on the platform, and it fails to provide the required performance.

To avoid these problems and ensure flexibility with growth, scalability is essential from the start of your Industry 4.0 project. As your manufacturing ecosystem grows and evolves, the platform can perform efficiently even as you add additional data sources, more users and new technologies.

A scalable Industry 4.0 platform allows you to start small with your Industry 4.0 project. For example, you can start with one production line and then scale it to the rest of the factory and other sites as you see the benefits. This reduces the start-up costs and makes Industry 4.0 more accessible to small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

How iDSnet provides scalability

iDSnet is an integrated Industry 4.0 software solution that provides real-time production information and a paperless digital factory solution. Small businesses and large enterprises alike can use iDSnet to connect multiple production lines to the cloud and gain the visibility they need to improve efficiency.

Using networks and the cloud, iDSnet is fully scalable to meet your changing needs. You can start with line integration for quick changeovers, data validation and error detection. Then, as your business grows, you can integrate the platform with other systems. With iDSnet, you can manage multiple devices on multiple lines across multiple sites.

With iDSnet Enterprise, all coding, labelling and inspection equipment,can be connected and controlled from one central point on the production floor. By networking all coding and labelling equipment back to a central database, any product changes are implemented down the entire production line with one simple operator action.

The integrated Industry 4.0 software solution collects detailed data from the production line so you can see, interpret and communicate what’s happening live on the factory floor and make productivity gains. Because you can link the software to smart devices, such as phones and TV screens, you can see how the production floor operates and performs wherever you are.

See how Chobani has integrated their coding and labelling equipment into one single database using Matthews’ iDSnet software package.

Thinking about implementing Industry 4.0? Learn more about our scalable Industry 4.0 solutions by talking to one of our iDSnet specialists. Get in touch!