In the age of connected devices, the quest for efficient energy consumption has peaked more than ever. Various industries attempt to make their existing operations more sustainable to prevent the planet from further damage. It is especially true in the case of the manufacturing sector as it has now reached an undeniable inflection point of being transformed by the fourth industrial revolution. The move towards digital transformation requires the existing manufacturers to rely heavily on smart devices, equipment, cloud computing, IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and many more, which collectively consume vast amounts of energy. For this reason, energy efficiency is forming the core of Industry 4.0 operations. According to US Energy Information Administration, industrial energy usage in Europe accounts for 26% of overall energy consumption. At the same time, the industrial sector in the United States accounts for roughly 32% of the country's overall energy consumption. With these facts in mind, it's evident that energy efficiency and Industry 4.0 are a must-have combination. Overall, manufacturing sector is deemed as unsustainable in the way it operates. Integrating technological systems can unlock the many sustainable benefits for it by enabling more flexibility, scalability, and reliability to the complete production system. According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability is a crucial business strategy for the future. As a part of sustainability, energy efficiency forms an inherent component for smart manufacturing. Digital transformation of the manufacturing units primarily contributes to energy efficiency by allowing the energy sector to remodel its operating landscape and promote more intelligent, modern, and sophisticated energy production and distribution systems. In this pursuit, data is an excellent ally. By recognizing inefficient operations, optimizing production and logistics routing, and predicting maintenance needs, data gathered from sensors, processed with analytics, and fed into predictive models can contribute to energy savings. Data also enables virtual testing and modeling of equipment, processes, and plants with digital twins, allowing demand to be adjusted to energy price and availability, temperature control to be refined, and even R&D expenses to be reduced. Solulever, a Dutch technology startup, aims at bringing the revolution of Industry 4.0 to its customers by aligning them with sustainability performance. Brabo, a manufacturing connectivity and intelligence platform developed by Solulever, aims at integrating smart manufacturing at the existing manufacturing sites in a sustainable manner. The Industry 4.0 platform provides OT-IT connectivity at the shop floor by connecting to the edge devices and equipment for real-time decision-making. The data collected by these edge devices helps optimize the use of utilities such as energy, air, catalysts, and others. By analyzing the data collected by the smart sensors, wastage of the utilities can be determined to make the processes more efficient. With more sophisticated operations, energy can be consumed by the devices efficiently, further reducing its use to manage the waste produced by the manufacturing operations. Doing so, not only is there a reduction in waste production and power management, but there is also an additional saving of the energy conserved.
Industry 4.0 seems to be the most sought after technology that paves path for tremendous success for manufacturing sector by reducing the negative impacts of the industry on the environment. As closing notes it can be said that, an immense potential can be seen in the way the industry can be transmuted to a better version of itself where it renders unimaginable solutions to the world alongside making it healthier.