PT_Plastics Today

Plastics Today, September 2015

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4 Global Plastics RePoRt 2015 editoR's letteR Caution: Disruption ahead BoB Dylan saiD it Best—"He not busy being born is busy dying"—and the tech industry put it more bluntly—"innovate or die"—but either way the message is clear. For individuals as for companies, embracing change is an existential imperative. That's why our cover story, "Industry 4.0: Smartening up the factory of the future," in my view, demands your attention. Industry 4.0 sits at the confluence of ubiquitous, cheap sensor technology, unbridled connectivity and the Internet of things. It is, in the fullest sense of the term, a disruptive technology. As analysts from Deloitte wrote in a recent report on Industry 4.0, "The widespread adoption by manufactur- ing industry around the world of information and commu- nications technology is now paving the way for disruptive approaches to development, production and the entire logistics chain. This networking within an 'Internet of things, services, data and people' will transform the future of manufacturing." In fact, many experts define Industry 4.0 as the fourth industrial revolution, one that will enable the reindustrializa- tion of the West, writes Karen Laird in our cover story. Get- ting to that end point won't be a simple process, however. "In the plastics industry, where the use of industrial, auto- mated MES and ERP systems is by no means commonplace and a six-axis robot is generally considered the height of sophisticated automation, Industry 4.0 and all that it entails remains a highly theoretical concept for many processors," writes Laird. Among machine and systems developers, how- ever, it is already a reality. Plastics processing systems are equipped with an increasing amount of automation technol- ogy that enable them to communicate and process data by themselves, and these smart machines, "in combination with the far-reaching possibilities for machine-to-machine com- munication, are leading to more automated processes, self- monitoring, and results in real time," notes Laird. So, you might have the building blocks of a smart factory running on your shop floor right now. You're just not using them to their full potential. Turn to page 18 now, and find out why you should, before the fourth industrial revolution passes you by. Norbert Sparrow Headquarters uBM Canon 2901 28th St., Ste. 100 Santa Monica, CA 90405 Phone: (310) 445-4200 editorial ContaCts editor in Chief Norbert Sparrow Phone: (310) 445-4275 Managing editor Kari Embree Contributing editor/u.s. Clare Goldsberry Contributing editor/asia Stephen Moore Contributing editor/europe Karen Laird CirCulation Jill Anderson reprints & list rentals Wright's Media Nick Lademarco Phone: (877) 652-5295 statlistiCs Jennifer Felling, postal lists (203) 778-8700 x138 Turk Hassan, E-lists (203) 778-8700 x144 sales representatives Brand director John Guadagno Phone: (203) 523-7091 Fax: (877) 747-4001 account executive— West Coast Tony Marsh Phone: (310) 445-3725 account executive Joe Rosado Phone: (203) 523-7057 europe, Middle east, south america Hermann Plank Phone: (480) 704-3273 Japan Katsuhiro Ishii Phone: +81 (3) 5691 3335 Fax: +81 (3) 5691 3336 india A.D. Nagpurkar Phone: +91 (22) 2529 5725 China, taiwan and Hong Kong Rudy Teng Phone: +886 (2) 2799 3100 Korea Young Media Phone: +82 (2) 2273 4818 MarKeting Marketing Manager Steven Carlisle Phone: (310) 445-8523

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