Robots. Artificial intelligence. Complex algorithms that make decisions for you. Machines that “talk” to each other and take action. Vehicles that drive themselves, and provide alerts when something is wrong.

Welcome to the world of Industry 4.0, the term that’s used to frame together digitalization, automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

Tetra Pak, Vernon Hills, Ill., released a white paper to help food manufacturers gain an understanding of the full opportunities available in Industry 4.0. This study outlines the investments or changes in existing processes, and examines what “best practices” look like and how businesses can decipher some of the more technical aspects of the concepts involved.

For instance, by implementing a 5-step process, food and beverage manufacturers can more quickly respond to the changing needs of their consumers and make the most of Industry 4.0.

  1. Partner. Join forces with others in the food and beverage industry who have a deep understanding of the technology and processes and of the imagination required to execute them.
  2. Connect. Ensure equipment is capable of being connected with each other and with the workforce necessary to manage it efficiently.
  3. Engage. Team up with subject matter experts in each part of the company’s processes to ensure they are fit and ready to respond to the potential changes Industry 4.0 will bring.
  4. Analyze. Make sure companies have the capability to analyze the data generated to make swift, smart decisions.
  5. Decide. Make informed decisions based on what they’ve learned about their business needs and how their strategy needs to adapt.