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GS1 Summit Addresses Challenges of Industry 4.0 and the IoT

The event's speakers discussed the obstacles facing the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, as well as the main initiatives to deal with these challenges, both with and without RFID.
By Edson Perin
May 28, 2019

The view that data, and not just billing, offers the greatest value to businesses was the main point of discussion among speakers at this year's GS1 Summit 4.0. The event, held in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 21, 2019, showed that the sales achieved by several technology startups in recent years have been directly related to the amount of data about individuals and transactions that these young companies were able to store. That is, unlike a few years ago, the value of the companies was not directly calculated based solely on their billing or financial results.

The summit revealed the evolution of—and the challenges to be faced by—Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) in Brazil. The event began with an explanation by Roberto Matsubayashi, GS1 Brazil's director of innovation, who stressed the importance of using various technologies, including bar codes, to make the IoT deliver the results expected by companies and their customers and suppliers.

HP Brazil's presentation at GS1 Summit 4.0
Frederico Bellini Coelho, also of GS1, offered statistics regarding the amount of damage that can result from informational errors about products, which he says amounts to around 1 billion Brazilian real ($248 million) per year. Unnecessary spending could be avoided by the use of information mined by IoT systems, he said—in this case, including such technologies as radio frequency identification.

Representing the Brazilian Industrial Development Agency (ABDI), Bruno Soares revealed that the federal government is creating a Brazilian Chamber of Industry 4.0, with four areas of activity: Agenda 4.0, Pro-Future, Brazil 2027 and the National IoT Plan. The aim, according to Soares, is to achieve results through actions already developed in the past, prototyping public policies.

According to the ABDI executive, the idea is to attack the country's losses with maintenance costs of machinery, on the order of 35 billion real ($8.7 billion) per year; save 7 billion real ($1.7 billion) annually with energy; and achieve gains of 31 billion real ($7.7 billion) per year in efficiency gains. Another goal includes the generation of new business.

"The Brazilian government also plans to help small and medium-sized companies calculate a return on investment (ROI) in advanced IoT technologies, and others that can leverage their business," Soares explains. However, the challenge remains to obtain resources, since the Brazilian federal government, faced with a financial crisis, has announced several measures to contain and reduce expenses. Added to this is the fact that the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) spent 17 million real ($4.2 million) in a two-year period to create the IoT Plan—and, after that, it ran out of resources to inject into the companies and, thus, make such a plan feasible.

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