The Rise and Rise of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 (or the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is the considered the next evolution of the manufacturing sector. Industry 4.0 was initially introduced in the 2014/5 period as part of a manufacturing strategy paper put together for the German Government.

Industry 4.0 introduces Automation, Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, Virtual and Augmented Reality and manufacturing technologies including 3D Printing. 

Industry 1.0

Mechanisation
Steam and Water Power 

Industry 2.0

Mass Production
Assembly Lines
Electricity

Industry 3.0

IT Systems, Automated Production, Roberts

Industry 4.0

The Smart Factory. IoT, AI, VR,AR

Some of the Technologies that are driving Industry 4.0 include;

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Digital Twins
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Cloud and Edge Computing
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) 
  • Intelligent Automation
  • Connected Supply Chains

Since Industry 4.0 was released, times have moved on with COVID19 bringing a change to the workforce and an every increasing awareness of Environmental impacts, Energy production and consumption combined with the requirement to manage a distributed workforce. Some some say that Industry 4.0 is now Industry 4.1. 

The key driving forces behind organisations implementing Industry 4.0 technologies and processes include;

  • Attracting and Retaining Skilled Staff
  • Increase Supply Chain Integration Capabilities with trading partners
  • Move to Real-Time data collection from the Manufacturing Shop Floor
  • Meeting growing and changing Customer Expectations & Customer Satisfaction
  • Addressing the ongoing Support and Technical Debt related to running aging systems
  • Industry and Country Compliance

With the early adopters of Industry 4.0 initiatives already seeing operational savings, increasing revenue combined with improved risk and quality management, many companies who under-invested in these technologies are playing catchup. 

With many countries implementing initiatives to encourage the re-shoring of manufacturing, combined with most organisations dealing with an aging workforce and increased competition for skilled resources,  the adoption of many of the Industry 4.0 technologies is being seen as no longer optional. 

What's Next - Industry 5.0

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