Industry 4.0 - is it a revolution, or just a marketing gimmick? While the changes that are brought forward are critical to urban society as a whole, a more in-depth understanding of the term is needed. It might look simple at a glance, but harbors a lot more than what is seen on the surface. Let’s dive right into what exactly industry 4.0 is.
Industry 4.0: The transition
Industry 4.0 is transforming how businesses make, enhance, and deliver their products. Manufacturers are incorporating new technologies such as cloud computing and informatics, Internet of Things (IoT), and AI and machine learning within their manufacturing facilities and processes.
We are in the process of a substantial transition in the way we make products as a result of factory digitalization. This change is so extreme that it is being dubbed Industry 4.0 to signify the fourth manufacturing revolution. From mechanization via water and steam power in the first industrial revolution to mass production and assembly lines via electricity in the second, the 4th industrial revolution will take what was launched in the third with the aid of information technology and strengthen it with smart and autonomous systems powered by data and machine learning and implement it right within the factories. These smart factories are fully equipped with modern sensors, embedded software, and robots that gather and analyze data to help in decision-making. When data from manufacturing operations is coupled with operational information from supply chain, ERP, customer service, and other business systems, it creates whole new levels of transparency and understanding from previously fragmented information.
How is it different from Industry 3.0?
The introduction of computers in Industry 3.0 was disruptive due to the adoption of an altogether new technology. Now, and in the coming future as Industry 4.0 develops, computers are linked and communicating with one another in order to make choices without the intervention of humans. The integration of cyber-physical processes, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems enables Industry 4.0 and the smart factory to become a reality. Our factories will become even more efficient and productive, as well as less wasteful, as a consequence of the assistance of smart machines that continue to grow wiser as they have access to more data. Finally, it is the network of these digitally linked machines that produce and exchange information that eventually results in the ultimate power of Industry 4.0.
Tech that is driving Industry 4.0
Using top-end IoT devices in smart manufacturing increases productivity and quality. Using AI-powered visual insights to replace manual inspection business strategies decreases production mistakes and saves money and time. Quality control staff may put in place a smartphone linked to the cloud with minimum expense to monitor production operations from nearly anywhere. Manufacturers may spot mistakes sooner rather than later, when restoration work is more expensive, by using machine learning algorithms. This digital technology leads to improved automation, self-optimization of quality management, predictive maintenance, and, most importantly, the formerly unattainable degree of efficiency and customer responsiveness.
- Cloud computing: Cloud computing is an essential component of any Industry 4.0 plan. Linkage and synchronization of engineering, supply chain, manufacturing, sales and distribution, and services are required for the full implementation of smart manufacturing. Cloud makes this feasible. Furthermore, with cloud computing, the normally vast volume of data being saved and examined can be managed more efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence: AI and machine learning enable manufacturers to fully exploit the abundance of data created not just on the production floor, but also throughout their business divisions and from collaborators and third-party sources. Artificial intelligence and machine learning may generate insights that provide visibility, predictability, and control of business and operational processes.
- Internet of Things(IoT): Smart manufacturing relies heavily on the Internet of Things (IoT). Machines on the manufacturing floor are outfitted with sensors that have an IP address, allowing them to communicate with other web-enabled equipment. Because of this automation and connectedness, vast volumes of important data can be collected, analyzed, and transferred.
- Cybersecurity: Manufacturing firms have not always recognized the significance of cybersecurity or cyber-physical platforms. However, the same connection of factory or field operating equipment that allows more efficient production processes also exposes new entry points for harmful assaults and viruses. When embarking on a digitalization to Industry 4.0, it's indeed critical to developing a cybersecurity strategy that includes both IT and operating equipment.
Recent technological advancements have made digital gadgets more inexpensive, user-friendly, and durable than ever before. This has made it simpler and less expensive for organizations of all sizes to adopt new technologies. Meanwhile, multiple studies demonstrate that the productivity improvements driven by Industry 4.0 technology will eventually generate such a competitive advantage that organizations would struggle to compete if they do not use it.