An industrial revolution, enabled by technological applications, at the production level – Industry 4.0 accompanies the new values and services for all stakeholders of the business. When you ask yourself what is industry 4.0, you might think of a complex web of words to define the same.
When we state industry 4.0 definition in simple terms, it is the automation of the traditional industrial practices with the help of technology and smart devices. The web of industry 4.0 technology is so intricately networked that it ensures a seamless communication of the entire production line.
Watch the following GIF for a quick understanding of industry 4.0.
This manner of industry 4.0 manufacturing has brought significant changes to the business models as well. In a networked factory, interchangeably termed as factory 4.0, humans and machines are equal counterparts with a higher sense of artificial intelligence when the previous
and current AI generations are set side by side.
What is the industrial revolution?
Now, what do you understand by industrial revolutions? It is the concept that gave birth to the concept of industry 4.0 and smart factory.
It all began in the 18th century and was merely the shift from traditional industrial practices to the use of machines in production. Think of a simple spinning wheel. The mechanized counterpart of the same would deliver 8 times the volume of production from the former.
This is how simply you could always define industrial revolution. In the 2nd industrial revolution, electricity and assembly line production were the shining stars. By the time we reached the 3rd industrial revolution, it was all about part automation – with computers and program controls and part human capital.
The fruit of the 3 phases came together in the form of the fourth industrial revolution, what you call industry 4.0, bringing along some incredible advancements in the industry environment and practices.
What is Industry 4.0 Technology?
In its infancy, Industry 4.0 lays its foundation on the nine pillars that were initially announced to define the layout of factory 4.0. With time, the world unravelled the concept and shifted a few pillars but the ideas remained the same. However, the technological pillars, which you can find in a smart factory, remained as:
- Machine Learning
- Cloud computing
- Cyber security
- Big data and Analytics
- Industrial Internet of Things (IoT)
- Augmented Reality
- Artificial Intelligence
- Digital Manufacturing Technology
- Digital Supply Chain
Know the Benefits of Industry 4.0?
4.0 has promising prospects for the transformation of manufacturing processes into the new industry 4.0 manufacturing as we know now. However, the various other benefits are:
- Smart factory and IoT integration will shorten the supply chain while improving customer demand agility.
- Companies will achieve this by directly interacting and communicating with the customers allowing them to scale their production in tune with the market demand.
- With smart manufacturing practices will come optimizations and the ability to optimize to reduce or eliminate machinery downtime.
- Companies can maintain equipment efficiently and have hold of the right resources.
- The consistent and constant use of production capacity will help businesses leverage the most of their resources.
- The exponential progression of technology has given rise to factory 4.0 where it is an integral part of the production process. You’ll always have examples of self-driving cars, augmented reality and more to state the evident benefits of technology.
- Although the implementation will bring huge up-front expenses, proper setup and resourceful use will soon turn the expenses into revenue. Automation, integration, data management and AI will eventually prove to be fruitful and profitable for businesses.
- Industry 4.0 enables the utilization of manufacturing data through big data analytics. Data from big data analytics helps to solve problems by using tools like 5Why analysis, CAPA and Fishbone Diagram in a more efficient and effective way.
- With industry 4.0 deployment it’s easy to implement a 5S system, lean manufacturing, flow chart, audit execution, TQM (Total Quality Management), 6sigma & FMEA.
The Impact of Industry 4.0 on Industry and Job Market
● The implementation of industry 4.0 technology will have the creation of employment probability for skilled ones as an aftermath. However, the rapid advancements and implementations will create disruptions in the job market in the coming times.
● Regardless of the huge implementation costs, it will make it efficient for organizations to exchange data and team up. This will result in enhanced resource utilization, productivity, competitiveness and growth.
● The concept brings along manufacturing 4.0 which will lead to the transition of production processes to a streamlined production channel and approach powered by digitalization and artificial intelligence. Also, it will improve the pace and precision allowing companies to achieve growth.
Deployment of Industry 4.0 Challenges
- The workforce will need to evolve. Individuals will have to have digital dexterity and understanding of the advanced manufacturing processes alongside digital tools. Companies with equipped workforce only will make it through the implementation to profitability.
- AI and technology are vulnerable and will demand high security and safety. The systems in smart factories allow real-time interoperability but provide an extended risk of data threats. Dealing with security threats and vulnerabilities will require companies to adopt high-level data protection and IT Security practices.
- The technology works on data and so industry 4.0 will face severe challenges on the part of data ownership, privacy and management. Also, the data governance policies are inadequate currently to back the claims.
- Big companies deal with big data presently but with increased dependency on AI usage, more data will be generated and presented. Handling the vast amounts of data will require adequate practices and efficiencies on part of AI algorithms to easily comprehend them.
With the 21st century gaining momentum, industry 4.0 is attributed to the new industrial revolution. It would only be a mouthful to say that it enables the companies to come up with smarter products while enhancing efficiency and cutting costs.
The smart factory makes for a solution that supports companies in optimizing their processes and boosting internal efficiency. Considering the impact, it will open wider prospects for skilled individuals but will greatly disrupt job creation in future. Despite everything, the concept is still in its evolution process and we have not laid our hands on the complete picture.