Industry 4.0 - What is Industry 4.0?

I’m sure you’ve heard those magic words. What is Industry 4.0? And how it’s going to affect me or my company?
This is an archive article published 11/01/2017. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.

What is Industry 4.0?

Why are we then talking about 4. industrial revolution?
What are the milestones that give us the right to pretentiously name it as the fourth in a row?
After steam-powered machines in production, subsequent mass production based on electronic energy and computer-controlled automated lines we have one homogeneous so-called cyber-physical system (cyber-physical system =CPS).

It is essentially a combination of elements of hardware / software / communication and we should stress the importance of communication here. Simply put, machines are becoming smarter. They will communicate with each other and share common data. In fact, they will create their own "social networks". And it is said that this intelligent "community" of machines will increase production by 30% and make it cheaper by 25%.

This is difficult to understand, let’s simplify it!

Since majority of our customers are from small or medium-sized companies, let’s forget about the possibility of applying the concept of Industry 4.0 in large industrial automated productions such as automobile industry. And it doesn’t even have to be production company in order to get ready for the new industrial revolution. In my opinion, it will affect everybody on the market, either those who produce something or those who provide services.

Probably an inevitable heart of everything is intelligent machines. It’s important to understand that they are not here to replace us or take out jobs. Think about our and machines’ strengths and then divide the activities into those that we can do better and those that are better performed by machines.

Let’s not think about machines as something big, it can be anything (even something intangible) that can independently perform certain tasks. Machines are faster and more effective in mathematical and statistical operations; they can accurately and consistently repeat thousands of operations. They are certainly better in logic “if-then-else” and they can even faster analyze answers to the closed questions and respond to them.

On the other hand, emotions and a smile, personal meetings and talks are “people-things”. Try to look at your business this way, at each of its department, employee or work activity.

Industry 1.0 - water, steam, first machines
Industry 2.0 - electricity, fuels, mass production
Industry 3.0 - computers, automatization of production
Industry 4.0 - cyber-physical systems (CPS), personalization and customization
In the next article about Industry 4.0 we will talk how to prepare for it.

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