Around the globe there is a massive change underway. The manufacturing sector is feeling the pangs of adjustment to this new development. The metamorphosis has been aptly named, “Industry 4.0 and is the fourth industrial revolution to take place in just the past 150 years.
Right now, industry stands on the precipice of a technological revolution of monumental scale that will strategically alter the way in which we create, develop, manufacture and ship goods and services. No one knows how the current revolution will unfold and projections range from bright to gloomy, yet one thing is certain—every business must address this revolution definitively in order to see their business move ahead.
A Bit of History
The world is no stranger to industrial revolutions. The first – about 1785 – saw us moving to steam and water to make production more mechanical in nature. The second – a scant 90 years later in 1870 – moved the world to electricity in manufacturing.
The third, around 1970 began the use of computerized and information technology in order to further automate product development and manufacturing.
Today, the fourth industrial revolution will see the world standing on the shoulders of the third and building on that technology, cyber-physical, using virtual methods, drone technology, robotics, and quite literally blurring the lines between what is real and what is virtual.
The fourth industrial revolution is changing not just one or two companies and technologies and businesses, but it is touching nearly every company and product and service in existence today.
As technology grows and changes, as we embrace such earth shattering methods as nanotech, biotech, energy storage, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, quantum computing, and autonomous cars, trucks, and planes, everything will change.
From the way that we design, to the way that we create, to the materials we use to product, right down to logistics, warehousing and product delivery – every aspect of manufacturing will undergo significant changes. These changes will afford companies a better and faster way to design, create and deliver products and services.
While it is not without a down side, the fact is that the fourth industrial revolution appears to be the one that will allow companies to work smarter, not harder and people to do less and have more free time all for a lower cost.
The Fourth Industrial revolution has the potential to raise incomes, lower the time and cost involved in creating, manufacturing and shipping goods, as well as to help companies and people to do all of these things far more safely.
The ramifications of not embracing Industry 4.0 for nearly any company will be devastating, keeping companies out of the loop and keeping their profits and development much lower and well behind their competition.
That in and of itself is reason aplenty to accept and to begin to integrate Industry 4.0 in your own company.
Companies who do not have at least a partial integration of IoT and other industry 4.0 methods incorporated in their business will see slower and more costly operations as their competitors begin to see the opposite.
If you’re in the business of making money, and these days every company is concerned about their bottom line, you’re already at least in part, implementing Industry 4.0 and giving your company an edge over the competitor.
Where is your company in the implementation of IoT and Industry 4.0?
So, any thoughts on where your company is at in the implementation of Industry 4.0? Alternatively, what does the term mean to you? We’d love to see your comments in the box below.