With the development of data and connectivity, analytics, human-machine interaction, and advancements in robotics, the industrial sector has entered a new phase of digitization known as Industry 4.0, sometimes known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
From Steam to Sensor: Historical Context for Industry 4.0
First Industrial Revolution
The first industrial revolution, which began in the late 18th century in Britain, made mass production possible by switching to water and steam power from human and animal labor alone. Instead of meticulously making each item by hand, machines were used to construct the final product.
Second Industrial Revolution
Assembly lines and the usage of fossil fuels, natural gas, and electricity were hallmarks of the Second Industrial Revolution, which occurred a century later. Manufacturing was revolutionized by the advent of new forms of energy and improved communication technologies like the telephone and telegraph, allowing for mass production and a certain amount of automation.
Third Industrial Revolution
Beginning in the middle of the 20th century, the third industrial revolution introduced new technologies such as computers, high-speed communications networks, and data analysis into the production process. To begin automating some operations and collecting and sharing data, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) were initially embedded inside machinery as part of the digitalization of factories.
Fourth Industrial Revolution
The current era is commonly referred to as Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution. Better informed data contributes to more efficient and productive production all the way along the value chain, which is characterized by increasing automation and the use of smart machines and smart factories.
Ultimately, the goal is to attain efficiency with a lot size of one, which necessitates greater adaptability so that producers may match client expectations through mass customization. A smart factory can improve decision-making and information transparency by collecting more data directly from the factory floor and merging it with other company operational data.
To What Extent Does Participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Benefit One?
Businesses, consumers, and stakeholders all throughout the value chain may find products and services more accessible and communicable thanks to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The evidence thus far suggests that successfully scaling 4IR technology has numerous positive effects on workers, stakeholders, and customers, including increased supply chain efficiency, increased productivity during working hours, less manufacturing waste, and more.
The benefits of using Industry 4.0 technology in the face of the pandemic are amplified. Physical separation and fluctuating consumer needs have pushed businesses toward digitization and contactless operations, hastening the 4IR transition.
McKinsey found that six months into the pandemic, 94% of respondents felt that Industry 4.0 had helped keep their companies’ operations functioning, with 56% saying that these technologies were important to the crisis response.
Prior to the pandemic, the primary drivers of digital transformation inside businesses were sector-specific. Three factors, however, were universal in 2020 across industries and regions: adaptability, versatility, and production efficacy. Businesses best prepared to face the difficulties of COVID-19 were those that had already begun to implement widespread use of Industry 4.0 technologies.
- In order to test out various situations, one Asian consumer-packaged goods firm created a digital doppelganger of its supply chain. The corporation used the simulator during the epidemic to get ready for unexpected shutdowns or disruptions in the delivery of goods.
- Labor productivity increased by 33% and lead times decreased by 82% at a coffee machine plant that underwent this transformation in Treviso, Italy.
- Businesses that had not yet begun deploying Industry 4.0 technology were seen by 56% of respondents as being handicapped in their ability to respond to the difficulties posed by the epidemic.
Industry 4.0 and Hybrid MultiCloud IT Architecture
In order to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0, manufacturers must undergo a digital transformation that includes the creation of a hybrid multi-cloud IT infrastructure. When an organization uses both public and private clouds for their computing needs, they are said to be using a hybrid multi-cloud architecture.
As some cloud environments are better suited to or more cost-effective for certain workloads, this allows them to optimize their workloads across all their clouds. To achieve digital transformation and an open, secure environment, manufacturers should consider migrating their current workloads to the finest cloud environment available.
Stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the world of technology by following our Twitter page. Our recent posts cover a wide range of topics, from wearable tech to artificial intelligence and beyond.
If you’re interested in learning more about the latest developments in technology, be sure to visit the links below. We’ve provided detailed information on the most recent breakthroughs in the field, so you can stay informed and ahead of the curve.