What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that encompasses the digital transformation of production processes. It integrates objects, value chains, and business models, enabling the factory to make autonomous decisions based on people, processes, smart machines, customer and supplier data, and Big Data.
In this article, we will discuss how Industry 4.0 enables smart and data-driven organizations, where production resources are utilized better, work becomes less monotonous, and machines and production lines can make decisions independently. This leads to continuous improvement of production processes and products, benefiting all stakeholders, such as suppliers, employees, customers, and shareholders.
This article is part of a series on Industry 4.0, which also covers the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it can be applied.
The Key Characteristics of Industry 4.0
To answer the question ‘What is Industry 4.0?’, it is important to understand the key characteristics of this industrial revolution. In this article, we will zoom in on the following characteristics:
- The further development of automation and robotic systems from the third industrial revolution (see sidebar).
- The integration of these systems with the physical world in cyber-physical systems, also known as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
- A shift from a centralized control system to smart machines (based on AI) that determine the production steps themselves.
- Self-learning and improving data models and control systems.
- Personalized products.
Currently, Industry 4.0 is characterized for most organizations as an integration between existing technologies (automation and robotics) and new technologies (Cloud, IoT, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence). These new technologies are the building blocks of the revolution and will be further explained below.
The 4 Industrial Revolutions
1st Industrial Revolution
ca. 1800 – Mechanization
The first industrial revolution began in Great Britain in the late 18th century with the mechanization of the textile industry. A single steam engine replaced the manual labor of many weavers.
2nd Industrial Revolution
ca. 1900 – Electrification
With the invention of electricity, long-distance communication (telegraph) became possible and the introduction of the assembly line resulted in unprecedented mass production.
3rd Industrial Revolution
ca. 1960 – Automation
With the development of advanced electronics and computers, production processes were supported by digitization and great strides were made in automating many production steps.
4th Industrial Revolution
Present – Autonomous systems
Automated production is extended with communication technology on every part. The information flows are linked to autonomous systems for analysis, optimization, and control of production – a fully self-driving production.”
Building Blocks of Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 and the Cloud
The migration of software and data to the cloud has made data and software much more accessible and centrally stored and managed. As a result, there is only one version of the data and it can be applied everywhere and automatically updated.
Industrie 4.0 and Edge computing
Waar de cloud relatief ver weg staat, wordt de data bij Edge systemen op lokale servers opgeslagen. Dit is efficiënter in geval van complexe berekeningen en veiliger in het geval van gevoelige informatie.
Internet of Things (IoT)
With the help of sensors and software, physical objects are enabled to communicate and exchange data with other systems. Read also our blog about IoT.
In an industrial environment, a lot of data comes in large volumes, speed, and diversity, also known as Big Data. Based on, for example, AI (machine learning), patterns can be recognized here that help to improve processes and products.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experiences. Machines can adapt better and perform better tasks. Based on deep learning and natural language processing, machines can be trained to perform specific tasks. Large amounts of data and pattern recognition can be used for this.
What does Industry 4.0 mean for my organization?
Industry 4.0 will bring significant changes to the manufacturing industry. New technologies offer great opportunities for the manufacturing industry according to PWC:
- The better integration and management of horizontal and vertical value chains will result in an increase of productivity by 18% in the coming years.
- IoT will result in a growth of €110 billion per year in Europe alone.
- New digital business models based on analysis and data are often much better able to meet customer needs and thereby create value for customers.
- AI will increase the world economy by €13.3 trillion by 2030.
According to PWC, the disruption this will bring will have a significant impact on traditional value chains, which will need to reinvent themselves further. This means that organizations need to become more flexible and innovative. A strong strategy is necessary to assess opportunities and threats.”
Schedule now a free introduction meeting with Joep
Industry 4.0 offers many opportunities. Syndustry is happy to think along with you about the possibilities. Schedule a non-committal brainstorm session to explore the possibilities.
View all our Industrial IoT Solutions
Looking to revolutionize your factory’s operations? Syndustry has the expertise to propel you forward. Our Industrial IoT solutions leverage advanced connectivity and data-driven insights to optimize efficiency, maximize productivity, and streamline processes. From predictive maintenance to enhancing equipment effectiveness, our software offerings empower you to unlock your factory’s full potential in the era of digitized manufacturing.
INTERNET OF THINGS platform
Gather real-time data on performance of your machines, devices, and other assets to identify bottlenecks and other inefficiencies in your productieproces.
Reduce downtime and improve overall availability of your equipment by proactively identifying potential issues.
Overall equipment effectiveness
Gather real-time data on the performance of your equipment and use that information to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your production process.
Read more at our Industry 4.0 blog
What is IoT?What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technological concept that involves connecting everyday objects and devices via the internet, enabling them to communicate and share data with each other. In IoT, physical objects such...