Everything you need to know
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Also known as ‘Industry 4.0’.
Industry 4.0 is more than just a basic challenge for mankind. Industry 4.0 consists of putting together all advanced researches in biology, technology and industrial automation, for improving the current way of living. A new way on how we use the natural resources and, of course, a new way to improve our lives.
Maybe the key influential advance is the continuous development of Artificial Intelligence. The concept of The Fourth Industrial Revolution as we consider, was started by Alan Turin during the 1950’s, suggesting “If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent”. Today, we are living in a new era, where cars can drive by itself, nanorobots cure illnesses, hardware is self-connected to networks sending messages around the world, and new alternative energies are made available. The list is impressively huge, and for that reason we are dedicating this extended community.
First, let’s go back in time:
Industry 1.0: (1784)
Based on mechanical production equipment driven by water and steam power.
Industry 2.0: (1870)
Based on mass production enabled by the division of labor and the use of electrical energy.
Industry 3.0 (1969)
Based on the use of electronics and IT to further automate production.
Industry 4.0 (today)
Based on the use of cyber-physical systems.
The term Industry 4.0 comes from a combination of major innovations in the digital technology, biology and hardware automations.
This implies the possibility of cyber-physical systems to make their own simple decisions and become as self-ruling as possible. Only in case of exceptions, interferences or conflicting goals, are the tasks given to a higher level.
The ability of devices, machines, sensors and humans to connect and communicate with each other via Internet op People (IoP) and Internet of Things (IoT). In addition, information transparency: creating a copy of the real-world through sensor data to review information.
Technical assistance allows support systems to assist humans by visualizing their information for making decisions. In addition: the ability to solve urgent problems on a short notice is very beneficial. Cyber physical systems can physically support people by conducting a range of jobs that are not doable for humans. Some jobs might be too physically challenging or dangerous for us to do.
Alternative energies and new materials
Discovering new ways to get energy from many sources, developing a new ecosystem to ensure the health of the earth. A good example for this could be the Magnetic And Gravitational Field Technology (Magrav). The fourth industrial revolution is enabling us to get unlimited clean-energy through this upcoming technology.
Nanotechnology helps us find, predict and cure our bodies! In addition: it enhances the properties of materials, such as; greater strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum and greater chemical reactions.
This is where hardware has the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
All these technologies combined enable a powerful change in the global operations.
“We must deal quickly with the fusion of the online world and the world of industrial production. In Germany, we call it Industrie 4.0.” — Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
There are three reasons why today’s transformations is not part of the third evolution, but the fourth. Velocity, scope and system impact. The pace of the current breakthroughs have never been seen before. If we would compare all the breakthroughs with previous industrial revolutions, you see that the fourth revolution is evolving at an expential pace rather than a linear one. In fact, it is disrupting almost every industry. These developments influence the entire systems of production, management and governance.
These breakthroughs are everywhere, think of fields such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.
Challenges and opportunities
Industry 4.0 has the great potential to raise the global income levels and improve our current life standards. Technology has made it possible to make new products and services that ended up helping us grow. In the next revolution, we will experience gains within the efficiency and productivity of our current lifestyle.
On the other hand, the economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have pointed out that the revolution could make an even greater inequality. Because the automation will take over the labor market.
“Technology has always been destroying jobs, and it has always been creating jobs.” — Erik Brynjolfsson
A few more challenges to consider:
- Security issues of data are greatly increased by integrating with new systems.
- A high degree of reliability and establishment will be needed for a successful cyber-physical communication.
- Holding the uprightness of production with less human oversight can eventually become a barrier.
- Loss of high-paying human jobs is always a concern when new automations are introduced.
How does Industry 4.0 affect businesses?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to have major impact on businesses. Many industries will see new technologies that will create entirely new ways of serving the existing needs. Growing transparency, customer engagement, and new patterns of consumer behaviour will force companies to change the way they produce, design and market their products.
There are four main effects that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has on businesses: customer expectations, product enhancement, collaborative innovation and organizational forms. Physical products can now be enhanced with the digital capabilities that increase their value, new technologies make assets more resilient and durable, while analytics and data are transforming on how they are maintained.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is forcing companies to reexamine the way they do business. Business leaders will need to understand that they are dealing with a changing environment. They need to challenge the assumptions of their teams and keep innovating and adjusting.
Industry 4.0 vs Industrial Internet of Things(IIoT)
The terms Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things(IIoT) are used conversely. What you might not know is that these two terms, both referring to the same applications and technologies, have different meanings and origins.
It’s important to know that both terms were made by total different entities. Industry 4.0 originates from a German government, which stands for the fourth industrial revolution. The German government originally stated:
“The ultimate aim of Industry 4.0 is to safeguard a sustainable competitive advantage for the German manufacturing base. On one hand we have to train the German industry to build and install CPS (Cyber Physical Systems — hardware systems with embedded software) and, on the other, allow them to remain globally competitive.”
The german government recognises their leading role in the industry research and is willing to make sure that their role stays like this.
The term IIoT is an industrial adaption of the Internet of Things, which has many industry variations. Common terms that are used to describe the IIoT are: “Industrial Internet” and “Internet of Everything”. Where the Industry 4.0 is focused on the manufacturing of industry, IIoT is focused on the adoption/accelerating of internet-connected technologies.
The fourth industrial revolution will definitely be a big impact on the humanity. It has the possibility to affect our privacy, ownership, consumption patterns, work, careers, skills and even our relationships. It can robotise our civilisation, but on the other hand it can lift our society to a new level.
Industry4magazine It’s a project created by Rudy Bianco, founder of Marketeer Lab and author of Escribe Tu Futuro — Write Your Future — , for trying to understand the implications of those advances in our daily lives.
I’m so curious about the future and I always want to participate on it.