Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. This is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. The concept of industry 4.0 is widely used across Europe, particularly in Germany’s manufacturing sector. In the United States and the English-speaking world more generally, some commentators also use the terms the ’internet of things’, the ’internet of everything’ or the ’industrial internet’.

What all these terms and concepts have in common is the recognition that traditional manufacturing and production methods are in the throes of a digital transformation. For some time now, industrial processes have increasingly embraced modern information technology (IT), but the most recent trends go beyond simply the automation of production that has, since the early 1970s, been driven by developments in electronics and IT.

The four characteristics of industry 4.0

Interconnection: The ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP).

Information transparency: The transparency afforded by Industry 4.0 technology provides operators with vast amounts of useful information needed to make appropriate decisions. Inter-connectivity allows operators to collect immense amounts of data and information from all points in the manufacturing process, thus aiding functionality and identifying key areas that can benefit from innovation and improvement.

Technical assistance: First, the ability of assistance systems to support humans by aggregating and visualizing information comprehensively for making informed decisions and solving urgent problems on short notice. Second, the ability of cyber physical systems to physically support humans by conducting a range of tasks that are unpleasant, too exhausting, or unsafe for their human co-workers.

Decentralized decisions: The ability of cyber physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible. Only in the case of exceptions, interferences, or conflicting goals, are tasks delegated to a higher level.

Role of big data and analytics in Industry 4.0

 Modern information and communication technologies like cyber-physical systemBig data analytics and cloud computing, will help early detection of defects and production failures, thus enabling their prevention and increasing productivity, quality, and agility benefits that have significant competitive value.

 Big data analytics consists of 6Cs in the integrated Industry 4.0 and cyber physical systems environment. The 6C system comprises:

  1. Connection (sensor and networks)
  2. Cloud (computing and data on demand)
  3. Cyber (model & memory)
  4. Content/context (meaning and correlation)
  5. Community (sharing & collaboration)
  6. Customization (personalization and value)

Impact of Industry 4.0

Proponents of the term claim Industry 4.0 will affect many areas, most notably:

  1. Services and business models
  2. Reliability and continuous productivity
  3. IT securityMachine safety
  4. Manufacturing Sales.
  5. Product lifecycles
  6. Industry value chain
  7. Workers’ education and skills
  8. Socio-economic factors
  9. Industry Demonstration

Conclusion

 How fast the change will take place depends on how fast the technology is going to develop. The greatest improvements are necessarily the storage and processing of huge amounts of data produced by the devices and generated by the systems. Companies can hold back for a while on the decision about whether to join the fourth industrial revolution. The development and application of new, unknown technologies is risky and expensive, but significant savings and revenue growth are achievable for early starters. There are some industries where it is essential to accept competition in development, and where adaptation is an ever-present precondition for staying competitive (the automotive and electronics industries), but there are also many industries that will only go through this kind of development if the technology also brings a return in sectors with lower rates of profit. The future is definitely safe in hands of Industry 4.0.

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