What is Industry 4.0?
Industry and its meanings have gone various changes throughout history as you cannot equate industry of industrial revolution with the industry of big data and AI. Surely, the transformative force behind such industrial concepts has been the Internet of Things or IoT and IoT-driven industries are now being named as industry 4.0. The fascinating aspects of this new version of technology are-
What is it exactly?
Industry 4.0 is not about a new business method, technology or discipline. It is simply a new way to grind results that were unthinkable a decade back. People often say that it is easier to brand it as the fourth industrial revolution for the sake of better understanding. Obviously, the first revolution was during the Victorian era and then, the second one came after the 1850s. The third one is surely the one where electronics comes in and can be traced from the 1950 onwards.
The fourth one is surely the digital revolution that has been accompanied by IoT and cybernetic objects performing physical operations. Sensors are the prime example of such objects. Smart factories will lead the revolution, as per expert opinions and communication technology will be at the heart of supply chains and production lines. Hence, automation will be of the highest order and cost efficiency will be at an all-time high with goods of superlative quality.
The source of inspiration
The source of inspiration came from Germany in this regard as they first proposed the idea. You need to fuse the online universe and industry to achieve this new revolution and huge amount of money is being invested currently to achieve this miracle. US are not far behind as an NPO called SMLC or Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition has been formed by a nexus of suppliers, manufacturers, government agencies et al.
They are dedicated towards advancing this new concept towards reality and they are promising to go by open source methods to enhance ease of access to models and possible strategies for the future. However, there are certain impediments to achieve this reality.
Internet is yet to evolve
The onus of transmitting the huge amount of data transmitting interchangeably through internet of things and big data systems is on the internet. Hence, big names like AT&T, Intel, Cisco and Amazon Web Services have come together to take part in this grand project. GE is leading the charge as they have taken up a bottom-up approach. They start from collecting data and then apply analytics and finally use the decision in the industrial context. Only when such a networked existence is achieved is the internet revolution a possibility.
Role of IoT in this trillion dollar possibility
With the innumerable sensors and other data collecting points, IoT is one of the integral parts of this project and can surely alter whatever industry 4.0 means. By combining software, sensor, communication methods and processors, IoT can deliver a complete cyber-physical system that will form the base of industry 4.0. All industries have joined the exodus to unite IoT in their system and they are looking forward to it as an efficiency booster.
Adding IoT further automates the process to a large extent, which forms another section of this idea called industry 4.0. In the recent data released, IoT seems to be worth trillions since an estimate of 14.2 trillion pounds value addition is possible if IoT is added at every possible section of global economic forces. The first world countries will benefit immensely from this process as they will have less headache regarding costs and much higher productivity. It can lead to better innovations with the cost barrier removed.