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After the age of steam power and the first machines, the invention of electricity and the birth of mass production, the advent of computers and the principles of automation, we are now experiencing the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 brings together computers, automation, the internet, and advanced data processing technologies in an innovative manner. It is now being used extensively for all kinds of products and services, such as GPS navigation systems, voice-activated search engines, personalised Netflix recommendations, and Facebook’s use of facial recognition.

What does it mean for businesses?

Industry 4.0 changes customer expectations in almost every sector. In turn, this also changes the familiar methods of production. The general expectation is that factories as we now know them will transform into ‘smart factories’ that are able to take faster and more efficient action to increase the customer value of the products being produced.

What are the characteristics of Industry 4.0?

A factory or system that implements Industry 4.0 has the following characteristics:

  • Machines, devices, sensors, and people are connected and communicate with one another.
  • Stakeholders have a virtual copy (a ‘digital twin’) of the ‘real’ world which they can use to place the data from the real world (the physical processes) in the right context and interpret it more effectively.
  • Automated data collection and processing help people make decisions and resolve problems as well as help them perform tasks that are too difficult or unsafe for people to do.
  • The systems themselves can make simple decisions and function as independently as possible.

What are the benefits of Industry 4.0?

  • When data is available at every level of the production and delivery process, you can trace production batches faster and more accurately as well as monitor supply chains more easily.
  • In dangerous working environments, you can improve the health and safety of your employees.

The far greater reliability and more consistent productivity of computer control systems can lead to better product quality, increased productivity, and better cost management (better results).

Industry 4.0

Curious about what Industry 4.0 can do for your business?

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