We dived into i-scoop’s guide to Industry 4.0, a massive and comprehensive material which prompted out the following highlights.
What is Industry 4.0?
Although you may find the definition everywhere on the net, the guide signals that some misunderstandings in relation to this concept are still common.
The term is often shortened to I4.0 or simply I4, and it originates “from a project in the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing” (Wikipedia).
However, currently the concept (revived in 2011 at the Hannover Fair), went beyond the manufacturing field. We are now taking about “various forms of manufacturing, the end-to-end digital supply chain and the final destination of all manufacturing, regardless of the number of intermediary steps and players”.
Industry 4.0 to its full extent is a continuously updated concept. Its core consists of transferring industrial “autonomy and autonomous decisions to cyber-physical systems and machines, leveraging information systems”. It involves embedding digital technology into the industrial assets involved in any part of the merchandise cycle. From raw materials to the end customer, services included, Industry 4.0 counts on “a connected environment of data, people, processes, services, systems and IoT-enabled industrial assets”.
Such a connected medium means dynamism, real time, increased responsiveness and an instant propagation of demand across all levels. No more overproduction, no more lack of supply, and the real time demand should get an immediate response in the global system. This sistem also solves other requirements and/or incidents with maximum efficiency.
With Industry 4.0, production would align itself with demand, distribution/sales and customer feedback, in a seamless system. Machines would “dialogue” trough data streams, while humans would intervene to OK decisions pointed out by the most accurate insights. And the universal language is data, while the communication means is digital.
Industry 4.0 Keywords
When speaking of Industry 4.0, a few essential keywords are:
IoT (Internet of Things)
HMI (Human Machine Interface)
Step by step, towards a major structural change that will reshape society
Due to the major societal implications and to the novelty of the hyper connected, responsive production system, the specialists expect that full implementation of Industry 4.0 would reshape society.
There is quite a lot to be done until having a fully functional globally connected environment. Integrating divergent needs, geographical and economic considerations, accomplishing the infrastructure that would support such a construction – here are just a few examples of what needs to be done.
You can further explore i-scoop’s guide to see what vertical and horizontal integration mean. Also, check out various definitions of the concept. You may see what international consulting bodies put their minds together to establish the best solutions in this directions, relevant findings in this field and many other interesting details.
Just save some (considerable) time, and start reading!
And remember the key role played by software solution companies (just like we are), in helping companies join this movement, which incidentally is… our common future.