Industry 4.0 is a term that has been buzzing around the manufacturing industry for a while now. For those that aren't familiar with the term, in essence, it is a title for the so-called 4th Industrial revolution, sparked from the increasing digitalisation of society within day-to-day life.
Technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and 3G & 4G data enablement, have permeated social lifestyles, making it almost impossible to remember a time when we weren't 'always on' and 'connected' to the internet in some way. Ease of access and user-friendly interfaces are arguably two of the main reasons for success. But how does this relate to manufacturing? Well, arguably the integration of 'smart' technologies in the consumer world has sparked the revolution of 'smart' manufacturing within the industrial landscape too.
Industry 4.0 see's the integration ofdigitalisedmachinery combined with cyber data streams. Converting complex algorithms and data into a usable interface within digital applications, smart factories are able to create a communication channel between operators and machine. For example, at the glance of a screen, operators are able to see real-time data that is crucial to the successful management of their facility, such as; machines faults, blockages, efficiency levels and rejected products etc.
In his article, Jeremi Wojcicki helps try and answer some of the basic questions surrounding Industry 4.0; what it all means, how data will be managed, the reliance on the cloud, and how humans and machines will work together in the future. Or is that the now?
What is industry 4.0 all about? If to be answered with one word, it would be about connectivity. Of course there is more into that but connecting industrial machinery to each other and to the cloud is one of the main pillars of industry 4.0. Information will flow with a broad stream from factories to the cloud. There, data will be appropriately clustered by various algorithms and finally processed to obtain synthetic and useful information that might be of interest to many. On one side, users will obtain great insight into their manufacturing systems, knowing how orders of their customers are being processed, what is lagging, what is lacking, what is the health condition of their machines and what are the upcoming actions to be taken in order to keep things going smoothly.