Industry 4.0 is the new chapter in the history of the industry. The term of the industrial revolution, used to refer to the entire transformative process, highlights the disruptive power of changing paradigms within the entire ecosystem of organizations. Industry 4.0 is the new industrial panorama, and it has to do with the convergence between the physical and the digital world. But not only.
- The first industrial revolution changed the agrarian structure of society through the mechanization of the manufacturing processes. This was the time of the steam machines, for example. The organization of work changes considerably with the rise of the factories, which imply a specialization of functions.
- The second industrial revolution is very often conceived as the logical extension of the first phase. The era coincides with a myriad of technological and scientific innovations able to grow exponentially industrial production. The assembly line, the electricity, and the railways are some of the great inventions of this time. The so-called mass production generated changes in society’s consumption patterns.
- The third revolution witnesses the development of the first programmable logic control and mainly celebrates the advent of electronics and information technology to automate production.
Industry 4.0 marks the fourth revolution in the industrial history and inaugurates a new era for the entire manufacturing ecosystem, from design to end-customer. Also known as Smart production or Smart Manufacturing, industry 4.0 refers to a scenario of interoperability where people, devices, and machines of the entire value chain can connect and communicate with each other.
The flow of information, which is generated in this interactive structure, is crucial in industry 4.0. In fact, interconnected technologies devices relate to each other, collect and analyze data to generate information for the advanced analytics of the process. These insights will be used to spur actions in the physical world.
“In other words, Industry 4.0 is a state in which manufacturing systems and the objects they create are not simply connected, drawing physical information into the digital realm, but also communicate, analyze, and use that information to drive further intelligent action back in the physical world to execute a physical-to-digital-to-physical transition. The result is a more flexible system capable of adapting to and learning from changes in the environment.” Deloitte.
Linear processes are now a thing of the past and business success will depend on the ability to strategically manage this immense volume of information in order to drive future action. Operators can, therefore, make strategic decisions in real time, analyze the processes and adapt them according to needs, design the products or services, or the way in which they are developed, coherently allocate resources, rethink on how to manage inventory or personalize the customer experience.
Industry 4.0 represents a great opportunity for companies as it gives access to a horizon of possibilities to increase the organization’ benefits by optimizing the overall performance of the value chain, reducing risks, improving the time-to-market, gaining more flexibility, driving innovation and not only.