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What Can We Expect From Industry 4.0?



What Can We Expect From Industry 4.0?

The market for big data and industrial IoT continues to grow and is even expected to reach a worth of $1.2 trillion by 2025. In other words, data intelligence is driving a new industrial revolution.

Since 2011, experts have been refining global interconnectivity under what’s known as Industry 4.0 – or the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In its outcome, we can expect big data and machine learning to have automated plants, warehouses, machines, and more. Additionally, we can expect big data and machine learning to have created smart machines that will collect and analyze data. Improved communication in the manner in which the correct information is delivered at the correct time can also be noted as an expected result of Industry 4.0. However, there is no clear end date for this revolution.

In the past, industrial revolutions have lasted decades – almost centuries. Between 1950 and 2002 were the last years we underwent an industrial revolution. Although it was the first to focus on digitalization, the Third Industrial Revolution focused on a significantly different sector of technology than Industry 4.0.

In Industry 3.0, electronics and IT were integrated into most business’ manufacturing procedures. As a result, this caused an immediate spark in telecommunications, computers, and nuclear power. The heavy difference between Industry 3.0 and 4.0 comes down to their interactions with robotics. Industry 3.0 began using robots and PLCs for factory automation for the first time while Industry 4.0 is optimizing the robots and PLCs already in modern-day factories. 

More specifically, Industry 4.0 is dedicated to bringing automation driven by artificial intelligence to higher levels. After achieving this goal, businesses will be able to integrate cyber-physical systems throughout the supply chain. Furthermore, Industry 4.0 will provide businesses with real-time data and sensors to optimize manufacturing. 

Although we are nearing a decade into Industry 4.0, there is still time to develop a strategy for your business to adapt. Businesses who want to leverage Industry 4.0 must consider the flow of data both within and outside of the organization. However, there are a few things businesses should do before putting an Industry 4.0 plan into place.

For starters, understand your business’ use case. After this, standardize your business’ data processes, then prepare an effective data structure. Lastly, focus on high-fidelity data creation and communication. Additionally, consider how Industry 4.0 impacts your brand. 

Some actionable ways to do so are to make products and processes smarter, deliver component data with digital twin capabilities to customers, connect all departments with the digital thread, and even require Industry 4.0 data from supplies.

In general, the best way to build fidelity with outside partners is to extend the digital thread beyond your internal operations. Furthermore, consider equipping your business with CAD data to bridge the gap. Internal CAD data can provide design intent, pricing and availability estimates, testing & simulation data, and even model-based definitions. On the other hand, supplier CAD data can be just as helpful, just with regard to business. Supplier CAD data can provide native CAD models, embedded metadata, speeds, mates, motion, and even manufacturer part numbers.

In the future, data will be the most important portion of the pie. Is your data ready for Industry 4.0?

What Can We Expect From Industry 4.0?



Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.