Enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 — also known as the era of digitalization — refers to the use of automation and data exchange in manufacturing with machines making split-second decisions based on real-time data.
Industry 4.0 is sometimes explained as the fusion of digitalization with traditional industrial processes. This results in intelligent value chains and product lifecycles that start with development, go through manufacturing, assembly, product delivery and maintenance, and end with recycling.
The term Industry 4.0 was coined at Hannover Messe 2011 and was included as an important component into the German government’s high-tech strategy. Two years later, the Industry 4.0 Platform set up by the Bitkom digital association, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) took up its work. The Industry 4.0 Platform is the central network for national and international activities concerning digital transformation in Germany.
In recent years, Industry 4.0 has come to be associated with the IoT. Industry 4.0 refers to the next step in industrial technology, with robotics, computers and equipment becoming connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), and enhanced by machine learning algorithms.
This has evolved because advances in sensor technology and connectivity modules have allowed more equipment to be measured, monitored and tracked between sites, and orchestrated from a central, remote location.
With this accessibility, managers, executives and even data scientists can use that insight to improve the efficiency and productivity of the whole operation. Thanks to the rise of cloud computing and the consequent falling costs of data storage, a huge amount of data can now also be stored and fed into machine learning algorithms to help automate specific processes within an organization.
The digitalization of the whole product lifecycle allows companies to use data from production, service, and social media which leads to faster product improvements. Smart items will bring stronger integration of top floor and shop floor and thus more intelligence and flexibility to production. With these technologies, companies can react faster to demand changes and implement new configurations easier or even replan production much faster.
Want to learn more about Industry 4.0? Tonex offers Industry 4.0 Training, a 2-day crash course that covers key concepts of future smart factories, the cyber-physical systems and physical processes within these factories and the virtualization techniques and intelligent decision making capabilities which would support managers in leading these initiatives.
Additionally, Tonex offers several different IoT courses covering everything from cybersecurity issues fundamentals.
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