Are you ready for Industry 4.0?

Scene from The Jetsons in the aircraft

For us Gen Xers and Baby Boomers The Jetsons was a far-fetched idea that could never ever come to fruition. How wrong were we?

The original Jetsons ran from 1962 to 1963. If you think about the change in the world, 55 or so years isn’t very long. Something as simple as a call where you can see someone, today we call that a video call or video conferencing, that we never in a million years thought would ever happen. How could it?

Scene from The Jetsons while they video chat

The idea was pretty cool in 1962 when, often times, people’s telephone lines were what they called “party lines." For you youngsters that have never heard the term: party lines is where more than one house shared a phone line. For example, you would pick up the phone and Gladys was sharing cookie recipes with Hilda.

Moving ahead 55 years, here we are at Industry 4.0: The 4th Industrial Revolution

This, clearly, is not the cotton gin or the steam engines. This is IOT (The Internet of Things), IIOT (The Industrial Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and Automation (robotics and computers performing more efficient processes).

Scene from the Jetsons with two robots communicating

A little history, please?

The first industrial revolution paved the way for the factory systems with new iron production processes and the transition from hand production methods to machine production methods.

The second industrial revolution began globalization. People and ideas were moving via the telegraph and railroad across the globe enhancing communication, ideation, and innovation.

The third industrial revolution pushed into the digital age with robotics, automation, and computing.

Now, we have arrived at the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 is about interconnecting everything: sensors, software, and data analytics. Decisions are now based on live data from the entire factory network. This is where IOT, which is a network of physical objects that features an IP address for internet connectivity and communication happens between all of those internet enabled objects, and IIOT come together.

Most importantly, IIOT in manufacturing specifically, holds great potential for quality control, sustainable and green practices, supply chain trace-ability, and overall supply chain efficiency.

How Industry 4.0 can change the face of the manufacturing industry

From a social perspective, we talk about being “connected” through our email, Facebook, Twitter, News broadcasts, GOOGLE, etc. There is no doubt that there is a connection overdose, but we will save that for another day.

Social media icons floating around

It goes to show that Industry 4.0 is all about connectivity - but it’s been a slow transformation for the manufacturing industry. From the network connection to connecting devices to data management to storing data.

What Industry 4.0 level connection means for a factory 

Industry 4.0 allows for operations to see all their pertinent information in real time. Manufacturers updated with Industry 4.0 standards are more intuitive, which will drive every day operations to be more efficient as well as safe. Tools and equipment are now able to validate and measure each step of your operation. In addition, in the event of a malfunction, operations will stop until the exact result is achieved.

Infographic about digital transformations

In a nutshell, what can Industry 4.0 do for the average manufacturing factory? 

Industry 4.0 will finally give the employee's power - right at the center of progress. It will allow for more collaboration between the workers in the shop and the CEO in the top seat. This with help spark more intelligent decisions with more intelligent data along with the ability to measure success in real time. 

If this is the first you are hearing about Industry 4.0 and how it can revolutionize your manufacturing business, please call us at (888) 784-2088 or (651) 633-0095 for more information on how we can help!