Industry 4.0- A Brief Introduction
Industry 4.0 is the fourth phase of the industrial revolution. Here the manufacturing industry gets digitized with the help of modern-day technologies. The gap between machinery and modern technology is filled here. As manufacturing gets smarter, the products become more customized and efficient.
There are four main design principles of Industry 4.0.
Interconnectivity: With the help of the Internet of Things (IoT), machines, sensors, other devices, and people can communicate more efficiently.
Information Transparency: With more connectivity, the operators get more information about the process, improving production.
Technical Assistance: The systems are smart enough to give technological assistance to humans and help them do unsafe tasks.
Decentralized Decisions: The smaller subsystems can make their own decision and need not depend on the centralized decision.
The Four Industrial Revolutions
Manufacturing and other industries have undergone many revolutionary changes in the past centuries. It is marked as the four industrial revolutions. Let us have a brief idea about the four revolutions.
The first phase where the mechanization happened. People started using water and steam power to drive machines. It happened around 1760 and 1820. The mechanization boosted the textile industry, iron, agriculture, and mining too.
The technological revolution happened in this phase. The incoming of electricity, better commutation, and communication methods has helped transfer of people and commodities easily. It also made mass production possible. It happened in the late 19th century and early twentieth century.
This is where the digital revolution started with the coming of computers. It happened in the twentieth century after the end of two world wars.
The fourth phase was the automation phase, where the manufacturing and industrial norms were automated from the traditional techniques.
The Features of Industry 4.0
With the advent of the Internet of Things, Augmented reality, Virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence, the fourth revolution has become possible. Data-driven manufacturing, along with automation, is the key strategy of Industry 4.0. It has helped in improving the production capacity and also made the machines smart. Many changes happened during this fourth industrial revolution. Let us look into three of the significant changes that took place in Industry 4.0
1. Smart Factory
A fully connected and automated manufacturing unit that can operate based on the analyzed data is a smart factory. With the inflow of information, the machines and other devices get smart enough to decide the volume of production, without external intervention.
In Industry 4.0, the gap between the physical and digital world is bridged. The machines can think for themselves and act upon the information received. With the help of big data, manufacturers can collect the required information easily. With the use of IoT and AI, the machines can act according to the information.
2. Predictive Maintenance
Another looked-up trend in Industry 4.0 is predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance happens when the maintenance or the damage to machines is predicted in advance. It helps the owners to correct the issue before the big trouble happens. It helps in the efficient care of machinery and does not disrupt the manufacturing process.
With the information about how the machine works in advance, the owner can decide to repair the machinery or not. It also means the owner will have complete details on how well the machine functions, how efficiently the process happens, and can also track down the unit's activities from anywhere around the world.
3. 3D Printing
3D Printing Technology has found useful in lower volume manufacturing and also in prototyping and product development. Another advantage is the manufacturing of spare parts; without a long wait, the spare parts can be manufactured with this technology's help. It can improve efficiency and decrease warehousing costs. Another advantage is it is comparatively environment friendly.
Industry 4.0 onboard the use of 3D printing technology has increased significantly. It is also useful for the medical industry as it helps in dental implants and other models.
A Glance into Industry 5.0
With Industry 4.0, happening people have already started talking about Industry 5.0. In this version, it is predicted that robots will take over the manufacturing part. Humans will be working alongside robots. We might even have a Chief Engineer as a Robot, imagine a scenario where you are working under a robot, well, it is the future.
The Closing Lines
Industry 4.0 has indeed created a massive revolution. The gap between machines and technology is bridged in this phase. Like any other revolution, it has helped in reshaping manufacturing as well as other industries. It has made the machines smart and the operators smarter.
The transformation phase is a bit difficult in the case of all revolutions. To ease up the process, digital transformation companies can help. With the help of expert personals, the transformation to the new technologies can be done effortlessly.