Smart automation and data integration for your business
We live in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The dynamic development of technology popularized modern devices and systems that are often able to replace people or significantly help them in their work. In order to be fully aware of what the currently observed changes are associated with, it is worth looking closer into these issues.
The author of the concept of Industry 4.0 (Industry 4.0, 4IR, Fourth Industrial Revolution, etc.) is Klaus Schwab – German engineer and economist, founder and executive president of the World Economic Forum. He created a generalizing concept referring to the concept of “industrial revolution”. So far, history has distinguished three eras that came after the introduction of the new technology. These are:
- Industry 1.0 – the age of steam – invention and implementation of the steam engine in the 13th century, which gave rise to industrialization;
- Industry 2.0 – the age of electricity – the spread of electricity at the beginning of the 20th century enabled mass production on an unprecedented scale;
- Industry 3.0 – the age of digitization – the creation of more and more efficient computers and data processing systems in the 1970s allowed for a significant improvement of machines and the automation of many processes.
Theoretically, it could be considered that we are still in the age of digitization today. However, the technological changes in recent decades are so significant that it would be too much of a simplification. For this reason, Klaus Schwab at the Hanover Fair in 2011 concluded that the Fourth Industrial Revolution took place in the 10s of the twentieth century – the age of the disappearance of the barrier between machine and man began.
Industry 4.0 is based on the integration of systems with other systems and devices, as well as with people.
Industry 4.0 is based on the integration of systems with other systems and devices, as well as with people. Modern solutions enable full automation of production processes, as well as rapid processing and exchange of data. The most important inventions that define the current conditions include, among others Internet, cloud technologies and cyber-physical systems. Throughout history, production has first used the power of steam, then electricity, and then computers. At this point in history, “smart factories”, apart from modern machines and devices, have at their disposal the following networks: information, social and business, mobile and logistics.
An enterprise organized in accordance with the Industry 4.0 vision maximizes its competitiveness, because it is able to better and faster respond to customer needs. In addition, it works in a more efficient, and at the same time economical, ecological way – errors, delays and other irregularities that may contribute to lower efficiency or waste of materials are limited and eliminated. Solutions included in the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution allow to reduce the time needed to adapt machines to new requirements and orders. Progressing automation means that the role of humans is limited to the necessary minimum. At the same time, advanced production systems are becoming more accessible and useful.
Industry 4.0 is not the future, but the reality that surrounds us. We need adapt to it by introducing appropriate changes and creating new business models. The most important thing is to implement innovative solutions as soon as possible in order to fully use the huge potential of the most modern technological achievements.