The history of Industry 4.0 tracks the manufacturing industry from the industrial revolution to the digital transformation and beyond.
Each new stage represents advancement of the industrial revolution in the manufacturing process that has changed the way we think about and work in the industry.
Dating back to around 1760, the First Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes using water and steam. It was hugely beneficial in terms of manufacturing a larger number of various goods and creating a better standard of living for some. The textile industry, in particular, was transformed by industrialization, as was transportation.
Fuel sources like steam and coal made machine use more feasible, and the idea of manufacturing with machines quickly spread. Machines allowed faster and easier production, and they made all kinds of new innovations and technologies possible as well.
The first Industrial Revolution represented the period between the 1760s and around 1840. This is where the second industrial revolution picked up. Historians sometimes refer to this as “The Technological Revolution” occurring mainly in Britain, Germany and America.
During this time, new technological systems were introduced, most notably superior electrical technology which allowed for even greater production and more sophisticated machines.
It began with the first computer era. These early computers were often very simple, unwieldy and incredibly large relative to the computing power they were able to provide, but they laid the groundwork for a world today that one is hard-pressed to imagine without computer technology.
Around 1970 the Third Industrial Revolution involved the use of electronics and IT (Information Technology) to further automation in production. Manufacturing and automation advanced considerably thanks to Internet access, connectivity and renewable energy.
Industry 3.0 introduced more automated systems onto the assembly line to perform human tasks, i.e. using Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). Although automated systems were in place, they still relied on human input and intervention.
The Fourth industrial Revolution is the era of smart machines, storage systems and production facilities that can autonomously exchange information, trigger actions and control each other without human intervention.
This exchange of information is made possible with the Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) as we know it today. Key elements of Industry 4.0 include:
- Cyber-physical system — a mechanical device that is run by computer-based algorithms.
- The Internet of things (IoT) — interconnected networks of machine devices and vehicles embedded with computerized sensing, scanning and monitoring capabilities.
- Cloud computing — offsite network hosting and data backup.
- Cognitive computing — technological platforms that employ artificial intelligence.
“Industry 4.0 starts to move towards Industry 5.0 when you begin to allow customers to customize what they want
What Is Industry 5.0?
Less than a decade has passed since talk of Industry 4.0 first surfaced in manufacturing circles, yet visionaries are already forecasting the next revolution — Industry 5.0. If the current revolution emphasizes the transformation of factories into IoT-enabled smart facilities that utilize cognitive computing and interconnect via cloud servers, Industry 5.0 is set to focus on the return of human hands and minds into the industrial framework.
Industry 5.0 is the revolution in which man and machine reconcile and find ways to work together to improve the means and efficiency of production. Funny enough, the fifth revolution could already be underway among the companies that are just now adopting the principles of Industry 4.0. Even when manufacturers start using advanced technologies, they are not instantly firing vast swaths of their workforce and becoming entirely computerized.
The cost of a new product can be determined with the help of costing software for manufacturing industry. It automates the costing processes and accelerates the time to market on new products.
“With Industry 5.0, you’ll be able to automate the manufacturing process better, which means you’ll have real-time data coming in from the field
The Industrial Revolution
As technological innovations become ever more rapid, revolutions could ultimately follow one another in quick succession over the next 10 years and beyond. Whereas the first three industrial revolutions took decades to play out, today’s revolutions last only as long as it takes for industry-wide implementation to complete itself. It’s important to note that Manufacturing 5.0 is an upgrade of 4.0 and not entirely new.
Overall, the development of Industry 5.0 could prove to be the full realization of what the architects of Industry 4.0 had only dreamed of at the dawn of the 2010s. As artificial intelligence improves and factory robots assume more human-like capabilities, the interaction between computers, robots and human workers will ultimately become more meaningful and mutually enlightening.