2021 Trend Almanac: Technologies and trends that will dominate the business and consumer landscape. Get instant access
The most recent industrial revolution is widely known as Industry 4.0. It combines industrial machinery, robots and processes with internet-connected sensors and other technologies. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is what drives Industry 4.0.
The term, Industry 4.0, is said to originate from a German government memo which outlined an ambitious strategy to connect industrial equipment to the internet to improve efficiency and computerize the manufacturing process. Vast improvements in sensor technology, artificial intelligence, and business intelligence have contributed to the rise in smart manufacturing and the Industrial IoT revolution.
Efficiencies can be had with the use of smart, autonomous machinery that continuously reports back to its computer-based operation hub. Data collected from normal operations can be analyzed to determine the optimal output. Continuous monitoring, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), helps ensure machinery is functioning properly and repairs can be made proactively. This is especially helpful for mass production and additive manufacturing businesses.
Industry 4.0 connects the physical world with machines to create smart factories, smart warehousing operations, and adaptive logistical networks that support an entirely different supply chain than has ever been possible. Machines connect to cloud-based business resource planning systems (ERP)). Real time data allows businesses to use big data analytics to improve productivity and avoid costly last minute repairs.
Why is industry 4.0 important to businesses?