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Industry 4.0: What Manufacturing Looks Like in the Digital Era
It might sound futuristic, but the Fourth Industrial Revolution—also known as Industry 4.0—has already begun.
Following the Industrial Revolution’s steam power, electrification in the 1800s, and the Digital Revolution of the late 20th century, Industry 4.0’s innovative smart technology is unlocking the next steps in automation.
So what does the next major evolution of manufacturing look like? This graphic from ASE Global breaks down the rollout of Industry 4.0, from increased robotization to lights-out manufacturing.
The Basics of Industry 4.0
Each industrial revolution has built on what came before, incorporating new technologies and knowledge of manufacturing. Industry 4.0 has four core principles paving the way:
- Interconnection: Machines, devices, sensors, and people in the manufacturing process all connecting and communicating with each other.
- Information transparency: Comprehensive data and information being collected from all points in the manufacturing process, allowing for more informed decisions.
- Technical assistance: Improved technological facility of systems assisting humans in decision-making, problem-solving, and difficult or unsafe tasks.
- Decentralized decisions: Cyber physical systems that are able to make decisions on their own and perform tasks autonomously.
Combining these principles is what makes the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution unique. Much of the underlying technology has been available for decades, including robotics and networks, but properly using them together unlocks a massive stride in manufacturing capabilities.
Already, the market size for Industry 4.0 specific technology was estimated to be $116.1 billion in 2021. (Read more...)