Over the decades there have been many different pivotal points within industry. Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution. This term is used to describe the changes and developments that are taking place and helping to create “Smart Factories”.
Industry 4.0 is a collective term embracing a number of contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies. The revolution has seen factories adopting more automation and allowing the machines once integrated to collaborate with each other make decisions in real time without the input of humans. It also allows the machines to communicate with humans in real time to allow informed decisions to be made.
The intelligent networks that are created within the factories will mean a more productive and cost efficient manufacturing process. The data produced by these intelligent networks will also help detect faults and alert operators to machines that could require maintenance. This will reduce the down time and increase the efficiency of factories meaning a reduction in the running cost and down time of machines that can prove very costly for the manufacturer. As the machines learn they will be able to predict and advise operators. It will also help with supply chain management as suppliers can provide a clearer picture of when their goods will arrive.
The end result should be better and more cost efficient manufacturing leading to a reduced price for the consumer. It will take time for Industry 4.0 to take full effect but it is clear that technology will be an even bigger part of the manufacturing process than ever before.