The Essence of Industry 4.0 - Evolution From Smart Manufacturing to Smart “X” (Topic)

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The Essence of Industry 4.0 - Evolution From Smart Manufacturing to Smart “X”


When in 2011 Germany launched a project called Industry 4.0 for digital production at Hannover Messe, officials, industry leaders and scientists who worked on the project probably did not know that Industry 4.0 and in particular the fourth industrial revolution will become such a widely used concept.

The vision for Industry 4.0 goes beyond technology and looks at the end-to-end value chain, including, for example, warehouse management, logistics, processing, energy, workers, security and transportation.

Although the term "Industry 4.0" and the architectural model are from Germany (hence "Industrie 4.0"), and the focus is on industry and manufacturing, it is clear that the idea of the fourth industrial revolution has caught the attention of organizations around the world, which we will discuss further, and that the scope of this concept de facto extends beyond production, not to mention factories.

Although the idea was originally only used for production (unlike other leading initiatives such as the Industrial Internet and the Industrial Internet Consortium), it is actually much broader. In the early days after the announcement of Industry 4.0, this was not the case, it was just a production initiative, a kind of slogan. Today we can clearly see how some of the actors who were involved in the creation and development of the model are themselves transferring it to smart transport and logistics, smart buildings, smart mines, smart oil and gas, smart healthcare and Smart X or whatever ".

We can clearly see this development in other industries in materials published by leading institutions such as the German National Academy of Science and Technology (Acatech). This does not mean that they are single-handedly expanding their scope, on the contrary: the mentioned industries are increasingly using the concept, principles and technologies of the 4.0 series themselves. How else could it be? The fact is that industry does not live in isolation and, despite the specifics, processes in technology and in production overlap, this is especially noticeable in the era of universal communications.

This global diffusion of the concept and technologies of Industry 4.0 is associated with current challenges and opportunities, synergy of development, which is ensured through cooperation with the US industry, Japan, EU industry initiatives and so on. However, there are several hurdles that need to be overcome before we see implementation in more companies than we do now.

Despite the seemingly original fantasy of the ideas of Industry 4.0, this is a very real model for the transformation of manufacturing and other sectors into connected and digital production with a host of additional advantages and a number of technological changes and opportunities for going beyond operational activities towards the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

The Topic of Article: The Essence of Industry 4.0 - Evolution From Smart Manufacturing to Smart “X”.
Author: Jake Pinkman