SupplyChain Headhunter: Industry 4.0 – Internet of Things (IoT)
Have you heard the phrase “Industry 4.0” before? Did you wonder what exactly hides behind that name? It’s actually a quite interesting concept that is also known under term “smart factory”. This concept has been around for quite a few years now, however, it is not widely known. Despite the fact that it is being implemented by many factories.
Where did Industry 4.0 come from?
The concept was created by the German government in order to promote smart and innovative manufacturing. There is no precise date that would pinpoint the formation of this concept. Some sources claim that it was mentioned first in 2013, other that it was introduced in 2011 at the Hannover Fair. Regardless of the time of its origin, the Industry 4.0 is more than a movement. It’s a way of thinking that allows companies to move forward, expand and increase profits while staying competitive.
The Industry 4.0 offers such promise that German government invested whopping €200 million in research. The research that was supposed to give an upper hand to German industry and it surely did. The benefits of the Industry 4.0 seem to be so great that other countries quickly followed the example of Germany and also started investing in academic research, factories development in order to implement smart factory thinking.
Fourth industrial revolution
Industry 4.0, or as Germans know it Industrie 4.0 is often compared to fourth industrial revolution. How did we get to the fourth revolution? What other revolutions did take place before it?
The first industrial revolution took place at the turn of the 18th and 19th century. It is the time when the steam engine was invented. First factories were formed and iron and textile industries started to grow.
The second industrial revolution took place around 1870 – 1914. Around that time we saw further development of industries and creation of mass production. At that time also new branches of industry appeared.
Next revolution, the third industrial revolution is also known as Digital Revolution. This is the time when modern technologies that we know today start to play role in factories production. Since its beginning in 1980, we can observe wider and wider use of electronics and digital technology, like computers or the internet.
Finally, the fourth industrial revolution came. The main goals of the Industry 4.0 are to use modern solutions to increase productivity and reduce waste. The use of modern technologies such as 3-D printing, robotics and nanotechnology or artificial intelligence plays a crucial part in smart factories. High automation of factories reduces human element in the production process and reduces the time required to complete each task. The Industry 4.0 was described to be a method to self-optimize, self-configure and self-diagnose. The smart factories should be able to mass produce products that are made to specific requirements.
The Internet of Things and Supply Chain
A very important part of Industry 4.0 plays The Internet of Things and Supply Chain. In our upcoming posts, we will explain what both of the terms mean and how to implement with Industry 4.0 to achieve better results.