Industrial revolution represents a period of time in 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. During that time, great changes happened all over the planet. It is considered to be one of the most important periods of human history, as it determined the course which will lead to the life as we know it today.
Industry 4.0 is the fourth part of the industrial revolution. Before it, there was the first industrial revolution which was based on using steam power. Second industrial revolution was built around mass usage of electric power that helps production to make a progress. Third industrial revolution is also known as digital revolution. And now there is the fourth part, or Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 may be defined as process that begins to include computers in all aspects of industry. Final goal is achieving more productive, more precise, resource efficient industry. Smart Factory, as some experts call this concept, should also be able to adapt and integrate customers and businesses. The essence of the Industry 4.0 is Internet and all the possibilities that come with it.
The term ‘industrie 4.0’ was used for the first time at Hanover Fair in Germany, in 2011. It is now the essence of the German government’s strategy for industrial and high-tech development.
In Industry 4.0 products are highly customizable. Mass production becomes very flexible and it changes the perspective on automatic technology as we know it. What does it mean? The mass production actually starts getting more personal. The needs of a customer are being recognized. Making different variations of a product becomes completely possible.
One core thing in which the power of the Industry 4.0 lays is Internet. Internet has the ability to connect everybody and everything. It is believed that production will become more and more linked, too, as well as bigger and more complex.
Practical results of the new Industry 4.0 can already be seen. For example, there are intelligent cars with complex software made in Germany. Germany also implements Industry 4.0 into engineering. Since a lot of German companies are now working under the Industry 4.0, more projects from all the industry field can be expected in the future.
While Industry 4.0 first started in Germany, there was a parallel initiative in the USA. It is called Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) and it represents an association of manufacturers. The goals of this non-profit organization are: developing standards, changing approaches, creating platforms and sharing the infrastructure which represents accepting the manufacturing intelligence.