Industry 4.0 is changing to how products are manufactured and how goods and services are delivered. This will have significant impact on careers of the future, employment, learning and much more.
For technology end users, Industry 4.0 (also known as the 4th industrial revolution) is a nearly invisible revolution. It doesn’t involve the construction of massive factories or the invention of new energy sources.
Instead, it’s a change happening well behind the scenes, as goods and services are manufactured and sold with the help of artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, micro services and other technologies that are becoming more mainstream every day.
These new capabilities are funnelling even more technology into the market — and that technology is simpler and more efficient for the end user to deploy and operate, not to mention faster to develop and bring to market. Processes that took months or years are in some cases down to hours and minutes.
Innovation is the key, and data is at the heart of this process – you can’t improve what you don’t measure. It is at the core of smart manufacturing. Artificial intelligence is helping manufacturers unlock real-time operational visibility, and in turn, achieve improved process reliability and performance.
Essentially, Industry 4.0 refers to the new digital era in which technologies transform the way we design, manufacture, and deliver products. It’s the next level of manufacturing automation. It places the emphasis on connectivity—bridging the gap between digital data and physical production. In Industry 4.0, we use a vast volume of data to make decisions and execute with higher accuracy, efficiency, and greater flexibility for customization.
Industry 4.0 is an ecosystem that connects all machines and people. Leveraging AI and machine learning, the organization collects and analyses real-time data, using this information to drive operations. Moreover, business intelligence can predict future outcomes and make adjustment recommendations in real time.
Technologies Shaping Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is driven by a collection of technologies. Some examples include:
Industrial Internet of Things: IoT is a network that connects all machines and devices. Key to smart manufacturing, IoT enables all components of a production line to collect, share, and exchange data.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning empower manufacturers to utilize data and information to increase productivity. The technology can train the data and perform analyses to help industrial machines operate automatically through learning algorithms.
Cloud Computing: Since data is the backbone of Industry 4.0, we need a place where a tremendous amount of data can be stored and analysed. Cloud computing plays a vital role in making that happen. It allows information to be accessible anytime and anywhere.
Cybersecurity: When business operations are based on data and connectivity among different devices, it is vital to protect the cyber-physical systems from malicious attacks. Cybersecurity technology ensures a secure environment for smart production.
Big Data Analytics: Big data extracts information from huge data sets. It transforms the complex information from IoT and cloud systems into actionable items that can be leveraged in business strategies.
What does the transformation of Industry 4.0 mean for jobs?
It’s important to be involved and develop the skills needed in the workforce of today and the future, especially if you are interested in pursuing a career in engineering and information technology.
As the manufacturing industry adopts advanced technologies to scale business growth and production processes, the industry is experiencing a shift in the skill sets of manufacturing jobs. There’s a serious labour shortage of digital talent skilled in information technology, automation, and machine learning. Over two million positions are predicted to be unfilled due to the deficit of tech talent. As a result, bachelor’s or master’s degree-prepared workers competent in digital manufacturing and technology are highly in demand.
According to a study from Deloitte, the top five skills manufacturing companies are looking for in candidates are
- technology/computer skills
- digital skills
- programming skills for robots/automation
- working with tools and technology
- critical thinking skills.
More on this topic view Bernard Marr’s fascinating explainer video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKPrJJSv94M