Industry 4.0, an overview and definition

Let us start to define, what we understand under industry 4.0.

We define it as the 4th industrial revolution and it describes not only a kind of production organization, it describes also new products and new lifestyles. All this will be influenced by industry 4.0. Let us remember about the industrial revolutions before:

  • The first industrial revolution was driven by the invention of the steam engine. With this invention agricultural production and industrial mass production started
  • The second industrial revolution took place between 1870 and 1914 and is also known as the technological revolution. Invention of electricity and the mass production by Henry Ford have been important events.
  • The third industrial revolution has taken place between 1970 und 1980. It is often called the digital revolution. PLCs, Computers and the Internet have been developed and the analogue world became digital.

The fourth industrial revolution we are shaping now. Overall connectivity and artificial intelligent, powerful computers,are a precondition for this.

Due to this developing Trends, we see a lot of rapidly developing areas. Here we see again: we are not only talking about production. IoT (internet of things) Smart cities, smart products and services, smart devices, robots and cyber physical systems will not be placed in production only, it will be placed in our products and services, we are using every day.

But if this products, organisations and services will impact the live of the whole community, we should work out the salient issues.  In the picture below you find on the left side the issues, we work on and on the right side the issues we must consider, to get a readiness of the society and the politic for industry 4.0.

I have since about 4 years a watch, measuring some basic parameters of my body and gives me the possibility to track some activities, which in my opinion are helpful to stay healthy. Until today, I have nearly daily discussions about the sense of this device and what it really improves on my live conditions. I feel better, to know these parameters and get motivated, to set myself targets and try to rich them.

I use voice programms to write notices and minutes during driving in the car and I use Alexa at home to entertain me and control subjects. A lot of people are sceptically about these products.

Smart grids to bring the diversified energy systems together or just in time traffic announcements, as well as the information about free parking places in the town, are subjects, I like to use, because they are improving my quality of live.

But these statements are improving conditions for me. I believe, the way, to convince the bigger share of the society that these developments are improving quality of live, will take a lot of efforts for explanations.

Because, most people are thinking by the name “industry 4.0” on production only, let us also start with a view in production.

The picture above shows some elements, which are standards in a smart factory.

By using intelligent smart routing, customer orders are timely correct planed for production and the planning is considering an efficient manufacturing process. All operations planning is linked up to make it possible, to plan for an overall optimum. Predictive maintenance assures predictability of the stability for machines and processes. To define the role of people in the process becomes important, to assure, the advantages of the systems are really used.

In manufacturing are normally high investments involved and often a proper engineering knowledge is available. Due to this conditions, Industry 4.0 is most advanced in production at present time.

But the advantages of connectivity and with the availability of a lot of data, much more areas are becoming early adopters.

Using Big Data analysis and implementing more and more Artificial Intelligence (AI), all areas, shown in the above picture, will benefit.

Manufacturing becomes more flexible, medical diagnoses become more reliable, transportation will use the most efficient solution and services are not any more office-hour depending.

Connectivity and Big Data are the enabler to Industry 4.0 an they are already available on an advanced level today. Let us have a deeper insight in the role of big data:

The picture above shows that we have a lot of possibilities to bring the data together, especially if we are using Hadoop. The problem is, to be aware, what impact a data analysis can cause on the data sources and data owners.

What is a data scientist?

What is the character of big data?

How classic data explodes: really big In the picture below you can see the best-known examples

For big data storage, it is preferable to put your data in a data lake.

What does it take, to make a data lake sustainable?

Is it possible to govern such a think? How do people contribute to this in a real way?

Can you think of an example functional healthy Data Lake that last for a while?

Here is an example for an answer:

We must care on data governance principles, if we would gain the biggest advantage out of it.

For data storage is still a big discussion ongoing: Hadoop or no Hadoop

For some corporate internal data there may be a database also a solution. If a lot of data from different sources are necessary, the Hadoop is the by fare cheapest solution.

Industry 4.0 will change a lot of conditions in our daily live. With Industry 4.0 we will get personalized services and personalized products.

Production will become prepared, to produce the personalized products in reasonable time. But also, the connectivity to enable smart grids for energy distribution and storage as well as the possibilities for mobility and smart cities are now prepared.

Industry 4.0 will bring a lot of changes. Here we have the task, to use it in the beneficial way for everyone.

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