Industry 4.0 is also known as the fourth industrial revolution and smart manufacturing, as well as IR4.0, I4.0, and I4. It’s a catch-all term for the technologies that empower businesses to collect and analyse data through machines, and automate and streamline their processes. This ultimately leads to a quicker, more flexible and efficient organisation that produces better quality products at a lower cost.
These digital tools enable manufacturing to become more inclusive, connected and holistic through:
- Interoperability – All systems can communicate to each other.
- Decentralisation – The ability to design independent sub-processes with cyber-physical elements, and make decisions autonomously.
- Real-time analytics – The gathering and analysing of big data so that processes can be effectively monitored, controlled and optimised.
- Virtualisation – Producing virtual replicas of physical processes and models.
- Service orientation – Transferring additional value through new or enhanced services.
- Modularity and scalability – The flexibility to adjust to industry and organisation requirements, as well as scale technical capacity where necessary