Industry 4.0 has been filled with multiple facts and myths. Numerous key points already exist to understand the Industry Revolution. Some of them, you already know, and some of them, you never think about it. So, I am going to discuss those facts according to my research.
Advanced technologies are changing the working model in every business. Manufacturing is the root process of interaction. And, the arrival of Industry 4.0 is assisting companies in multiple ways. The Industry 4.0 core technologies such as smart factories, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Augmented Reality, Advanced Human Machine Interfaces, Robots, and 3D technologies are redefining the business sectors. Integrating these technologies is taking Industry 4.0 to a higher level day by day and doing unexpected things. Let see some interesting facts about the industrial revolutions.
Do you know, "Digitization" and "Computerization" are the two main contributors that caused the industry revolutions' initiative? Here, shifting the manufacturing operations from analog to digital happened due to digitization. It caused the existing processes to change through digital technologies. The outcome of digitization is to provide new value to the customers. Various digital technologies changed the manufacturing operations and initiated digital data and processes within manufacturing units.
Computerization of Industry 3.0 caused the adoption of computer systems to automate the procedures and encourage smart decisions without human intervention. In Layman's words, computer systems' conversion of information into digital format could be understood automatically and easily interact with other systems. Both played roles in the processing and production of goods in factories after arrival of Industry 4.0.
We all know that "Horizontal" and "Vertical" value chains are two competitive strategies within industries. The integration and digitization of these strategies is the primary reason behind the revolution of industry 4.0. The horizontal value chain focuses on capturing other companies working in the same sector, while the vertical value chain controls all industrial processes. The long-term benefits of this integration have been analyzed and executed through the Industry revolution.
Digitization played a critical role in this integration. The biggest e-commerce company, Amazon, is the best example who achieved this objective. Amazon already acquired other companies for the execution of various business processes. For instance, "Amazon Pay" came into existence due to the "Paypal" tie-up. Besides, Amazon has been running all its manufacturing processes itself vertically. E-commerce companies should have to learn from Amazon, which has implemented Industry 4.0 successfully.
You must be aware that Industry 3.0 was focusing only on mass production. The rapid development of digital technologies has started the rising common people's demands. The industries were looking for solutions that can offer more customized solutions to fulfill the customers' needs. Industry 4.0 came up with this solution, mass customization, and mass production in a cost-effective manner. The "Smart factory" and "3D technology" are two primary technologies behind this personalization.
Radical robotics, smart sensors, robust cybersecurity, cloud computing, and big data analytics build smart factories. All these are increasing manufacturing productivity within factories. Another side, 3D printing, 3D configuration, and 3D visualization are bringing innovation in customizations. For instance, 3D visualization permits you to visualize products in 3D view on Amazon. The 3D configuration offers you to purchase a product according to need, make adjustments on products, and analyze the overall costs. 3D technology permits people to customize their choices and get desired things at an affordable price. A survey found that mass customization increased sales by 30% and conversation rates by 40%.
Industry 4.0 has been initiated to bring automation in supply chain processes in enterprises. Automation is helping companies to achieve continuous growth. Automation happened because of a robot that can do tasks like a human being. You already heard the word "Automated Guided Vehicle," a robot that changes the way of manufacturing in factories. Development in mobile technologies brought the concept of the "Autonomous Mobile Robots". Now, AGV and AMR are optimizing the supply chain operations. It is reducing the cost of maintaining the warehouse and distribution centers with additional equipment. The flexibility of both robots is supporting operations in picking, packaging, placement, and delivery. According to the latest report, these robots' market will be increased upto $13.2 Billion in 2026 with a growth rate of 35%.
The transformation from small to medium business towards Industry 4.0 follows multiple stages. Various factors need to consider during change. Pricing, standardizations, platforms, etc., common factors, and every technology transformation check out these factors. Companies often overlook two critical elements, "Taxes" and "Legal challenges," while adopting industry revolutions.
Industry revolution is not stuck with one country. It is happening across the world, and industries are expanding business globally. Variation in countries' constitutions and legal environment is a complex factor. Ignorance of this factor during transformation is unable to generate the desired output. It has been found that in industries, non-tech executives or experts makes final decisions on technological decisions. These groups are not aware of the legal framework associated with technological advancement. It causes issues during the shifting of the traditional factory to the smart factory. Industry 4.0 transformation must have to adopt a legal framework according to need to technologies.
Similarly, controlling taxation is vital as ignorance of this might cause problems in effective resource management. The various tools and platforms of countries might impact the efficiency of new implementation in the case when it has been misused or ignored. A fair financial management among shareholders needs control on tax collection and support effective management of resources.
Word "Industry 4.0" came with two phrases, "reduction in human jobs" and "highly expensive". The reality is that these two are myths and most often considered as challenges. People only translate these phrases without understanding the deeper meaning. It is a fact that every technology causes a reduction in the human job. So, how Industry 4.0 would be more responsible for human job reductions? Industry 4.0 focuses on mass customization and production through automation that might cause a high reduction in human jobs. However, we should have to think another side of automation that it is time to develop skills according to the technology trends. If you are unable to do this, it might be possible that you will encounter a loss in the job after some time. Understand one line; automation has one objective: to reduce physical and time-consuming works through tools and technologies. The arrival of those tools needs human groups for execution and training. Industry 4.0 has been bringing multiple career opportunities. So, prepare yourself to start a new career of interest.
Industry 4.0 has certain pillar technologies to bring innovations, productivity, and proficiency across multiple business sectors. It has been assumed that the implementation needs huge capital, making it difficult to purchase all technologies. You are already aware that internet-based services are inexpensive. Cloud computing services are providing sharable platforms and tools for the execution of business operations. And, most important, you don't need to adopt all the featured technologies during transformation. So, it has been suggested that you analyze your business, take advice from experts, and find suitable technologies. Multiple options are available for selecting inexpensive technologies. Thus, replace the phrase "Highly expensive" with the new phrase "smart investment at lower prices".
We all know the word STEM, "Science, Technology, Engineering, Math" and its importance. The interesting thing is that it is also linked with the Industry revolution. When the fourth industry evolution started, no one thought it would become necessary in manufacturing in few years. It has been observed that the demand for STEM in manufacturing is getting increasing. We can say this is an essential skill for working in Industry 4.0 environment. Besides this, two skills, "Complex Problem Solving" and "Critical Thinking" achieve growth globally. Companies transform their traditional processes into Industry 4.0 to accomplish specific objectives and solving problems. They seek these skills in their people, so it becomes easy to implement the new system. People can either build these skills if they want to remain competitive in this field. Companies can also use some training programs for the development of these skills. Digital knowledge and literacy are the only options to adopt Industry 4.0 successfully.
The growth of big data analytics, Internet of Things, cutting-edge technologies, etc. are leading to changes in the supply chain and manufacturing. At present, we are in the midst of Industry 4.0 development, and due to this, experts call Industry 4.0 "young" technology. It means it is developing every day. We have seen various factors related to development, execution, transformation, challenges, opportunities, and skills associated with Industry 4.0 or Industrial data transformation. Knowing these facts would help you understand Industry 4.0 and how it supports various industries to improve their industrial performance.