Industry 4.0, 4IR, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, refers to the current technological transformation in the manufacturing and production industries. The first industrial revolution witnessed the use of steam power, which helped in evolving manufacturing processes in the mid-1700s, which was followed by the second industrial revolution in the early 1900s, marked by the introduction of mass production and the widespread use of electricity in manufacturing and production. Recently, the third industrial revolution that began in the second half of the 20th century witnessed the incorporation of computers, electronics, and basic, programmable automation systems into the manufacturing process. We are now in the midst of Industry 4.0, signified by the increasing use of new-age technologies to transform manufacturing and production processes.
Just like the three industrial revolutions that preceded it, Industry 4.0 is revolutionising the way manufacturing units and factories operate. Industry 4.0 is characterised by the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies such as advanced robotic automation, the internet of things, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, cloud solutions, machine learning, virtual reality, and cognitive computing into the manufacturing sector. The increasing adoption of such Industry 4.0 systems has led to the emergence of smart factories that integrate the latest digital technologies to enhance their processes to be efficient, streamlined, and flexible.
The goal of Industry 4.0 is to introduce automated decision-making, interconnected machinery, data analytics, and more to increase productivity across the value chain and enable the efficient production of goods. Incorporation of these new-age technologies helps manufacturers serve their customers better and meet their demands by offering a level of customisation and personalised service that was previously not possible. This digital transformation of manufacturing processes delivers several benefits, including greater accuracy, transparency, collaboration, and improved supply chain management. The future of the manufacturing sector looks promising with Industry 4.0.