The Internet has not only changed how we communicate and the way we live; it has also had a major impact on industrial production. Digitalization is changing the world of work, manufacturing, industry, and publishing. As a consequence, it is influencing the very factors that shape and even redefine the standard norms of society, as well as how we perceive terms like “small to medium-sized businesses” and “communication”. Robotics, 3D printing, and interoperability have all become a part of our everyday lives. We are therefore living in a world that, in 2017, already seems to be moving at a more rapid pace than it did in 2016. Everything is becoming faster, more connected, more complex.
Information and communication technology enables Industry 4.0
Digital transformation is also changing the business world to an extent not seen since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Innovative information and communication technology can now connect machines and entire factories worldwide, and can be used to control work processes in different regions across the globe. Software has become increasingly important in the process and has more or less overtaken hardware in terms of significance.
Production methods and production engineering must therefore be rethought, with the general view being that many companies and factories have a great deal of catching up to do. And even with several approaches already in place, it is clear that – due to the individual environments and settings within these physical systems – specific, tailor-made recommendations are required for implementation in each case.
New value-adding networks thanks to Industry 4.0
Using what is known as the network industry, the manufacturing sector has developed completely new value-adding networks whose complexity is extremely difficult to grasp. This global networking of manufacturing technologies is known as Industry 4.0. It is the fourth industrial revolution, after mechanization, electricity, and the computerization of the economy.
Machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication covers all steps of the value chain: research and development, production, and logistics and marketing are part of these intelligent networks. However, despite all of these benefits, Industry 4.0 represents a substantial challenge for the entire business world. To achieve a sustained economic upturn, it is necessary to develop test environments, learning factories, high-tech strategies, and position papers. Looking at what is to come in the age of Industry 4.0, there is now pressure to act.
Industry 4.0 on transformationbeats.com
So who will be able to restore order to the ever-changing business world? Is it even possible to tap the full potential of digital transformation? Here, you can read about how companies and entrepreneurs are responding to these opportunities for innovation. Transformation Beats presents best practices, features interviews with top decision makers, and identifies the risks and opportunities of Industry 4.0 for businesses.