At Pentaflex, we consider it a top priority to be at the forefront of all industry shifts for the sake of our clients, our team, our community, and our industry. In this post, we will explain Industry 4.0, the influence on manufacturing, and what you can do to stay at the top of your game.
A Little History Lesson
Industry 4.0 is the Fourth (but not the last) Industrial Revolution. The first revolution was the introduction of steam and water into the manufacturing world. Next came electricity and assembly lines. These first two industrial revolutions did in fact change history as we know it. But both of these revolutions also took a considerable amount of time for everyone to grasp and implement fully into their processes. That is why you will see almost one hundred years between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd revolutions.
We saw Industry 3.0 hit center stage at the tail end of the 60’s. This is where computers start to impact machinery and processes in everyday manufacturing. Manufacturers saw the benefit and continued to improve the software. This resulted in speeding up assemblies, cutting back on overall costs, and creating a safer working environment for manufacturing teams.
One of the biggest positive consequences of the third revolution was speed. Everything could be done faster. This also meant we found problems faster, fixed them faster, and improved them faster. Because of this, we saw the fourth revolution hit almost half as fast as its predecessors.
What is Industry 4.0?
As we move into 2019, we are now rapidly seeing the full adaptation of Industry 4.0 – only 50 years after the third industrial revolution. Essentially, this revolution is the more advanced & sophisticated version of 3.0. This revolution we are seeing computers have the ability to receive more data, interpret said data, implement their findings into their current processes, and then share that data with other computers. Regular terms for this time include cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and cognitive computing1. We will discuss all these topics and more in later blog posts.
The modern world originally coined the term “Industry 4.0” back in 2015, but has been in regular use since early 2018. This is by far the most exciting adaptation to manufacturing for companies and consumers alike – and is also the fastest.
How ‘Smart’ Are You?
In the coming months and years, we will gradually see the demand for ‘smart’ facilities increase. Supply chains will continually search for the most advanced and fullproof systems.
What will really set apart manufacturing teams will be the ones that have learned to harvest the data, interpret, and improve their processes for the betterment of their teams, their customers, and the end-users.
What Can You Do?
The first step we recommend is learning more about Industry 4.0 and how it will directly influence your industry. Learn which components the team is already modifying in your processes and which ones are being overlooked. By staying up to date on where your industry is at, you ensure that you are always at the top of the conversation and ready to contribute to the next big shift.
We have linked a few sources at the bottom of this blog post to continue your education.
The second step is to ask the leadership in your company how they are embracing this new shift in manufacturing. How is the team preparing to update systems, streamline processes, and keep customers in the loop about these progressive changes?
Be sure to ask more than once as plans and processes will continually improve as the technology does. Ask if there are ways for you to get involved and to help further the implementations along.
The third step is to contact your current manufacturers in your supply chain. Ask them what they are doing to embrace the fourth Industrial Revolution. Every organization should be able to give you a straightforward, honest and excited answer.
Have You Called Pentaflex?
Our team is ready and excited to discuss these changes to our industry for our customers and our team. Give us a call at 937-325-5551, fill out our short contact form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear how we are staying at the cutting edge for you.