After a first revolution driven by the steam engine in the 18th century, the world of industry underwent two other major upheavals with electric power at the end of the 19th century, followed by electronic and computer technologies in the 1960s. Today, in the age of digitalization and online services, the industrial world is entering a new phase in its history:Industry 4.0, marked by digital technologies. Considered as a fourth industrial revolution, it truly appears as the industry of the future.
Industry 4.0 or industry of the future?
The concept of Industry 4.0 first appeared during 2011. It was about digital innovation and the opportunities it would bring to the world of work.
Today, Industry 4.0 has become a concrete reality. It is based on the alliance between real objects and digital technologies, with the aim of obtaining ever more efficient products. To achieve this goal, Industry 4.0 relies on the latest technological innovations, such as:
- robotic machines,
- augmented reality,
- 3D printing,
- artificial intelligence.
Industry 4.0 is seen as the industry of the future. For its promoters, the industry of tomorrow will be based on the optimal use and integration of digital tools within the various industries. However, it will never be a dehumanized universe.
People will remain the central element of the industry of the future. Its expertise will now be used for high value-added tasks. In this context, it is clear that Industry 4.0, in thinking about the use of digital technologies in the world of work, is a concept that cannot be dissociated from that of the industry of the future.
The Internet of Things to move towards smarter factories
Sometimes referred to by the acronyms IoT or IdO, the Internet of Things is a concept referring to all the infrastructures put in place to ensure the operation of various devices through a connection to the Internet.
In other words, the Internet of Things – IoT – builds a bridge between everyday objects and the virtual world. Such an innovation holds great promise for the industry. The Internet of Things can be used to optimize the production line, reduce energy consumption, improve the performance of industrial processes, etc., by connecting production processes at every stage.
To give an example of the potential of the Internet of Things, let’s look at the case of 3D printing. It is one of the emblematic technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 through 3D printing is working towards smart industries via automation and robotization.
A 3D printer is a machine that offers many advantages, such as:
- reduction of production costs,
- greater flexibility
- the acceleration of industrial processes.