What is Industry 4.0?

11 August 2021

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What is Industry 4.0 and how does it work?

Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution in manufacturing. It focuses on inter-connectivity, automation, machine learning and data. To be competitive in the 21st century, manufacturers need to use industry 4.0 technologies and techniques to improve efficiency.

Put simply, industry 4.0 is the use of emerging technology and big data - data that is so large and complex that it cannot be processed using traditional methods - to allow computers to work without human intervention, using live data to make instant changes.

How did we get to this point?

The first industrial revolution in the 18th century saw a shift from an agrarian-based society with handmade products to industry and machine manufacturing using steam. The second revolution focused on volume and variety with the introduction of mass production and assembly lines in the 1870s. The most recent stage stemmed from the introduction of computers and information technology (IT) in the 1970s, which fuelled a significant jump in the evolution of manufacturing.

The 21st century has seen the rapid digital transformation of the business world as more complex technologies have been developed. Today, manufacturers who want to remain competitive have little choice but to embrace industry 4.0. The latest digital technology can empower business owners to better control and understand every aspect of their operation, as well as maximising efficiency, adding value and reducing costs. This can be achieved by the implementation of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) (a computer system where machines are operated and managed by computer-based algorithms). The main result is that manufacturers will see increased flexibility, efficiency, and productivity, with the bonus of sustainability.

Why is sustainability important?

Sustainability is becoming a main point of conversation within the manufacturing industry. We are already seeing a growth of energy efficiency trends, and we can predict that the future of industry 4.0 will see an increased importance placed on sustainably within the supply chain. Climate change will play a significant role in accelerating this, especially with governments pushing for net zero economies over the coming decades. Industry 4.0 has provided companies with the platform and opportunity to increase their efficiency while becoming more sustainable through waste reduction.

POET was made for smart manufacturing

The pressing need for smart manufacturing is what inspired the development of POET’s cloud-based system. POET maximises productivity by unlocking hidden potential. When POET is implemented in a manufacturing business it improves performance and minimises waste, which in turn increases sustainability.

Industry 4.0 is the next stage of the industrial revolution - it maximises the benefits of technology in an age in which data is everything. Companies must modernise their businesses or risk falling behind their competitors. To be competitive and profitable in 2022, it is vital that you keep up with manufacturing trends and modern technology, working within 4.0. This is exactly what POET does – give manufacturers a competitive advantage by making them more efficient.

For more information on how POET can help your business, email us at