Fasten your seat belts… We’re now entering the Industry 4.0 zone.
Caution: If you proceed, your mind set may change forever.
Exciting, isn’t it? What a wonderful time to be alive. It seems only a few years ago that some of us were buying computers, the bulky things with black and white display. Landlines ruled and mobile phones were not even available in the market back then!
Cut to the 21st century where technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. Processes have been perfected after decades of painstaking effort. The years forward will progress even faster because of the phenomenon called Internet of Things, popularly known as IoT.
IoT is a revolutionary concept that utilizes an Internet connection on devices not made for Internet usage to gather data, analyse it and create grids of interconnected devices in real time. IoT is the defining feature of Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution which follows the previous ones of mechanization, assembly lines and electric energy. Digital computing is the 4th. From stone age to smart age, humanity has come a long way.
The heralds of Industry 4.0 believe that the marriage of IoT devices with cloud computing and physical devices will create history and change life as we currently know.
What can we expect from Industry 4.0?
Predictive maintenance: From regular preventive checks and servicing, industries are naturally gravitating towards predictive checks. With IoT enabled devices, it is possible for smart factories to remotely monitor devices and even view all interconnected devices on a grid. The data is obtained in real time and hence troubleshooting can be done before or when the glitch is happening.
New innovations: With the amount of data being mined, it is easy to gain insights in a shorter period of time. With those insights, new innovations can be invented almost as soon as they are thought of. With real time monitoring, businesses can keep a close eye on the performance of these innovations.
Environment Consciousness: A lot of businesses are now becoming environmentally aware and want to do their bit in lowering pollution levels. There are already several IoT enabled devices in the marked that monitor pollution levels and send alerts as and when changes occur.
What are the downsides of Industry 4.0?
Interconnectedness at this level can create opportunities for tampering of Digital Supply Networks, thus creating cyber security risks. This can be countered by factories that are designed keeping IoT in mind.
A technology that is this dependant on interconnectedness needs systems that are mutually compatible all across the world. Hence, systems need to be standardised globally. With the benefits that IoT has to offer, a global standard will be well worth the effort.
With such electronic efficiency a lot of human resources will become outdated and unnecessary which can create significant turmoil for people. Society will have to be restructured to make way for the new. However, the human element cannot be completely eradicated from working of a factory. There will be new job opportunities for people once the transition phase ends.
Change is inevitable and that’s not a bad thing. View it as an opportunity, keep in step with the times and the benefits will flow. History is being created and you can be a part of it.