Welcome to the future, available now courtesy of Industry 4.0. Dreams not so long ago, today’s realities are an amazing presentation of devices, humans, sensors, and machines working together to achieve what once seemed impossible. Small wonder the result is branded as a “smart factory.”
Who would have guessed that the Industrial Revolution would evolve in such a remarkable fashion? Stage 1.0 introduced the labor-saving method of newly-developed machinery powered by steam. Inventors thought of other ways to improve productivity and introduced 2.0 with electricity, mass production and the assembly line. Stage 3.0 took longer to arrive with computers and the assembly line presence of machines and robots working alongside or replacing humans.
Each stage inspired human imagination about Industry 4.0 and the endless possibilities that exist. The Internet of Things, or IoT, includes cyber- physical systems capable of making decentralized decisions. Videos of driverless cars are featured on Facebook posts. Robots operate commercial floor cleaners and delicate surgical instruments. Sensors warn robots to move out of the way of approaching objects!
What exactly is Industry 4.0? It’s a system or factory that possesses four essential features.
Decentralized decision-making: Cyber-physical systems are as independent as possible and make uncomplicated decisions on their own.