What exactly is Industry 4.0? How does it apply to my business? In Late 2020 when the BDC staff met to go over our goals for 2021, increasing the overall awareness of Industry 4.0 was one of them. Why?
In short, Industry 4.0 is the main buzz word to describe the 4th Industrial Revolution which we are beginning to experience. It is a new approach that combines traditional manufacturing processes with technology. This technology includes things like the Internet of Things (IOT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the goal of improving automation. This is achieved by utilizing data in real-time to assist in decision making. A factory utilizing Industry 4.0 technology has been styled as a “smart factory”. In a smart factory, every machine is communicating to predict changes and maintenance issues allowing a company to quickly adjust and innovate more quickly.
If we have learned anything from the 3 prior Industrial Revolutions, it is that late adopters and those refusing to adapt do not always survive. According to Economic Modeling Information (EMSI), Manufacturing is the second largest industry in both jobs and gross regional product in Monroe County. As heavily leveraged as we are in Manufacturing, if we do not begin to take steps toward Industry 4.0, we put our community at risk.