What is Industry 4.0?
Imagine that your factory is not only automated but all of its machines are interconnected digitally within one system. Such a “smart factory” enables you to monitor all the physical processes in real time and make effective decentralized decisions.
In essence, the fourth industrial revolution is the Internet of Things applied to manufacturing. The physical systems communicate and cooperate both with each other and with human workers remotely via the wireless web.
Digitalization – Inevitable Reality
The rapid growth of IIoT (industrial internet of things) becomes obvious when you look at the annual expansion of Industry 4.0 conferences. For example, last year IoT Tech Expo North America had 10,500 attendees. In 2018 they expect 8,000 additional guests.
Halfway into 2018, and we see that not only the topic became twice as popular, but 91% of manufacturers are already investing in digitalization.
The 9 main Industry 4.0 trends for 2018:
1) Digital transformation merges with Industry 4.0
More manufacturing companies successfully transform their administrative processes and want to continue improving by integrating Industry 4.0 into production.
2) Industry 4.0 startup market grows exponentially
With little room left for consumer internet disruption, investors are leaning towards B2B startups and Industry 4.0 in particular. Large industrial corporations are also interested in startups as R&D their clusters.
3) IIoT platforms become mainstream
Both small companies and tech giants like Google are actively working on connected technologies for manufacturing. Android Things 1.0 that came out this May, for example, is clearly marketed as the first universal OS for all IoT devices.
4) Most of the AI and IoT tech developed today can be applied in manufacturing
Not only industrial automation corporates like ABB or GE are investing into Industry 4.0. The industrial revolution also hugely benefits from general innovations in:
- Speech recognition, machine/deep learning (Amazon, IBM, Salesforce)
- Computer vision, depth sensing, machine/deep learning (Nvidia, Intel)
- Additive manufacturing (Autodesk)
The picture above showcases famous brands that are currently researching the Industry 4.0 field. Some of them you would never expect to be interested in developing industrial solutions, but they are.
5) AI boosts quality control
As hardware and software merge, machinery becomes smarter which enables predictive maintenance in return. AI can detect, report, and even fix production problems. Big data, additive manufacturing, and IoT also help develop more complex, high-quality products.
6) New human-to-machine cooperation forms are here
Augmented reality solutions and touch interfaces are gradually transforming the way workers control and support machines.
7) Performance control improves efficiency
With predictive maintenance and smoother automated production, factories waste fewer resources. Manufacturers can effectively measure the final price based on machinery usage and performance.
8) Cybersecurity becomes increasingly important
Companies that enter the Industry 4.0 field naturally want to mitigate the new security risks. This means a high time for security agencies that specialize both in hardware and software.
9) Metal additive manufacturing becomes a reality
While consumer 3D printing market suffers decline since 2016 due to unmet high expectations, industrial sector still shows high interest in additive technologies. American venture capitalists from Lux, Khosla, Asimov, True Ventures, and SOSV are now actively investing in the industrial additive manufacturing.
Digital transformation is a journey
And we’re here to help you navigate it! At Boost Solutions, we have both Industry 4.0 and IoT development experts to support your digital transformation and make sure it propels your business in the right direction. Check out our Business Integration page for more info.