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About Industry 4.0

The world is now experiencing its fourth industrial revolution – dubbed ‘Industry 4.0’. This is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and cyber-physical.

What is Industry 4.0?

Just as businesses 150 years ago had to adapt to electricity enabling mass production, today’s enterprises face the challenge of embracing smart technologies (such as robotics and artificial intelligence) and data to drive intelligent action in the physical world.

Knowing when and how to incorporate these new technologies into your business model isn’t easy, and helping companies adapt to Industry 4.0 is a key area of interest for the Government.

What does Industry 4.0 look like in practice?

Advances include:

Internet of Things: monitoring and control for increased efficiency

Recent advances in sensing and communication technologies enable you to better understand your production and manufacturing processes. You can identify process bottle-necks and implement predictive and preventative maintenance. Sensors can provide you live updates on your production process as well as identifying when tools are becoming worn or require maintenance.

Digital twin: modelling your product and processes

Using the data collected by sensors and building a computer model of your product or process will allow you to create a Digital Twin. This will give you real-time status updates on your product and processes, as well as going through ‘what-if?’ scenarios, without putting your assets at risk.

Robots and automation: increased efficiency and precision, reduced health & safety risks

Modern production systems are increasingly automated. However you can also retrofit automation to existing and older machinery to improve performance. Integration of assistive robots, e.g. to perform repetitive and dangerous tasks, delivers further benefits.

What are global trends?

Most other developed countries also see the importance of Industry 4.0 and are running similar initiatives to introducing companies to Industry 4.0 concepts.

North America is ahead of Europe and Asia when it comes to overall Industry 4.0 adoption, indicating the Industry 4.0 technology was either “extensively” or “fully” rolled out in operations. Leading adopters include Siemens, GE and Boeing who are considered to be the leading manufacturers in Industry 4.0 adoption.

Technologies increasingly being adopted include 3D Printing, 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Blockchain, Cloud, Cobots, Cybersecurity, Digital Twin, Drones, Edge Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), IoT Platforms, Machine Vision, Quantum Computing, and Virtual Reality.

How we can help

Callaghan Innovation has teamed up with official partners, Beca and the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), to deliver the Industry 4.0 Demonstration. The initiative includes a mobile showcase, a network of site visits, and visits to smart factories. Check out our web pages about each of these initiatives, our upcoming events, or contact us to find out more!

Industry 4.0 Infographic Industry 4.0 Emergent Technologies