As we approach nearly one decade of Industry 4.0, let’s reflect on the previous industrial revolutions that led us to this point.

Industry 4.0 is all about interconnectivity. Since 2011, industry experts have been working to achieve a higher level of automation driven by artificial intelligence (AI), optimize manufacturing using real-time data and sensors, and integrate cyber-physical systems throughout the supply chain.

As a result, a future of autonomous creations and communications will be produced. Plants, warehouses, machines, and more will be automated using big data and machine learning, and smart machines will be created to collect and analyze logistical data.

Furthermore, Industrial 4.0 will provide business leaders with an efficient means of communicating the right information at the right time to its attending recipient. However, how did we get to this point?

Experts are essentially building on the developments previous experts have built. For example, automated assistance in blue-collar work isn’t a new concept, but its capability of such a high-level operation is.

Electronics and IT were first introduced into manufacturing procedures during Industry 3.0 (1950-2002). In fact, the rise in telecommunications, computers, and nuclear power from electronic and IT integrations led to a widespread in factory automation via robots and PLCs.

The motivation behind these industry optimizations can be traced back to Industry 2.0 (1870-1914), which birthed the concept of assembly lines to increase efficiency and productivity. In fact, Industry 2.0 made shipping as easy as it is today through its invention of railways and telegraph lines. Additionally, as mass production was a key focus on the Second Industrial Revolution, new materials such as a variety of plastics and stainless steel were invented.

However, all industrial revolutions have had a root goal of optimizing the supply and labor chain – even dating back to the first. Industry 1.0 brought about the concept of mechanization. As a result, machines and tools replaced animal and human labor for the first time in history (1760-1830). This brought about a fleet of new resources, such as steam and internal combustion engines, as well as influenced the widespread use of iron and steel for machinery.

Still, that isn’t to say Industry 4.0 doesn’t have a lot to offer. Big data is at the forefront of the next global shift. Is your information ready?

Infographic Source: PartSolutions

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