It is no secret that the world is currently immersed in a digital era, an era that is giving way to the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. But what is this fourth stage of industrialization based on? Well, it is based on intelligent production, processes systematized by advances in technology that produce great benefits to factories. Below we will explain what you need to know to understand this topic.
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
As mentioned above, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is called “Industry 4.0″, this industry is based on automated production and data analysis applied to new technologies, which are based on Big Data, Virtual Reality, Internet of Things and different means that can facilitate the manufacturing process of goods and services.
Factories are being transferred from human capital to technological capital, artificial intelligence creates a great advantage by replacing human force with a cleaner process, which can be carried out in a more controlled manner, and which is based on data.
Industrial Engineer, specialized in mechanics, and Director of Operations and Industry 4.0, Beatriz Gonzalez, explains that this data is based on three definitions:
We are talking about all those sensors that provide us with useful data, whether they are sensors in cars, washing machines, televisions or any other product. Nowadays everything works with sensors, sensors that are indispensable to obtain valuable information depending on the device. Let’s take an example, it has happened to all of us that we are in our car and the dashboard shows a light, either from the throttle body, that the door was open, the seat belt, etc.. These lights come on thanks to the sensors, and these sensors, in the case of the car, provide you with valuable information with which you can find out different things that, if the sensors were not there, you would not have noticed.
It is the massive storage of data, data that is stored in the “cloud”, that is, in huge servers that store all the information virtually and that, with it, you can access very valuable information that can help us in different aspects of everyday life. Some examples of this can be the Google Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.
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Artificial Intelligence allows us to perform processes based on human intellect, applying different types of technologies so that a computer can do it for us. For example, Google Voice Assistant or Siri, are a type of artificial intelligence that can help you find the information you are looking for, for example, if you ask for the time, or if you ask it to set an alarm at a certain time, the artificial intelligence of these two assistants can satisfy that need, without you having to enter your mobile or computer and do it manually.
Beatriz Gonzalez also states that more professions will appear, she implies that we still do not know exactly what they are, but thanks to all these opportunities that Industry 4.0 offers us, it is undoubtedly that new working methods will appear.
And this is the fear that arises when we talk about industries automated by technology, that jobs will disappear, that robots will do our work, and the reality is that what causes the arrival of robots is that new jobs may arise, because we no longer have to worry about production or data collection and other time-consuming processes.
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Industry 4.0 application examples
Industry 4.0 has been applied for some time now by different companies that have witnessed and benefited from the operation of its technologies. Although Industry 4.0 is constantly changing, applying improvements and researching new ways to improve and optimize its operation through the application of new technologies, practice is an important factor to analyze its behavior and operation as such. This is why we will show you some companies that apply these technologies to bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution to their companies:
Tesla’s automotive factory has, almost in its majority, automated processes through artificial intelligence, sensors and data, which make it possible for the production process of these automobiles to be virtually free of human intervention.
Amazon has intelligent warehouses where virtually no human intervention is required. These warehouses are controlled by intelligent robots that order all products automatically and increase productivity and optimization of the warehouse.
This company located in the United States, manufactures robots that can build walls in constructions, these robots do not need practically no human intervention and can increase the efficiency and productivity in the works. Although these robots need a human to smooth the cement, the robot will take care of the most exhausting part, which is the heavy part, intelligently placing the blocks in order to create walls.
Advantages of Industry 4.0
All industrial revolutions have had their advantages and disadvantages, in Industry 4.0 the same thing happens, and is that, although everything has its good side and its bad side, it is necessary to analyze these two aspects in order to draw good conclusions. At this point we will explain what some of these valuable advantages are:
Of course, it has been proven that Industry 4.0 can increase productivity, quality and optimization of the production of goods and services in different areas at high levels.
Another very important advantage when we talk about the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies is that the cost reduction is considerably reduced.
The creation of new jobs in Industry 4.0 is also a very beneficial advantage. Since the arrival of this Industry has produced different jobs that have come to the market in an innovative way, such as Developers, Drone Pilots, Graphic Designers, Social Media Managers, etc.
It can also be said that, as there are massive data collection processes such as Big Data, which can analyze them and give us the most relevant data, Industry 4.0 also allows to have a more effective decision making. This benefits especially those people who have an important role in a company and need a good interpretation of the data.
Industry 4.0 also causes competitiveness to increase, by having highly optimized processes that produce high quality goods and services, many companies will want to join the application of these technologies, so there will be many options in the market, and this will create a lot of cost competition that will undoubtedly benefit consumers in these markets.
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Disadvantages of Industry 4.0
Although the advantages offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution are very advantageous, we cannot forget that it also has its disadvantages, for example:
One of the disadvantages of process automation is that human labor will disappear, so many jobs will become obsolete and cease to exist. A study by Oxford University stated that in the next 25 years, 47% of current jobs will disappear. This is one of the great fears that people have when talking about new technologies, artificial intelligence, robots, and the automation of processes that we have just mentioned.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution can generate a difficult adaptation, because so many drastic changes are occurring in such a short time that it is possible that many people will not adapt efficiently to these processes and to this new industrialization.
The world of technology can also make us very dependent on them.
The initial investment to be able to access these technologies is very high, so not everyone has access to them nowadays.
Well, as we can see, between the good things and the bad things, Industry 4.0 allows to benefit from great advances, adaptations and technological evolutions that put these disadvantages in the background. Although this Industry is spreading very fast, it is true that, possibly, many countries are left behind and do not have access to these technologies, that is why, it is necessary to analyze all the possible cases that can bring Industry 4.0 to the whole world. Its future is very promising, so adapting to these new technologies is essential to benefit from all its uses and business opportunities.
It is necessary to be prepared for the future changes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue to generate. It is unimaginable the amount of opportunities that new technologies can generate and that, knowing how to take advantage of them, we can have a radical change in our lives for the better. We invite you to follow us on our social networks and if you liked this article, do not hesitate to visit our blog so you can see many topics that we are sure you will like.