At the end of 18th century, first use of steam engine and intelligent use of hydropower (First Power Loom in 1784) revolutionized production as a beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The late 19th century witnessed the rise of electrical engineering and mass production. Advancements in science weren’t limited to the laboratory. Scientific principles were brought right into factories. Most notably, the assembly line which effectively powered mass production. By the early part of the 20th century, Henry Ford’s company was mass producing the ground-breaking Ford Model T, a car with gasoline engine built on an assembly line in his factories
Beginning in the 1950s, the third industrial revolution brought semiconductors, mainframe computing, personal computing, and the Internet—the digital revolution. Things that used to be analog moved to digital technologies, like an old television you used to tune in with an antenna (analog) being replaced by an Internet-connected tablet that lets you stream movies (digital). The move from analog electronic and mechanical devices to extensive digital technology dramatically disrupted industries, especially global communications and energy. Electronics and information technology began to automate production and take supply chains global.
Each of these first three industrial revolutions represented profound change. Life went from being all about the farm to all about the factory, and people moved from the country into town with the introduction of mechanical production. How people lived and worked fundamentally changed with the discovery of electricity and mass production. And most recently, the digital revolution altered nearly every industry, once again transforming how people live, work, and communicate
At Hanover fair conducted in January 2011, Germany government introduced a new concept as one of its “strategic initiatives” termed as the Industry 4.0 that is adopted as a part of the High-Tech strategy 2020 action plan. Siegfried Dais of Robert Bosch GmbH and Henning Kagermann of Acatech, the communication Promoter group of the Industry Science research Alliance and a team co-chaired by other members explained and proposed this concept in January 2011. The basic principle of Industry 4.0 is that by connecting machines, work pieces and systems, businesses are creating intelligent networks along the entire value chain that can control each other autonomously
· Optimum utilization of resources
· Smooth product flow
· Efficient continuous real time tracking
· Efficient energy consumption
· Autonomous controlling
· Greater flexibility meeting high-level last-minute changes
· Detailed end to end product transparency in real time
· Secure and reliable backup system for every step-in cloud storage
Challenges in Industry 4.0
· Type of process and work organization
· Lack of research and specialist staff
· Supplier of mechatronic system and machineries
· Strong network infrastructure
· Highly efficient cyber security
· Effective plant layout
No person on Earth can deny that an industrial revolution is inevitable and probably the next one will have the largest impact on mankind paving the way for our future. Thus, it becomes extremely important to weight out the pros and cons and go about the operation keeping all variables in mind and with the right motivation and intentions.