The Internet of Things (IoT) is not new – it has been impacting everything from how we exercise to how our cars operate for more than a decade. A newer phenomenon, one that has larger implications for IoT and industrial operations alike, is Industry 4.0 – the next evolution of smart manufacturing and digital technologies.
What is Industry 4.0?
The term “Industry 4.0” is used to signify the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution – the previous three being mechanical production, mass production, and then the digital revolution. It could be argued that Industry 4.0 is simply an amalgamation of the three previous eras in manufacturing, but Industry 4.0 is poised to be much more impactful than that.
Outlined in the book The Fourth Industrial Revolutionby Professor Klaus Schwab, Industry 4.0 encompasses “new technologies that combine the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries. These technologies have great potential to continue to connect billions more people to the web and drastically improve the efficiency of business and organizations.”
In its application and universal understanding of Industry 4.0, this term is most directly related to the world of manufacturing – you could even call it Mnufacturing 4.0. In return this industry is seeing growth and transformation unlike ever before. In its application to manufacturing, Industry 4.0is:
Industry 4.0 Market: Dynamics
The Big Data segment has witnessed significant expansion in the past few years. Most of the data received by companies is in the form of unstructured data, which, in turn, makes it necessary for companies to implement analytics solutions to collate the data and provide a meaningful inference. The industrial sector is facing challenges in managing data due to huge amount of data generated by connected devices and smart industrial devices. Industrial systems generate unstructured data, which needs to be arranged in a significant manner for further industrial process analysis. Major players in manufacturing and automobile sectors are opting for Big Data and analytics to manage the data mining and data extraction process for industrial insights. Companies have been increasingly adopting and investing in digital technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things, and the cloud despite the downturn in production. This has been an observable trend, which is estimated to continue in the near future.
Digital technologies are proven tools for cost reduction and productivity improvement, and offer greater insights into the development of existing processes. Big Data is an advanced analysis tool for the growing amount of digital transformation data. Most of the major solution providers are investing in new technologies to provide most advanced versions of Industry 4.0 solutions to different industry verticals. The increasing adoption of Big Data analytics has led to increased demand for Industry 4.0 in the industrial sector. Heavy investment made by companies in Big Data is driving the expansion of Industry 4.0. The rising demand for collaborative robots in major industries (aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive) is expected to create revenue opportunities for Industry 4.0 solution providers, encouraging them to offer more advanced solutions.
Industry 4.0 Market: Prominent Regions
The Industry 4.0 market in North America is projected to expand during the forecast period, owing to the presence of key market players, technological advancements, and rise in consumer spending in Industry 4.0 solutions such as advanced robotics, AR/VR systems, and 3D printing solutions in the region. The Industry 4.0 market in Europe is likely to expand during the forecast period, due to significant rise in commercial investment in Industry 4.0 and increase in the number of Industry 4.0 providers in major countries such as the U.K. and Germany. The market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, owing to the presence of a large number of players in the Industry 4.0 sector and rapid adoption of Industry 4.0 among automotive and manufacturing sectors in developing countries of Asia.
Industry 4.0 Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global Industry 4.0 market include ABB Ltd., Alphabet Inc., Ansys, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Cognex Corporation, FANUC Corporation, General Electric Company, HMS Networks AB, Intel Corporation, International Business Machines Corporation, KUKA AG, Microsoft Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Rockwell Automation, Inc., SAP SE, Schneider Electric SE, Siemens AG, Stratasys, Ltd., The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and The Yaskawa Electric Corporation.
Rise of Industry 4.0 Proves Effective in Business Planning Amid Pandemic
The start of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the slowdown and closure of various projects and businesses due to strict regulations for the supply chain, disrupted electronic value chain, and infection risk on products. Even in regions where COVID-19’s primary effects have begun to decline, serious dislocations seem likely to persist as a fact of life for some time to come, with businesses constantly facing new pressure. It is an undeniable certainty that Industry 4.0 is supporting to deal with the unprecedented steps that have been in place in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Industry 4.0 plays a critical role in the backdrop of a pandemic such as COVID-19. Manufacturers utilizing digital solutions are better positioned to overcome the storm, having advanced quicker and further than their competition during the crisis. As businesses think about restoring operations and developing the muscle to deal with future disasters, using digital technologies will be top of mind for many.
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