Sustainability and Renewable Resources in Industry 4.0

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The Sustainability and Renewable Resources in Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, a term used interchangeably with the fourth industrial revolution, can be defined as the digital transformation of the manufacturing, production, and other related industrial value creation processes.

It signifies a new phase in the industry and management of the industrial value chain. Industry 4.0 refers to the ongoing automation and intelligent networking of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, machines, and processes using information and communication technology.

To a layman, industry 4.0 is the industrial transformation from the use of water and steam power machines to smart machines, smart factories, cloud computing, and AI.

While a tech-genie sees industry 4.0 as cyber-physical systems like smart machines which form the bedrock of Industry 4.0.

These systems use modern control systems, Large-scale machine-to-machine communication (M2M), have embedded software systems, and an Internet address to connect and be addressed via IoT (the Internet of Things) for increased automation, improved communication, and self-monitoring.

These features enable the production of smart machines that can evaluate and diagnose any problem without the need for human involvement.

Before the 4th Industrial Revolution:

First Industrial Revolution

There was the First Industrial Revolution which in truth was a revolution in every sense of the word and was discernible by the transition from human labor to the use of machines that used steam power and water power and other invention such as the light bulbs, the sewing machine, and X-ray

The invention of these new innovative technologies took a long time, so the period in which this occurred is between 1760 and 1820, or 1840 in Europe and the United States.

Its effects were felt significantly in textile manufacturing, which was the first to embrace and implement such innovation, as well as mining, agriculture, and the iron industry, although it also had effects on society at large by further strengthening the middle class.

It also had a large effect on the British industry at that time. In general, it led to the industrial alteration of society with the mechanization of manufacturing, trains, and a lot of smog.

The Second Industrial Revolution

which is also known as the Technological Revolution, occurred between 1871 and 1914. It came as a result of the installation of the extensive railroad and telegraph networks, which in turn allowed for faster movement of people and ideas, as well as electricity.

This increase in electrification gave birth to a modern production line in factories.

It was characterized as a period of great economic growth, with a high increase in productivity, which in turn caused a swell in unemployment because many factory workers were substituted for machines.

It is usually seen as the period where electricity and the new manufacturing ‘inventions’ which it enabled, like the assembly line, led to the capacity for mass production and some automation degrees.

The Third Industrial Revolution

which is known as the Digital Revolution, occurred after the end of the two world wars, in the late 20th century, and resulted from a stoppage with industrialization and technological innovation as compared to previous periods.

The global financial crisis which occurred in 1929, closely followed by the Great Depression, had a great effect on many industrialized countries, following the first two revolutions.

The development and production of the Z1 computer was the commencement of more innovative digital developments.

This continued with the next noteworthy advancement in the development of communication technologies with the supercomputer.

In this manner, there was far-reaching use of computer and communication technologies in the manufacturing process and machinery began to nullify the requirement of human power.

This revolution can be said to have had everything to do with the rise of computers, computer networks (WAN, LAN, MAN, etc.), connectivity, the rise of robotics in manufacturing, and the birth of the Internet, that big-game changer that allowed for even faster transfer of ideas and the ways' information is handled and shared, and far more automation.

The Origin of Industry 4.0

In the year 2006, the German government presented a copy of its “High-Tech Strategy” named ‘Die Neue Hightech-Strategie Innovationen für Deutschland’, at Hannover Messe.

In it, the government described how it intended to drive innovation, which wasn’t just a matter of technological innovation but likewise about ‘social innovation’ with the social order overall put at the focal point, a bit comparable to Japan’s Society 5.0.

It was in that copy that the Industrie 4.0 was originally talked about in a distinct affiliation with the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution, driven by the Internet and the Internet of Things. The paper defined the features of the industrial production of the future as follows:

  • A high amount of individualization (personalization) of products with an extremely elastic production;
  • The initial inclusion/involvement of business partners and customers in the design and value creation processes;
  • Linking first-rate services with products that would lead to so-called hybrid products.

After five (5) years, in the year 2011, Kagermann, Wolf-Dieter Lukas a worker from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education, and Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) presented the results of the work of the advisory group for innovation policy, which was built by the government and headed by Dr. Henning Kagermann of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), across various domains, including Industrie 4.0, which from then on became broadly known.

The importance of the 4th industrial revolution to business around the world lies not only in operating process optimization but also in its usefulness across a wide range of applications such as; improved customer experience, better efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

The Internet of Things thereby works hand in hand with the “Internet of Services (IOS)”. The reason is that smart products offer their usefulness as intelligent services (Excerpt Industrie 4.0: Mit dem Internet der Dinge Auf dem Weg zur 4. industriellen Revolution, 2011)

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution began with the linking of digital and physical environments (in manufacturing referred to as Cyber-Physical Systems), the merging of IT and OT, and all the aforementioned technologies (Internet of Things, Big Data, cloud, etc.).


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