What Is Industry 4.0?
The most recent evolution in manufacturing, called Industry 4.0, is enhancing computer-assisted manufacturing through machine learning and smart technology. The latest industry evolution brought the manufacturing process into an age where computers and automated machines enabled factories to produce products on a massive scale. This newest leap in manufacturing will further remove the human element from the equation. Although there are instances where a human component is still essential, many of the latest Industry 4.0 trends make it easier to create products without people getting involved. For example, machines are becoming more efficient in detecting and maintaining their conditions, so hiring as many people to run routine tests on devices is no longer necessary.
According to an article from Forbes, the connectivity network between machines and the rest of the manufacturing line is the main contributing factor to this technological revolution. This list of 10 new Industry 4.0 will impact the manufacturing process in the upcoming year.
What’s Special About This New Version of Industry?
When people learn about Industry 4.0, many wonder what happened in the earlier versions. Most people are privy to the previous Industrial Revolution, yet the second and third revolutions in the industry are not as well known. The catchy title and gigantic leap to use factories to produce materials made the Industrial Revolution known by the masses. However, the other revolutions were just as important in the story of the progress of humankind.
According to Techradar, the Industrial Revolution evolved into the second revolution in the middle of the 19th century. The second revolution made manufacturing weapons easier, and this revolution was marked by using steel for the first time in factory processing. The second industrial revolution ended when electricity was incorporated into factory settings. The evolution in revolutions changed to the third industrial revolution in the middle of the 20th century. The third revolution involved updating factories with digital technology. The old ways of using mechanical and electrical systems were inferior to the compact, efficient designs of digital technology. The switch occurring in the fourth industrial revolution involves using smart technology to improve existing manufacturing processes.
Top 10 Trends for Industry 4.0 in 2023
Lowering Energy Use
One of the industry’s major downfalls is its negative environmental impacts. Using cleaner fuels in producing products was one of the earliest changes in energy use. More countries are turning away from coal and fossil fuels to use more sustainable energy sources worldwide. According to Kitmondo, Industry 4.0 will feature a trend of lowering the amount of energy factories use.
To make this change, manufacturing facilities need to look at the energy they use and find ways to reduce their energy use in 2023. For each manufacturer that wants to see their company grow, reducing the cost of electricity in the next year should be at the top of their list. Excess electricity uses resources that impact the environment, and too much energy use is a barrier to production costs.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Even the name sounds futuristic. IoT technology is a new evolution from old technology that has brought the user closer to each device. Still, these smart devices that are part of IoT use wireless signals to transmit information. Consumers are excited about this new technology because it can dissect software issues to fix its operating systems. IoT technology installs its updates, and many devices using IoT technology are always ready to be commissioned by the user. IoTs are becoming popular because of their ability to assist people in many of their everyday tasks.
How is this type of technology doing in the business community? IoT technology is performing surprisingly well. Kitmondo claims that IoT is an innovation that will change production chains, materials, and processes. Their list of top innovations in the next industrial revolution supports IoT by showing statistics about the increased use of IoT devices worldwide. Another dramatic statistic reveals how this technology will likely experience significant growth within the next six years.
New Developments in 3D Printing
This technological advancement paves the way for manufacturers that don’t have funds to purchase large warehouse spaces. According to Kitmondo, 3D printing enables factories to build new products as ordered. In addition to producing products on-demand, 3D printers help lower the costs of making prototypes for new products. This impacts the design sector as well. Cost-effectively creating prototypes helps companies build superior products, and products receive better testing before going into the manufacturing process.
Increased Efficiency With 5G
As consumers update their services for their electronic devices, factories are making similar changes in how they operate. Industry 4.0 will see the increased use of 5G technology instead of slower systems. Kitmondo points out that developed countries are becoming overwhelmed by using 4G technology for factory work. The value of tools improved by a fast internet connection will increase productivity in the processes involved in factory jobs. Workers will be connected with the tools they need to complete jobs, and machines will take advantage of greater bandwidth. In addition, the increased use of 5G technology in 2023 will help companies improve the efficiency of tracking, cloud data storage, communications, and other operations.
Tools to Connect Employees to the Process
The shift to Industry 4.0 empowers employees in a new way that has never been seen in industrial employment. More employees can conduct their work from remote areas, using sophisticated technology that keeps the worker in close contact with each project. In addition, streamlining the manufacturing process includes connecting designers worldwide to the products offered to consumers.
More Use of Cloud Technology Optimizes Production
According to Forbes, optimization in production is available due to the ease and availability of cloud networking. This technology has been around for several years but will be more trendy in 2023. Optimizing production allows more control over which products are made at which time, basing decisions on actual data.
Transformation in Product Design
According to Forbes, new artificial and virtual reality trends will change how people design products. Artificial reality will allow designers to change products’ shape, style, and features before prototypes are needed. This new trend will save resources on designing and developing Industry 4.0.
In 2023, a significant trend seen in Industry 4.0 is an increase in technology capable of maintaining its existence. Thus, the growth of smart technology has made monitoring easier. For example, IoT technology sends data reports more frequently; these devices have made it easier to track how well each item is performing. Furthermore, if technology can assess its defects, it will help manufacturers know when certain things need to be serviced, and manufacturers will spend less money having people conduct individual tests. In addition, this technology will help keep projects moving towards their goals without having as many machines break down during jobs.
Improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Automation and AI working in factory settings will be responsible for improving the quality of responses to demands for new products in the future. Kitmondo claims that the processes used in teaching machines how to operate are evolving, giving more incentive to create new projects at a lower cost. In addition, if the amount of labor involved in setting up future projects is reduced by incorporating machines that learn quickly, the scale of projects will increase proportionately. Kitmondo claims that the scale and speed of creating new programs are two primary reasons for the evolution of a new industry standard.
Experts in this sector believe that automation is making factories more productive. However, there’s still room for this technology to evolve in 2023. It’s predicted that this evolution will accelerate, and the manufacturing industry will see many changes in how it can incorporate digital registration and machine learning to increase efficiency.
Consumers Will Be More Connected to the Experience
The new tracking data and consumer experiences are helping to inform the manufacturing process. This is one of the best uses of data being collected from consumer experiences. That data is being applied to making products to create products tailored to the end-user’s desires. This shift will help increase profits and produce more products as needed. This new relationship between consumers and manufacturers should impact the resources used during manufacturing. On-demand products created based upon consumer input means fewer resources will be wasted, which translates to less space taken up to store products.