Ever since the Hannover Messe in 2012 brought the topic of Industry 4.0, or Industrie 4.0 in German, into the spotlight, it sparked an initiative which has not just caught the attention of the industry, but also society long before it has actually delivered any results. These big changes are mostly in ideas and strategies, unlike the previous industrial revolutions which were usually based on the existence of an actual technology like the steam power engine or the electric motor.
In the wake of this initiative ideas and technologies which have been around for quite some time like IoT (Internet of Things) (first mentioned 1991 by Mark Weiser), Big Data (around since 1990 with some giving credit to John Mashey) and Cloud (in existence since 2000) were able to take off and become either essential parts (Big Data, Cloud, IoT) of Industry 4.0, or are even sometimes used as synonyms (IoT, Smart Manufacturing).
This 4th industrial revolution, as Industry 4.0 is also known as, started to get momentum, other countries and/or organizations started initiatives of their own, and now include Made in China 2025 (China), Smart Manufacturing (MESA International USA), Industrial Value-Chain Initiative (Japan), Industrie du futur (France). I believe this is both wonderful and necessary because it allows for a much more interesting, diverse and healthy discourse which in the end will improve the results achieved.
Industry 4.0 is a disruptor
In order to be able to take full advantage of Industry 4.0, we will have to change our understanding of what a company is, how it is structured, how it operates and is positioned in the market, so that we can unlock and use potential new markets. The same is true for all aspects of our society, including education, which I believe will need to become more personalized.
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To continue reading and learning about Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, related technologies and innovations, keep an eye on my blog. I’ll also discuss the implications for the job market, education and society as a whole.
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