Industry 4.0 – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

Industry 4.0 consists of the fourth stage of development and progress, with interconnection and digitization being the main technological strengths.

In other words, although it is true that in the so-called third revolution a computerized transformation of the industry was carried out, in the fourth revolution there is a process of intense digitization.

The best example is found in the substitution of VHS or DVD videos, for video formats hosted on a streaming platform or in a digital format, be it MP4 or others. The same happens with photo cameras, they went from being analog to being digital, with what this means: suppression of photo revealing, and changes in consumer behavior and habits.

This process has helped to dispense with a large number of physical elements to store information, being replaced by reusable storage units. For example, a CD with the songs of a music group, once recorded, could no longer be used to add new music. With a Pen-drive, you can delete the songs that don’t interest you and save new ones.

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Precedents in industrial revolutions

When we talk about the first, second, third or fourth industrial revolution, we are commenting on different advances that lead to great changes, not only economic, but also social and cultural.

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1st Revolution Making products by hand. Mass production with machines.
2nd Revolution Use of coal or wood and basic assembly lines. More powerful power sources and specialized assembly lines.
3rd Revolution Data and information processed with simple tools. Data and information processed more efficiently with computer tools.
4th Revolution Processes and tasks carried out analogically. Automated processes and, therefore, more digitized.

As can be seen, a revolution is not possible without the previous one, since they are evolutions and transformations of existing technologies, or failing that, new technologies are created from existing ones.

An example is the digitization of the industry, which would not be possible without first having gone through the beginnings of the information age.

Industry 4.0 applications

Applications in the industry have become more transversal than ever, since regardless of the sector to which the company in question belongs, it can adopt certain technologies.

This is possible thanks to the Internet, and the possibilities offered by technology in this field, are very broad in the industrial sense. Its applications can vary from the measurement of soil moisture in a crop, to the prediction of available rooms in a hotel depending on the season.

This type of information helps companies to be more efficient and to have data that is useful for the performance of their business.

Continuing with the example, if the crop land is already wet and we have drip irrigation programmed, its rescheduling will help us save water and, therefore, costs.

On the other hand, in the case of the hotel that efficiently anticipates how much workload it will have according to the season, it will be able to organize its workforce according to the needs of the company.

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Commented examples of the primary and tertiary sectors, the secondary would remain. In secondary school, the impact of this type of technology is more than evident, since it tends to depend more on machinery and computer elements.

Examples of technologies in industry 4.0

Some examples of industry technologies are:

  • Internet of things.
  • I work in the cloud.
  • Automation and artificial intelligences.

Although they are all compatible with each other, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the cornerstone of digitization in general. From the IoT arise derivative industries such as home automation.

On the other hand, there would be work in the cloud, automation and artificial intelligence. When it comes to working in the cloud, it is as simple as it is necessary, since it tries to establish a space in which several individuals can be working on the same project without having to be in the same physical location.

And finally, we would have automation and artificial intelligence (AI, Artificial Intelligence). Although it is possible to create automation processes that do not require an AI, and that are exceedingly useful and effective, the trend will be for both technologies to go hand in hand over time.

This means that artificial intelligence is trained to supervise automated processes and make certain decisions in the event of errors, mismatches or other types of circumstances.

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