What exactly is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution currently taking place. Let’s start with a review of the technology form of Industry 1.0 to 3.0.
Industry 1.0, late 18th century – mechanization and the steam engine changed traditional manual manufacturing methods;
Industry 2.0, late 19th century – assembly lines and electrification dramatically increased productivity;
Industry 3.0, the late 1960s – information technologies such as automation, computers, and robotics were integrated into manufacturing;
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution led by intelligent manufacturing, where factories integrate production equipment, wireless signal connections, and sensors into an ecosystem platform that supervises the entire production line process and autonomously executes decisions. The system utilizes information physical systems, the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud computing, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence.
What kind of “world” will the realization of Industry 4.0 bring?
Industry 4.0 — Intelligent Production!
As mentioned above, the production equipment and the management information system are also connected separately, and the equipment and the information system are also connected. What seems to be missing here? Yes, the raw materials and production equipment are not connected.
And that’s where we need something called RFID, radio frequency identification. Simply put, it is equivalent to a two-dimensional code, can bring some information, it is worse than the two-dimensional code place, is that it can communicate wirelessly.
For example, in the production workshop of Pepsi, three bottles came on the production line in succession, and each bottle came with a QR code, which recorded that this was a customized Coke for A, B, and C.
When the first bottle reached the filling place, it told the controller in the central control room through the wireless communication of QR code that A liked sweeter food and more sugar. Then the controller told the filling machine operator, “Add one kilogram of white sugar!”.
The second bottle came, said B was diabetic, do not want sugar, the controller told the machine hand, “do not sugar!”.
The third bottle came and said that C wanted Fanta, and the controller told the manipulator who poured Coke “You will take a break”, and then told the manipulator who poured Fanta, “You go!”
See, many varieties, small-batch, customized production, each can of coke from the moment you place an order online, it is customized for you, all of its characteristics, are in line with your preferences. This is intelligent production.
Industry 4.0 — Intelligent Products!
If the production process becomes intelligent, then the industrial products as finished products can also be intelligent. The smart bracelets, smart bikes, smart running shoes, and other smart hardware we see in our daily life are all based on this idea. It takes the product as a data collection terminal constantly collects the user’s data, and uploads it to the cloud to facilitate user management. One of the core differences between Germany and the US in Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet is whether to build smart factories first or smart products first. Germany wants the former, America the latter.
Industry 4.0 — Servicing Production!
Smart products will constantly collect user data and status and upload them to vendors. This makes it possible for a new business model to charge for services. Siemens proposed to charge for services many years ago. Siemens has gradually acquired several well-known software companies over the years, making it the second-largest software company in Europe after SAP.
What is this service? For example, Siemens produces a traction motor for a high-speed railway. In the past, it just sells a motor directly. Now, during the operation of the motor, the data will be sent back to the Siemens factory continuously, so that Siemens will know the current operating condition of your motor and when it needs to be repaired.
What did high-speed rail manufacturers do in the past? One size fits all, set a time, when the time comes, repair it regardless of whether it should be repaired or not, which is similar to the maintenance of our car. Now Siemens can tell you when you need to fix it and when you need to maintain it, and if you want to know, you need to charge for the service.
At this stage, all manufacturers will be transformed into service providers.
Industry 4.0, what do you think the fastener factory will be like in the future?
Realize the seamless connection of all production fasteners and operating link information within the factory, and realize the vertical integration of the internal information flow, capital flow, and logistics of the fasteners’ life cycle; realize horizontal integration of research, production, supply and sales without lag between factories through the value chain and information network; the end-to-end integration of the shared value chain between the factory and customers through a variety of advanced connectivity and social tools.
The integration and development of new intelligent technology and industrial technology will be realized around information technology. The emergence of smart products and equipment; and the innovation of intelligent production mode, industrial ecology, and organizational structure.
The great transformation of production mode?!
Realize the transformation from production-oriented manufacturing to service-oriented manufacturing; from production factors-driven to innovation-driven transformation. The enterprise knows exactly what condition the cold heading machine and thread rolling machine sold are operating under the use of the customer and can tell the customer when it needs to repair or update the parts.
Data is the core?!
In the future, the industry’s accumulation of big data for various product data, operation data, value chain data, and external customer data, model building, and accurate analysis of implementation data will be the essential characteristics of the production system of Industry 4.0 that will be different from the traditional industrial production system.
Perhaps in the near future, everything will be precisely controlled based on data. Most of the manual and mental labor of humans will be replaced by machines and artificial intelligence, and all the current principles of economics will no longer apply. But there are some things that will not change, that is, human love, responsibility, courage, yearning for the future, and freedom, as well as the never-ending struggle, are endless.
Post time: Jul-12-2021