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Why and How Manufacturers Can Begin to Adopt Industry 4.0

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Supply & Demand Chain Executive

Why and How Manufacturers Can Begin to Adopt Industry 4.0

From predictive shipping to data sharing, Industry 4.0 will transform the way manufacturers interact with suppliers, consumers and partners and enterprises need to take every preparatory step for the next industrial revolution.

Industry 4.0 is in every sense of the word a complete revolution of traditional manufacturing and supply chain management through the increased reliance on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—automation, machine learning (ML), big data and other smart technologies. With a market value of around $65 billion (which will triple over the next 5 years), Industry 4.0 provides an answer to many of the common challenges companies face today—namely, the need for end-to-end connectivity and real-time insights. 

Understanding how groundbreaking Industry 4.0 will be requires one to revisit the three previous Industrial Revolutions. In late 18th century Britain, manufacturing evolved from labor driven by human and animal effort to labor powered by water and steam. About 100 years later, Henry Ford’s assembly line was introduced. Water and steam would be replaced by oil, gas and electric power, resulting in the first forms of automation. The proliferation of more electronics in factories characterized the Third Revolution, including the shift away from analog and mechanical to digital technology. At every stage, the speed and effectiveness of production increased significantly. Industry 4.0 won’t just bring improvements to efficiency, but fundamental changes to how manufacturing and supply chain management companies operate.   

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