The fourth industrial revolution (also referred to as “Industrie 4.0”) involves an information-intensive digital transformation of manufacturing (and related industries and processes). This is accomplished by either fully or partially delegating decisions and control to cyberphysical systems and machines while taking advantage of and improving information systems.
Typically, this requires the deployment of various technologies across multiple levels; from PLCs at the control level through SCADA (industrial monitoring systems for different production process levels and supervisory tasks), manufacturing execution systems (MES), management information systems (MIS) for management purposes and intelligent ERPs at enterprise levels – plus connecting OT and IT infrastructures together seamlessly.
Industry 5.0 takes smart manufacturing and human-machine collaboration a step further by emphasizing sustainable, human-centric and resilient operations. This includes redefining roles between humans and machines – for instance allowing human workers to focus on tasks requiring critical thinking while leaving repetitive or monotonous work for robots to do.
As opposed to past industrial revolutions, Industrie 5.0 does not downplay the importance of automation technologies but acknowledges their limitations – for instance not being as adaptable and flexible as human employees – so as to help companies increase efficiency and make better business decisions.
Industrie 6.0 is the future vision of industrial automation that goes one step beyond industry 4.0. This vision includes renewable energy sources, total machine independence, interplanetary resource gathering and manufacturing operations, anatomical enhancements, quantum control technologies as well as human-robot working interactions, smart administration work processes, innovative ideas research & development research efforts as well as ways to reduce wastage etc.
Considered an alternate type of industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 takes a wider view of societal goals and needs for its transformations. In Germany it’s more commonly referred to as Arbeit 4.0 (Work 4.0).
Critics have attacked Industrie 6.0’s focus on technologies and their application; however, this does not imply it cannot support human-centricity or sustainability objectives.
At the so-called Stakeholder Forum held early 2017 at CeBIT tradeshow, international collaboration was one of the main foci. This included France’s Industry of the Future Alliance and Italy’s Intelligent Factory project as well as Industrial Internet Consortium and Japan’s Society 5.0 initiative (which may encompass more areas than Industrie 4.0).
As both platforms share similar goals, collaboration between them was inevitable. They began working closely on standards and norms, architectures for new industrial production lines, business models, etc. while still using different terms to describe this approach (for instance, RAMI 4.0 in the case of the Plattform Industrie 4.0; in contrast with IIRA for IITC).
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.