What exactly is “Industry 4.0”? Why is it being welcomed around the globe?

August 18, 2016 2 mins read
What exactly is “Industry 4.0”? Why is it being welcomed around the globe?

Recently, large areas in big bookstores and publishing houses have been occupied by printing books with “Industry 4.0.” But what exactly is the “Industry 4.0”? What could “Industry 4.0” bring us? 

What is the “Industry 4.0”:

We should firstly grasp the following three concepts first in order to  understand “Industry 4.0”. 

Industry 1.0: referred to mechanization, and was characterised by steam engine and the replacement of manpower by machines., Consequently, the handicraft industry was separated from agriculture, which then formally evolved into industry.

Industry 2.0: referred to electrification. It is marked by the wide application of electric power, and replaced steam power by power driven machines, so that division of labor was realized regarding to parts manufacturing and products assembly and industry entered into the era of mass production. 

Industry 3.0 :refers to automation. It featured the application of PLC and PC to machines, allowing them to not only take over most of manual labor, but some of the mental labor. Industrial production capacity since then had surpassed human beings’ consumption ability and human society entered into the era of excess production capacity. 

Industry 4.0 is a high-tech strategic plan put forward by German government, which is called as industrial internet in America and now, China also raised the “integration of information technology and industrialization”; all of them refers to the same meaning, which is the combination of industry and internet and the future development of industry should be closely integrated with the internet. 

What could “Industry 4.0” bring us?

Obviously, after understanding the basic concept of Industry 4.0, we could find that there exists strong conflict between traditional manufacturing industry and the internet era, while the idea of Industry 4.0 is born under such background. 

With more and more enterprises implementing such a concept and all big manufacturing firms realizing the complete unification of R&D centers around the world as well as the manufacturing plants’ data platform/R&D/production; productivity could be maximized to some extent. The whole process of Industry 4.0 is the process of constant integration between automation, information technology and also a process redefining the world with software.

Bruce Zhou's picture
Bruce Zhou
Senior Manager | Industrial & Life Science Recruitment