Industry 4.0 – are we dealing with the fourth industrial revolution? 

Industry 4.0 is a general term for the visible changes in production processes that are possible through the use of technology. What does Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things mean? Let’s check.

Industry 4.0

Currently, there is talk of the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 1.0 was the time when the steam engine was invented and implemented. Industry 2.0 was the moment of electrification. Electricity, as we know, replaced steam engines and significantly influenced the scalability and efficiency of production lines. Industry 3.0 was the digitisation possible thanks to efficient computers and data processing systems.

The previous three stages seem quite understandable and obvious, while nowadays, the concept of Industry 4.0 is being talked about more and more openly. What is this newest era in the history of industry? In Industry 4.0, integration between machines and the Internet is key. Machines used in production are able to communicate with each other independently. More specifically, in Industry 4.0 there is a possibility of information flow between the machines involved in the production process and integration with the company’s production system. As part of Industry 4.0, people, machines and IT systems automatically exchange data during production.

Industrial Internet of Things

When talking about Industry 4.0, it is impossible to ignore the phenomenon of IoT. It is a concept closely related to Industry 4.0. IoT concerns the exchange of information between devices, systems and people using the Internet (and very often cloud computing).

IoT is a broad concept that applies to virtually all devices connected to the Internet that will exchange data with each other. However, when we talk strictly about devices used in industry, the term IIoT (Industry Internet of Things) is used, which clearly emphasises that IIoT is a large separate technology area. IIoT is a very wide range of technology, which, apart from the Internet of Things, includes such technologies as cloud computing, machine learning, cognitive computing, robotics, 3D printing, and many more different technologies. The bottom line is that all these technologies (and devices) work together and exchange data.

The combination of IoT and Industry 4.0 is clearly noticeable in modern manufacturing companies. There are more and more technological solutions and tools on the market that can be described as IIoT. One such tool is ThingWorx, which is a comprehensive platform created for the needs of IIoT (Industry Internet of Things). It is an improvement of tools and technologies that enables companies to quickly develop and implement advanced applications and solutions in the field of augmented reality.

To sum up, Industry 4.0 and IIoT are big trends in the IT market. Everything indicates that we will see modern technological solutions more and more often in modern production plants, therefore it should be expected that the Industry 4.0 era is just beginning and is something that will significantly affect the efficiency of production processes in the future.

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