Category Archives: Internet of Things

Industry 4.0 Explained

What’s in a name?

The term Industry 4.0 has been increasingly gaining popularity in the manufacturing world over the past few years. But what does it mean?  Simply, it is the emergence of digital manufacturing.

The digitization of manufacturing has drastically changed the way that products are produced. Referred to as Industry 4.0, it represents the 4th industrial revolution that has occurred in manufacturing. The first industrial revolution began in the 1790’s when power was harnessed through water and steam. The second came in the form of electrical powered mass production using assembly lines in the 1870’s. The adoption of digital technology in the 1960’s started the third industrial revolution, and the fourth continues this trend. The 2000’s started the next phase in manufacturing by focusing on automation and data exchange – highlighting cloud computing, machine interconnectivity, autonomous systems, and machine learning.

Image credit: Christoph Roser at

Often dismissed as marketing buzzwords, Industry 4.0 has begun to make headwind with inarguable leaps in manufacturing technologies in this past decade. Advancements between the 1st and 2nd are clear and easily defined with marked leaps in technologies. But what makes the 4th industrial revolution different from the 3rd? The differences can be explained by advancements in connectivity, computing power, and automation.

What does Industry 4.0 bring to manufacturers?

Proactive Responses – connected machines give companies tremendous volumes of information in order to analyze data, recognize patterns, and identify opportunities. This allows manufacturers to optimize operations by knowing exactly what area of their business required the most immediate attention.

Supply Chain – up to the minute information of variables, which include weather, traffic patterns, etc., give manufacturers the ability to connect their systems. Production priorities can be consistently adjusted given the influx of data to accommodate these changes.

Autonomous Equipment – from logistics to material handling, the emergence of autonomous vehicles redistributes the labour force and opens up a whole possibility for the future of production operations.

Robots – considerably more economically priced than in the past, more manufacturers have the opportunity to add robotics into their production facilities.

3D Printing – while still in its infancy, 3D printing will continue to give manufacturers new way of producing goods.

Cloud Computing – connected devices allow for production facilities to produce goods in a connected, informative, and intuitive manner. Management can now leverage the insights provided from the aggregated data, and optimize their operations to be as efficient as possible.

Want to learn how your facility could benefit from advanced IIOT technologies? Contact us today to learn more.

Source: Forbes

We’ve Reached the 4th Industrial Revolution – Here’s What That Means

Not too long ago companies began to experience Web 2.0:  when websites and content became more mainstream and just about anybody could upload their own content to the web. Essentially, we reached the second wave of the internet era when things got more “social” online.

Fast forward to now, and we’re coming across the term “Industry 4.0” – but what does it mean? Have we skipped the 3.0 stage? Believe it or not, the term has less to do with the internet itself, and everything to do with industry as a whole. The fact that Industry 4.0 refers to the Internet of Things (IoT), is mere coincidence.

So, where does the number 4 come from? Simply, this is our 4th major industrial revolution. The first, most well-known revolution came about as a result of steam technology – allowing for faster transportation options. The second came from electric power, which still powers just about everything today. The third dealt with computing, which allowed for faster problem solving than ever before. And now, with the spread of wireless technology and interconnectedness, we’ve reached the 4th industrial revolution: the Internet of Things.

For manufacturers, this revolution is leading to previously unimagined connectivity and control over processes. If a machine needs servicing, it can send a message to its operator letting him or her know. If plant managers want to check on productivity trends in comparison to past years, all of that data is easily available to review. And if they want to predict future models, that’s also possible thanks to the spread of Big Data. Basically, factories are getting smarter, which makes work easier for managers and employees as a lot of the guesswork is taken out of the equation.

So, whereas the previous industrial revolutions led to better products for the public, the current industrial revolution is leading to better production for the factories themselves. Where do you think we’ll go from here? Let us know bysending us a tweet!