Industry 4.0: Don’t Believe the Hype, Yet

By Elhay Farkash

Discussions around the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, began six or seven years ago. Early thinking around Industry 4.0 is based on the complete automation of manufacturing facilities using vast amounts of data, robotics, AI, and machine learning.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with this current vision of Industry 4.0.

First, the conversations are being led by marketing departments to provide a new spin on current capabilities around IoT: smart sensors, cloud, augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Not one of these are new. The roots of IoT date back to 1982. Cloud, as a means of distributed computing, started to gain traction in the early 1990s. Funding for government-related AI projects began in the 1960s.

Discussions around the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, began six or seven years ago. Early thinking around Industry 4.0 is based on the complete automation of manufacturing facilities using vast amounts of data, robotics, AI, and machine learning.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with this current vision of Industry 4.0.

First, the conversations are being led by marketing departments to provide a new spin on current capabilities around IoT: smart sensors, cloud, augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Not one of these are new. The roots of IoT date back to 1982. Cloud, as a means of distributed computing, started to gain traction in the early 1990s. Funding for government-related AI projects began in the 1960s.

Today, Industry 4.0 provides marketers a framework to position some technologies that are getting a bit long in the tooth as having a new or different purpose in manufacturing.

Second, the previous three revolutions were each based on a single groundbreaking new technology. Steam power. The widespread availability of electricity to run mass assembly lines. The microprocessor. Take away any one of these specific technologies and that Industrial Revolution doesn’t happen.

More importantly, each of these technologies instantly spawned…

(Read the full article on IndustryWeek.com)

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