Industry 4.0 or Fourth Industrial Revolution is a term that encompasses some technologies for automation and data exchange, Internet of Things and Cloud Computing. It facilitates the viewing and execution of Intelligent Factories with their modular structures, systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world, and make decentralized decisions. With the internet of things, these systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real-time, and through cloud computing, internal services are offered and used by value chain participants.
The term originated from a high-tech strategic project of the German Government, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing. The first industrial revolution mobilized the mechanization of production using water and steam energy. The second industrial revolution then introduced mass production with the help of electric power. Then came the digital revolution and the use of electronics and Information Technology to further automate production. This term was used for the first time in the Hannover Messe. In October 2012, the Industry Working Group 4.0, chaired by Siegfried Dais (Robert Bosch GmbH) and Henning Kagermann (German Academy of Science and Engineering) presented a set of recommendations for implementation of Industry 4.0 to the German Federal Government. In April 2013, again at the Hannover Fair, the final report of the Industry Working Group 4.0 was presented.
There are six design principles in Industry 4.0. These principles guide companies to identify and implement the expected scenarios:
- Interoperability: the ability of cyber-physical systems (parts support, assembly stations and products), humans and Intelligent Factories
to connect and communicate with each other through the Internet and Cloud Computing.
- Virtualization: A virtual copy of Intelligent Factories is created by interconnected data sensors (which monitor physical processes)
with virtual plant models and simulation models.
- Decentralization: the ability of these systems in the Intelligent Factories to make decisions without human intervention.
- Real-time capability: the ability to collect and analyze data and deliver knowledge derived from those analyzes immediately.
- Service Orientation: offering services (of cyber-physical, human or Intelligent Industries systems) through Cloud Computing.
- Modularity: Flexible adaptation of Intelligent Factories to changing requirements through the replacement or expansion of individual modules.