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Industry 4.0 – Part 1

Welcome to Industry 4.0, a revolution already impacting the way we do business. Sectors like oil and gas, mining and renewables are leading the way, creating opportunities for ambitious businesses and talented professionals.

factory sunset

What is Industry 4.0?

In simple terms, Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution and an ongoing transformation. To understand the differences between Industry 3.0 and 4.0, it’s essential to understand the changes of previous generations:

  • Industry 1.0: The mechanisation of work that used to be performed by hand. This was after the introduction of steam which made the mechanisation of work possible (e.g. weaving loom etc.).

  • Industry 2.0: The transformation delivered by the introduction of electricity. This made the use of assembly lines possible. The first electric assembly line was built in 1870.

  • Industry 3.0: A huge leap ahead with the computer and automation ruling the industrial scene. Robots joined the assembly line to take on human tasks.

  • Industry 4.0: The era of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS). CPS comprises of smart machines, storage systems and production facilities capable of autonomously exchanging information, triggering actions and control each other independently.

    This exchange of information is enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Thousands of sensors, working in real-time, transfer the data to a local server or a cloud server. Data analysis develops predictive models to improve manufacturing processes, material usage, supply chain and lifecycle management of the product.

  • Difference between I3.0 and I4.0: The basic difference is the I4.0 machines work autonomously without the intervention of a human. Bolts are tightened before they fall off and therefore no human is needed. Beyond this, machines can talk to each other, exchanging data through the Internet of Things – to optimise performance and efficiency.

How will these changes come to fruition?

You will see changes in the physical world, driven by biotechnology, robotics, 3D printing and new materials. Energy capture, storage, and transmission will be transformed. In the digital world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will grow rapidly in influence. These changes bring both opportunities and threats with them.


Opportunities

  • More efficient services and business models
  • Improved reliability and continuous productivity
  • Increased machine safety 
  • Product lifecycles significantly reduced
  • Workers' education and skills boosting wages
  • Better socio-economic indicators
  • Emerging economies will benefit 

Threats

  • Cyber security is a major concern – with Russia, North Korea and China playing a role, this will be a major headache
  • The skills and education of workers working on I4.0 based processes need to be improved drastically
  • Corporate IT departments will become redundant. The adoption of I4.0 is a major threat for these IT staff, who may try to block change
  • Reluctance to change to I4.0 from company management, as transparency is a key pillar of I4.0

The potential is mind-blowing. But it will take business and engineering professionals with very special skill sets to capitalise on these opportunities and mitigate the risks.

How can Interim Partners help? 

At Interim Partners, our energy markets practice has immediately available, high-calibre interim executives and consultants who specialise in supporting businesses with the diagnostics and delivery of the 4th Industrial revolution.

How you can find out more?

Join us for a round table discussion on the topic of ‘Industry 4.0 - Digitisation, Outcomes and Security".

Venue: 15th Floor, One Angel Court City of London

Date: 21st February 2019

Guest speaker: Leon Molchanovsky (Chief Digital and Innovation Officer (Data, Products, Solutions, Cloud, Services)

To register your place, please contact Gabi Walowski at gwalowski@interimpartners.com

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