What Is Industry 4.0?

The term Industry 4.0 refers to the combination of several major innovations in digital technology, all coming to maturity right now, all poised to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors.

from Reinhard Geissbauer, Jesper Vedsø and Stefan Schrauf, A Strategists Guide to Industry 4.0, pwc, 2016.

The Industry 4.0 Model

These technologies include advanced robotics and artificial intelligence; sophisticated sensors; cloud computing; the Internet of Things; data capture and analytics; digital fabrication (including 3D printing); software-as-a-service and other new marketing models; smartphones and other mobile devices; platforms that use algorithms to direct motor vehicles (including navigation tools, ride-sharing apps, delivery and ride services, and autonomous vehicles); and the embedding of all these elements in an interoperable global value chain, shared by many companies from many countries.

These technologies are often thought of separately. But when they are joined together, they integrate the physical and virtual worlds. This change enables a powerful new way of organizing global operations: bringing the fungibility and speed of software to large-scale machine production.

Under the Industry 4.0 model, product design and development take place in simulated laboratories and utilize digital/fabrication models. The products themselves take tangible form only after most of the design and engineering problems have been worked out. The networks of machinery that have engendered industrial society become hyper-aware systems of highly flexible technology, responding rapidly not just to human commands but to their own perceptions and self-direction.

Discover Innovation, Discover TMI

The TMI is helping to build higher levels of i4.0 maturity in South Australian industry through peer to peer-based capability building and action research partnerships that substantially increase the number of i4.O use cases in Australia.