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4th Generation Industrial Revolution

Thu, 04 August, 2022

What was the Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution was the process of transformation of the technologies which play a vital role in society. These technologies entirely changed the novel ways of working and, hence, fundamentally transformed society. The term, 'Industrial Revolution' was first popularized by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee to describe Britain’s economic development.

The main characteristics of the Industrial Revolution were technological, socioeconomic, and cultural. The technological changes included the use of new basic materials, the use of new energy sources, and the invention of new machines, such as the Spinning Jenny and the power loom that permitted increased production with a smaller expenditure of human energy. These changes were supplemented by important developments in transportation and communication, including the steam locomotive, steamship, automobile, airplane, telegraph, radio, and the increasing application of science to industry. These technological changes made possible a tremendously increased use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods.

Industrial Revolution 4.0

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is prompting changes to technology, industry, and processes in this modern era due to the rapid increase in smart automation. This latest phase of industrial revolution introduced digital twin technologies like artificial intelligence and advanced robotics. These fundamental shifts are taking place to increase the production and supply network operations through ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology, machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT).

4IR develops a manufacturing system where machines are integrated with wireless connectivity, and sensors to monitor and visualise the entire production process and enable a machine to take self-governing decisions. Wireless connectivity and the augmentation of machines will greatly benefit from operational 5G networks.

Advanced technologies lead to increased automation, predictive maintenance, self-optimization of process improvements and, above all, a new level of high efficiency and accuracy. It creates an incredible opportunity for the manufacturing industry to enter the fourth industrial revolution which allows them to analyse the big data collected from sensors and ensures real-time visibility of manufacturing assets, and can provide tools for performing predictive maintenance in order to minimize equipment downtime.

Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies will allow automated and autonomous manufacturing with joined-up systems that can cooperate with each other. This could be applied across all types of industrial companies, including discrete and process manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, and other industrial segments.

The inclusion of such technologies will help to solve complex engineering problems, track processes, and help to increase productivity with precision.

Revolution 4.0 at TWI

TWI has been exploring Industry 4.0, with a particular focus on its application to joining and associated technologies. Digital manufacturing is a key area for development through TWI projects and industrial case studies.

These projects include those related to areas such as rapid prototyping, electronics and sensors, and also digital twin for inspection purposes.

TWI’s expertise means that we remain at the forefront of this emerging array of processes, technologies and applications across a variety of industry sectors.

Upcoming Revolution 5.0

Revolution 5.0 has already started to mark its presence as robots and smart machines are making their way into industry, allowing humans to work effectively and productively.

Co-founder and Chief technology officer of Universal Robots, Esben Ostergaard said, “Industry 5.0 will make the factory a place where creative people can come and work, to create a more personalised and human experience for workers and their customers."

Indicators are giving positive response and making their way to connect man and machine to work together. Technologists and scientists predict that industry 5.0 will transform the manufacturing processes, logistics, supply chain, mining, and oil & gas sectors by deploying robots for different crucial and vital industrial operations by 2025.


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