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Industry 4.0 - What Is That?

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

by FutureLab | 18 Jul 2019

Industry 4.0, simply put, is the 4th upgrade version of the industrial revolution. Hopefully, you have heard about the Industrial revolution. Perhaps, you even know a thing or two about what it entails. But before we talk about Industry 4.0, we should first understand the 3 earlier versions, right? Heads up, all the earlier versions have equally generic names.

Before any of the industrial revolutions was what we like to call the stone age, where everything was done by hand. But then came Industry 1.0 with the introduction of engines that were powered by water and steam; the hype of the 18th century. The discovery felt like one of the best things to happen to humans at the time. Little did they know, there was more to come.

Industry 2.0 came in the 19th century, heralded by electricity. Now, people had machines that could help them work faster and easier. Apart from the machines, there also developed a concept known as assembly line production. The concept started in the manufacturing industry, where different people handled the different parts of production for a car, thus making the process much faster.

Industry 2.0 was a great time, but it was nothing compared to Industry 3.0. In the 20th century, there was the emergence of computers: machines that could do work without human supervision. As computers developed, artificial intelligence joined the party. All the things that they thought were fast before became even faster. And there was no need to monitor the processes. It was amazing.

Now Industry 4.0 is upon us. It features super-fast machines that can make decisions by themselves; this technology is called the Internet of Things (IoT). Industry 4.0 means that only these intelligent computers will be needed to execute an entire production or manufacturing process. Having only the systems is enough to manage an entire supply chain system.

Did you notice any trend in the revolutions? With the advent of each version came a reduced need for humans. Industry 4.0 enthusiasts predict that nearly no human labour will be required. Where does that leave us? Not to worry, as old jobs are eradicated, likewise new ones will be developed.

Luckily, some people graduated from the same school you are in now, and they also faced a similar problem: there were no jobs that matched their studies exactly. They had to adapt themselves, the same way you will have to eventually. These people are your school alumni. If you want tips on how to remain relevant in a rapidly changing industry, speak to one of your school alumni. If you still need to speak to other people, FutureLab has a lot of mentors who can open your eyes to the wealth of opportunities that exist and will arise.

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