What is Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is used interchangeably with the fourth industrial revolution and represents a new stage in the organization and control of the industrial value chain.

Cyber-physical systems form the basis of Industry 4.0 (e.g., ‘smart machines’). They use modern control systems, have embedded software systems and dispose of an Internet address to connect and be addressed via IoT (the Internet of Things).

This way, products and means of production get networked and can ‘communicate’, enabling new ways of production, value creation, and real-time optimization. Cyber-physical systems create the capabilities needed for smart factories. These are the same capabilities we know from the Industrial Internet of Things like remote monitoring or track and trace, to mention two.

 Industry 1.0 - Mechanization | Steam engines | Water/steam power

 Industry 2.0 - Electrification | Production line | Mass production

 Industry 3.0 - Computer/internet | Digital manufacturing | PLC/Robotics

 Industry 4.0 - Convergence IT/OT | Autonomous machine | Advanced robotics

Industry 4.0 is the information-intensive transformation of manufacturing (and related industries) in a connected environment of big data, people, processes, services, systems and IoT-enabled industrial assets with the generation, leverage and utilization of actionable data and information as a way and means to realize smart industry and ecosystems of industrial innovation and collaboration.

So, Industry 4.0 is a broad vision with clear frameworks and reference architectures, mainly characterized by the bridging of physical industrial assets and digital technologies in so-called cyber-physical systems.

A key role is indeed played by the Internet of Things or IoT, in the scope of Industry 4.0 Industrial IoT with its many IoT stack components, from IoT platforms to Industrial IoT gateways, devices and much more.