The History of Industry 4.0
The following image shows the stages in which the development of the industrial manufacturing systems has developed from manual labour towards Industry 4.0. The has been described as the path through the four industrial revolutions.
Image from www.wikipedia.com
The first industrial revolution began with the mechanization and mechanical power generation in 1800s. It brought the transition from manual work to the first manufacturing processes; mostly in the textile industry.
The second industrial revolution was triggered by electrification that enabled industrialization and mass production.
The third industrial revolution is characterized by the digitalization with introduction of microelectronics and automation. In manufacturing this facilitates flexible production, where a variety of products is manufactured on flexible production lines with programmable machines. Such production systems however still do not have flexibility concerning production quantity.
Today we are witnessing the fourth industrial revolution that was triggered by the development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). Its technological basis is smart automation of cyber-physical systems. The consequence of this new technology for industrial production systems is the reorganization of automation systems to self-organising cyber physical production systems that allows flexible mass custom production and flexibility in production quantity.
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