Top 5 things to know about Industry 4.0

Sensors, data integration and analytics, and robots are just some of the technologies that make up the fourth industrial revolution. Tom Merritt offers five things to know about Industry 4.0.

Top 5 things to know about Industry 4.0

The changes in business brought by technology are often called a fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. Whatever you call it, it's changing how business is done in some significant ways. Here are five things to know about Industry 4.0.

  1. Sensors are key: The industrial internet relies on connected sensors that don't just monitor processes, but also transmit those readings where they can be added to others for a more complete picture. 12% of industrial sensors in the US include smart sensors. 
  2. Data integration: Once you get all that sensor data, you don't just compile it in a spreadsheet--you need a platform in a private or public cloud that makes it available for use. 
  3. Data analytics: Patents are flying over ways to make data analytics smarter. The smarter your data analysis, the smarter decisions you'll make based on it. 
  4. Working with robots: We're not talking about the big automotive riveters of the 1980s either. Robots that can not just replicate rote tasks, but can assist with and even enact the decisions your smart data led you to. 
  5. It carries out into the supply chain: This is not just for the factory floor--autonomous vehicles delivering all kinds of products, including logistically complex things like food, all benefit from Industry 4.0 technologies.

The future of industry is sensors feeding data that AI interprets and instructs robots to build and autonomous vehicles to carry. People will just sit back and eat that smart burrito that was just dropped off by drone and be none the wiser. But you will be.

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