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The fourth industrial revolution: ignore it at your peril

It’s been hard to miss the curiosity around “the fourth industrial revolution” in industry news stories and conversations over the last few years.

A well-defined vision for the coming revolution exists in Germany, Industrie 4.0, driven by the government’s High Tech Strategy 2020 Action Plan.

Industry 4.0 (in its anglicised form) is a vision of a world where the cyber and physical worlds merge, providing real-time, complete visibility of everything in an organisation’s value chain.

It will bring, “highly networked system structures involving a variety of people, IT systems, automation components and machines” goes one explanation[1].

Automation and information will coalesce and feed off of each other.

It may not be here yet, but the world – led by Germany and other nations such as the United States – is inching towards it.

A survey of 300 manufacturing leaders in the US by McKinsey last year found only 48 per cent consider themselves ready for Industry 4.0. Those surveyed estimated 40 to 50 per cent of the machines used today would need to be upgraded or replaced[2].

A report by Strategy&, also from 2015, found that of 235 German industrial businesses surveyed, 80 per cent of these expected to have digitised key value chain processes by 2020. They also expected to spend 3.3 per cent of their revenues on Industry 4.0 solutions doing so[3].

And those who know suggest that not joining the march to Industry 4.0 could be disastrous for local industry. An ever more globalised manufacturing world means being up to the global standard.

Asked if Australian manufacturers could survive without being a part of the movement, the managing director of Pilz Australia offered simply: “I personally don’t think so.”[4]

One example of moving towards an Industry 4.0 future is the recently released visulisation software by Pilz, PASvisu.  An extension to Pilz’s PAS4000 software is its new PASvisu software, enables a real-time view of the entire factory on a smart device, and enables the user to cut through the streams of complex content with a highly customisable visual displays.

If Big Data is to be useful, it must be made sense of and put forward in a simple, visible format[5]. This is something achieved through PASvisu, which synchs with the PAS4000 software program right from the start.

The ease of setting up borders on plug-and-play, and PASvisu provides highly-tailored visualisation, on the move, at any time, on your device.

Industry 4.0 is a vision of the future.

As it approaches, there will be plenty of conversations had about the effect on manufacturing.

And as some in the industry continue to talk about it as a kind of coming revolution that will one day make its way to Australia, it’s arguably – at least in some ways – already here.

Do you want to know more?

For more information on where you can take your factory with Industry 4.0, download this FREE whitepaper or call Pilz Australia.

1300 723 334







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