Industry 4.0 technology has been billed as being the fourth industrial revolution - the last being the digital revolution. Companies operating factories and warehouses are faced with an aging population and pressing need to improve productivity. Dubbed by German giant Siemens as game changing technology, how production lines are organized and how the human staff work is experiencing rapid development. To keep pace with consumer demands for ever greater choice, production systems have become exceptionally complex. New developments aim to simplify matters, improving margins and the ability of companies to provide choice. The influence of autonomous robotic technology is set to take a leap forward in how whole industries are run.
Key Questions Answered
- What is the 4th industrial revolution?
- What developments are driving this change?
- What industries are adopting and building the new technology?
- Learn what is the 4th industrial revolution and how it might change our world.
- Examine the new waves of automation processes that are building the factories of the future.
- Learn who are the biggest players likely to benefit from this burgeoning industrial progress.
- Large companies in industries such as automotive manufacturing have traditionally been at the forefront of utilizing technology to improve productivity. Henry Ford famously introduced the moving production line; major Japanese companies introduced robotic technology, speeding up production dramatically.
- The consensus among major car manufacturers is efficiency savings can be found in production facilities if the speed at which components are moved around increases - indeed, sped up to the extent component parts are ready before any delay occurs because of predictive technology.
- An aging workforce poses serious challenges for mature economies such as that in Germany. Large companies must find ways of increasing productivity despite the average age of employees rising. Smart technology and autonomous robotics are changing the role of the person in the production process. Again, the automotive manufacturing industry has been central to nascent developments.
Industry 4.0: billed as the fourth industrial revolution, factories are changing
Industry 4.0: Billed as the fourth industrial revolution, factories are changing
Autonomous technology forecast to achieve large gains in efficiency
Embracing industry 4.0, Audi introduces the automotive factory of the future at Ingolstadt
Advancement in high-tech material production driven by industry 4.0 improves production, reducing costs
Production line of the future sees workforce and technology working together closely
New robotic technology works alongside people on production lines in car manufacturing
New robotic technology is changing how humans interact with the movement of items in logistics
Robotic technology of the future will be worn by workers, helping them perform physical tasks
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List of Tables
Table 1: Estimated Unit sales of Co-bots 2012-2015
List of Figures
Figure 1: BMW Autonomous Robot
Figure 2: BMW Group, number of cars sold 2008-2016 (millions)
Figure 3: Audi ‘Ray’ robot - artist's impression
Figure 4: Baxter robot, Rethink Robotics
Figure 5: Number of robots used by Amazon (thousands)
Figure 6: Amazon Robot moving goods in warehouse
Figure 7: Panasonic exoskeleton