1. Hi everyone. In this article, we tried to inform you about what Industry 4.0 is, why it is so important today and why it is the technology of the future. Have a pleasant time while reading!

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 or the 4th Industrial Revolution is a collective term that includes many contemporary automation systems, data exchanges and production technologies. In general terms, it can be examined with takeover of manufacturing completely by robots, the development of artificial intelligence, descending production from factories to homes with 3D printers, the extraction and evaluation of an enormous amount of information with data analysis, and many other innovations. Industry 4.0, which first made a name for itself at the Hannover Fair held in 2011, took its place in today’s industry with the support of the German Federal Government. Countries such as the leading technology giants USA and Japan supported this industry and planned their future targets in accordance with this new system.

Industry 4.0 is a goal and it aims to bring together information technologies and all vital mechanisms. It is a set of systems consisting of three stages, namely the Internet of Things, Internet of Services, and the Cyber-Physical Systems. With Industry 4.0, which will bring the new world order, all the production and living areas will have smart equipment and the systems will work in an integrated manner.

There have been four major revolutions throughout history.

1.Invention of workbenches that use water and steam power more efficiently.

2.Designing of Henry Ford’s assembly line and starting to use electricity in mass production, developing of production line.

3.Starting to use of programmable machines in production which cause the replacement of mechanical and electronic technologies with digital technology in the 1970s.

4.Industry 4.0 is an industrial strategy plan that is thought to initiate the 4th Industrial Revolution.

What is the Goal of Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 basically aims to bring together Information Technologies and Industry. The first of its main components is New Generation Software and Hardware, which means that the hardware is low cost, takes up little space, consumes less energy, produces less heat, but operates with high reliability unlike classical hardware of today. It is the goal of to be economical in terms of resource and memory usage of operating and software systems to run these hardware.

The second and perhaps the most important component is internet based devices that is a smart electronic system with internet connection which all devices on earth are used to exchange information and data with each other, integrated with all kinds of equipment, equipped with sensors and operators. We can briefly call this system Cyber-Physical Systems. In the production process, the use of cyber-physical systems in the machines in the factories means ‘smart factories’ that can produce by coordinating and optimizing themselves almost independently of people. If the Industry 4.0 strategy become reality, production time, costs and the amount of energy needed for production will decrease, and the amount and quality of production will increase.

What does Industry 4.0 encompass?

Industry 4.0 is the general characterization of a system and refers to a tripod organization. The feet of the organization are; internet of things, internet of services and cyber-physical systems. In this revolution, which is based on the principle that systems are in communication with each other, machines will be able to communicate with each other, analyze data and notify people if necessary. Machines will communicate with each other wirelessly through sensors. All the while, the system will operate at less cost, produce faster and have a very low-waste process. The systems will be smaller than the old systems, but they will produce more safely.

Robots are at the center of Industry 4.0. It is robots that manage machines, evaluate data, and make other production decisions. Lightless and unmanned production areas which are called dark factories by some authors will increase. In addition, 3D printers are another dimension of this system. Thanks to these printers, all needs will be produced at home with a simple touch and dependence on large companies will be eliminated. Important to remember that when Industry 4.0 becomes fully operational, social problems will also arise. The first thing that comes to mind is unemployment.

Principles of the Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is based on 6 principles.

1.Interoperability: It includes the ability of cyber-physical systems (for example, workpiece carriers, assembly stations and products) to communicate with each other between people and smart factories via the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services.

2.Virtualisation: This structure is a virtual replica of smart factories. The system consists of connecting sensor data with virtual plant and simulation models.

3.Decentralisation: It is the ability of cyber-physical systems to make their own decisions within smart factories.

4.Real-time Capability: It is the ability of data collection and analyzation. This structure provides understanding quickly.

5.Service Orientation: Cyber-physical systems, people and smart factory services are served via the internet of services.

6.Modularity: It provides a flexible adaptation system to smart factories for the changing requirements of individual modules.

 Advantages of Industry 4.0

  • Facilitating system monitoring and fault diagnosis.
  • Achieving self-awareness for systems and their components
  • Sustainability of the system with environmentally friendly and resource-saving behaviors.
  • Ensuring higher efficiency
  • Increasing flexibility in production
  • Cost reduction
  • Development of new services and business models

So basically, thanks to Industry 4.0, the systems will make a fast and effective production. Possible malfunctions on the systems will be detected as soon as possible and the deficiency will be resolved. Efficiency rate will be quite high and production will be focused on quality rather than quantity. Thanks to the flexibility in production, techniques will be changed with simple operation and the products will be modified. With such positive developments, the costs will be minimized and the big factories will be replaced by small tools. Factories and houses will be monitored and operated remotely.

Negative Aspects of Industry 4.0

There are also negative aspects that will make our lives difficult apart from the good aspects of this new revolution. The need for manpower will decrease with the robots taking over manufacturing, and robots will fire people from their jobs in a sense. This is a risk not only for blue-collar in factories but also for white-collar, because robots that can code robots with artificial intelligence and robots that can design will take over production. 

Even if it is foreseen that new professions (such as machine lawyer, who resolves the conflict between communicating machines) will emerge with this revolution, this situation will not be a cure for unemployment due to the increasing world population.

Turkey and Industry 4.0

Even if the production capacity makes the Turkish industry attractive, the need for manpower will decrease as robots take over production in the future and it will enable foreign companies to invest in their own countries. For that reason, our country needs to find a place for itself in the developing global market as an innovation center instead of a production center. Therefore, there is a difficult period in front of Turkey. Considering that our country which is in a phase between the 2nd and 3rd Industrial Revolution will enter this new system completely within 10 to 15 years, it should be in a position to catch up with the developing technology and compete.

Video for those who are interested in the subject:  What is Industry 4.0?
In this article, we tried to give you information about the term Industry 4.0 and to explain some of the technological developments that await us in the future. See you in our next article..
You can also check out this article in Turkish by clicking here

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