Many believe that we are on the verge of the next industrial revolution. This would make the industrial revolution number four, so it has been appropriately deemed Industry 4.0. There’s no doubt that we are seeing the beginning of some big changes to industry, but what exactly is Industry 4.0? Here’s a look at the previous three industrial revolutions and what will bring about the next one.
The first industrial revolution was brought about by mechanization and the harnessing of steam power. This industrial revolutions is often referred to as The Industrial Revolution, and took place from the around 1760s to the 1840s or so. This was a big change in industry as labor went from being solely manual to machine-based. This revolution led to rapid growth of the human population and an increased standard of living.
The second industrial revolution came with the implementation of electricity in manufacturing. Ushering in the Gilded Age, this revolution came about after the Civil Was and led to mass production and tremendous economic growth in the U.S. The Industrial Revolution 2.0 made the middle class a possibility.
The third revolution in industry is characterized by the introduction of IT technologies to advance automation and motion control in manufacturing. This brought about a level of production and efficiency that had never been seen before.
The next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is the computerization of manufacturing. It’s the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things. Industry 4.0 is putting cyber-physical systems to use in order to unlock the potential of industry and manufacturing.
Industry 4.0 is certainly poised to make a huge impact on manufacturing, but what other effects might it have? The first industrial revolution allowed for society to expand, the second revolution led to huge economic growth, and the third revolution further advanced manufacturing capabilities and allowed global communication in a way never seen before. It will be interesting to see what effects Industry 4.0 will have in the future.