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Industry 4.0

The fourth industrial revolution is starting now

Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution. The first was triggered in the 1700s by the commercial steam engine and the mechanical loom. The harnessing of electricity and mass production sparked the second, around the beginning of the 20th century. The computer set the third in motion after World War II.

The 'Internet of Things', the convergence of IT and OT, rapid application development, digital twin simulation models, cyber-physical systems, advanced robotics, autonomous production, cloud computing, big data, AR/VR are some of the essential components of the fourth industrial revolution.

Other related terms include the 'Industrial Internet' or the 'Digital Factory'. Industry 4.0 focuses on the end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and integration into digital ecosystems with value chain partners.

It is the idea of smart factories in which machines are augmented with web connectivity and connected to a system that can visualize the entire production chain and make decisions on its own. In fact, intelligent machines share information with one another and can organize themselves on their own and work together to coordinate processes. This makes production more flexible and efficient. In addition, these machines communicate directly with all of the IT systems in the company.

The cost savings are largely a result of greater efficiency and technological integration. Industry 4.0 replaces redundant legacy systems, such as those for operations management and enterprise resource planning, with a single, enterprise-wide, interoperable whole.

As companies become active in Industry 4.0, the benefits go far beyond extending digital reach or selling new types of products and services. It will establish the company, the employees, and the entire ecosystem of suppliers, partners, distributors, and customers as a fully interconnected, integrated digital network, linked to other networks around the world.

However, as with any major change, there are challenges in moving to an Industry 4.0 model, as follows:

  • Loss of high-paying human jobs in favor of automation;
  • Data security issues are an increasing concern when integrating new systems;
  • Maintaining the integrity of the production process with less human oversight could become an obstacle;
  • High reliability and stability are needed for thriving cyber-physical communication that can be critical to reach and retain;

Industry 4.0 have major capacity to continue to link even more people to the web, enhance the efficiency of business and organizations and help regenerate the natural environment, through better asset management, possibly even undoing all the damage previous industrial revolutions provoked.

Industry 4.0 is meeting in a global collaboration towards the digital transformation of manufacturing and other industries.

Moldmak is highly engaged in this new industrial revolution, assuming a positioning as a lead operator and a lead supplier of Industry 4.0 CNC machines for the mold making indutry. As a pioneer of Industry 4.0, Moldmak is exploring the capabilities of connected production systems in its projects. Moldmak's products and services are developed and engineered to move Industry 4.0 from a concept to reality.