Source: Google Image
The Fourth Revolution of industrial manufacturing has set its foot in our current life on the global scale. Before discovering the 4th revolution, let’s quickly look back on the previous revolutions. Thanks to the invention of steam engine, the First Revolution was known as the era of mechanization; while electric-powered assembly line and mass production solely performed in the second ones. Then the Third Revolution brought automation and information technology into factories. And now, what is new in the fourth? The Industry 4.0 hopefully is able to deliver these latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Internet of Things.
Throwing back to 2013 when the term “Industrie 4.0” was firstly mentioned in a project of high-tech strategy of Germany, this plan aimed to computerize the manufacturing industry with much less even without involvement of human. As Hinks (2015) mentions, Germany then has invested about €200 million on this research across academia, business and government. While in the US, manufacturers, suppliers, technology firms, government agencies, universities and laboratories have collaborated with the common goal to construct an open and smart manufacturing platform for industrial-networked information applications. This platform ambitiously allows manufacturing firms of all sizes to access and utilize modeling and analytical technologies that can be customised to meet their needs.