We are moving into the early stages of the fourth industrial revolution, but what is driving this change?
A recent report by ARC Strategies said innovation-driven economies will remain the source of the most advanced and complex products, materials, and solutions.
“To reduce time-to-market and cost of engineering, these economies will use increasingly integrated process and product engineering and simulation, as well as advanced robotics. These economies will also conceive and produce the solutions used for this purpose,” The Future of Manufacturing report said.
As innovation-driven economies will be the source of the most advanced processes, products, and materials; new, more flexible and adaptive automation will be required to reduce production cost and remain competitive with other economy types.
It is expected that the sector will see a second wave of automation in smaller companies related to the increasing proliferation of connected devices to support condition-based, predictive asset management and production and supply chain optimisation.
Digitisation, advanced robotics, and highly sophisticated industry software for design engineering and production will be applied earlier, and at larger scale than in other economies and these are necessary to shorten time-to market.
ARC uses the term “industrial Internet of Things“ to refer to the emerging practice of connecting intelligent physical entities, such as sensors, devices, machines, assets, and products, to each other, to internet services, and to applications.
Manufacturing companies can use information from these connected devices to lower costs, optimise processes, and create transformative new applications, services, or business models.
IoT-connected applications typically support data acquisition, aggregation, analysis, and visualization.
The IoT architecture builds upon current and emerging technologies such as mobile and intelligent devices, wired and wireless networks, cloud computing, Big Data, analytics, and visualisation tools.
The “Industry 4.0,” vision has many similarities from a technical and industrial standpoint, but also includes social and environmental sustainability goals.
These related technology visions will play a role innovation driven over the forecast period since they provide a platform for both increased efficiencies and innovation.
Innovation-driven economies will face stronger headwinds in the decades ahead, both because the global economy is likely to be significantly less buoyant than in recent decades and because technological changes are rendering manufacturing more capital- and skill-intensive.
Desirable policies will continue to share features that have served successful countries well in the past, but the emphasis will be placed on different growth strategies.
Siemens understands market trends and the need for innovation for Australia to remain competitive and support the Future of Manufacturing and the changing face of society.
Siemens sees the IoT as the trend which will shape the fourth industrial revolution and is building an open cloud platform for analysing large datasets in industry.
This will provide a platform for data-based services such as Siemens offers for predictive maintenance, asset and energy data management. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can also create their own applications to exploit the open infrastructure for data analytics.