Industry 4.0 is the combination of traditional manufacturing and industrial platforms and practices with the latest smart technology.
The first industrial revolution (Industry 1.0) happened in the 1800s, when the first steam and water-powered machines were developed. Due to the increase in production, small businesses grew to large organisations, with owners, managers and employees serving more customers.
The rapid progress in the use of electricity sparked the second industrial revolution (Industry 2.0) in the late 19th century. Electrical machines were less power hungry and much more efficient than their steam or water powered predecessors. The application of mass production and assembly lines to automobile production was the idea of Henry Ford, further increasing the efficiency and decreasing the cost of manufacturing.
The third industrial revolution (Industry 3.0) began in the late ‘70s. It introduced partial automation using memory-programmable controls and computers. Since these technologies are available, we can use robots to execute previously programmed sequences without human intervention.
Industry 4.0 is the combination of recent technological advancements like Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in manufacturing to increase automation, improve productivity and to free up human workforce for other tasks.
The factories can quickly become more automated and self-monitoring, because the machines can analyse all available data and communicate with each other. Thanks to this, the smart factory (that does not need any human monitoring) can become a reality.