Greater interconnectivity, more sophisticated robotics and more widespread automation is powering the switch to Industry 4.0. From manufacturing automation to modular construction, we expect to see many more innovation opportunities across the sector.
- Additive Fusion Technology using continuous carbon fibre 3D printing to mass-produce carbon composite for lighter structural parts.
- Inkjet printing technology for digital printing of functional materials for displays, electronic components, sensors, biosensors, packaging.
- Collaborative robots (cobots) employing powerful AI software and edge computing to perform a wide range of complex tasks.
- Laser-Assisted Additive Manufacturing technology to produce and maintain equipment in remote places.
- AI, VR and AR technologies to predict hazards, and PPE embedded with IoT sensors for smarter and safer manufacturing.
What do we mean by Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 incorporates new technologies and digitisation processes in manufacturing. Often dubbed the fourth revolution in manufacturing, Industry 4.0 is already driving efficiencies across sectors.
From cars and planes to chemicals and medical devices, Industry 4.0 presents new opportunities enabled by a raft of technologies and improved automation and analytics. The building information modelling (BIM) market alone, which optimises planning and management of building and infrastructure projects, is projected to grow at more than 17 percent on average annually over the course of this decade. While the industrial automation market is estimated to jump $93.55bn to a total of $233.94 billion over the same period.
What is an example of Industry 4.0 technology?
One example of Industry 4.0 technology is cobots, which are collaborative robots programmed by line workers. Traditionally, the costs of procuring and re-programming robots and cobots were high and demanded input from specialist engineers. New interfaces are making it easier for non-experts to re-program these bots, using drag-and-drop software. These emerging Industry 4.0 technologies are part of the improvements driven by the growing manufacturing automation sector.
What are the risks in Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 offers a range of possibilities. From increasing precision and improving quality control to increasing throughput. But risks arise from the interconnectedness of varied Industry 4.0 technologies. As well as being reliant upon the connectivity of the different elements to function, it also opens up the possibility of cyber threats from hackers. While the use of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and automation improve efficiencies, they can heighten risks posed by ransomware, theft of sensitive data, and disruption of critical infrastructure. Supply chain cybersecurity attacks saw a four-fold increase in 2021, according to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity.
What related opportunities are there in Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is already a vast sector, encompassing many other sectors. The global advanced manufacturing sector is estimated to reach $589.98 billion by 2028 creating more Industry 4.0 opportunities in inkjet printing, on site equipment manufacturing, cutting-edge laser machining and continuous carbon fibre 3D printing. The value of the industrial automation market, another related Industry 4.0 sector, is estimated to reach $233.94 billion by 2028 and offers opportunities in advanced construction robotics, industrial site and hard conditions robots and optimisation for heavy engineering options. Another big growth opportunity in Industry 4.0 is the global factory automation and industrial control system sector, which is expected to reach $339.56 billion by 2026.