industry 4.0

What Is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 concerns the fourth industrial revolution and is sometimes associated with areas that aren’t normally classified as industry applications. One example of this could be the implementation of smart cities and their effect on the digital economy.


The smart networks that machines use to communicate and disseminate information are just one of the ways that industry 4.0 has revolutionized the digital sector.


The industrial revolution can be categorized into the following stages.

First Industrial Revolution

  • Mechanization
  • Steam Power
  • Water Power

Second Industrial Revolution

  • Mass Production
  • Assembly Lines
  • Invention of Electricity

Third Industrial Revolution

  • IT systems
  • Electronics
  • Automation
  • Digital Transformation

Fourth Industrial Revolution

  • Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Computer-Based Algorithms
  • Robotics

How Did Industry 4.0 Start?

Industry 4.0 was originally coined in Germany and is a concept that developed from an ambition to give the German manufacturing industry a competitive edge. Industrie 4.0’ is the original phrase used by the Germans and it’s now a term that has been adopted globally.


The main characteristics of industry 4.0 are the continuous rise of automation, mechanization, and industrialization. This is often a direct result of the streamlining of digital processes. The use of cyber-physical solutions enabled by industrial IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds and shifts the focus from central industrial control systems.

How Is Industry 4.0 Defined?

Industry 4.0 has been defined by the German Federal Ministry of Education as “a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing and creating the smart factory”.


This shows that industry 4.0 stretches a lot further than factory operations and more so focuses on digital automation and transfer exchange.

Is Industry 4.0 Only For Manufacturing?

The modern interpretation of industry 4.0 goes a lot further than its manufacturing roots and is now believed to be largely driven by the internet and the virtual world. Industry 4.0 now incorporates smart buildings, smart transportation logistics, smart mining, and smart healthcare.


Industry 4.0 represents the largest shift from centralized control systems that we’ve ever seen. The focus on smart products that define production processes has brought about new operational configurations and has introduced modern autonomous working structures.

What Is IR 4.0 In Education?

Education 4.0 is defined by instinctive experience-based education systems that respond to the changing needs of the modern world. It’s a new system that offers cross-generational training through the utilization of technology, individuality, and discovery-based learning processes.

Studies have shown that self-discovered knowledge holds long-term measurable value whereas memorized proficiencies only provide limited gains and don’t offer the flexibility needed for contemporary digital life.

Education 4.0 is categorized into the following classes.

Time & Space-Independent Programs

Interactive knowledge tools make it possible for students to learn at their own pace, discrepancy, and level. Space and time independence offers a mixture of both face-to-face and theoretical programs through the extension and enhancement of mental cognition, digital awareness, and practical project-based activities.

Personalized Learning

Specialized tools specifically adjusted for student capability make it possible to offer personalized education. Intermediary software is used to gauge student abilities and provides teachers with valuable insights about performance and competence.

 Data Interpretation

Data interpretation is the future of mathematics, measures, and computations. It’s no longer necessary for humans to crunch massive numbers or learn complex formulas. Industry 4.0 has led to the advancement of robotic business process automation which means that data interpretation skills are needed now more than ever before.

How Do You Measure Industry 4.0 In An Organization?

Achieving the necessary industry 4.0 integration can be challenging for some businesses because of the complex processes and workflows involved. Merely having the necessary infrastructure in place won’t guarantee success in the new technological paradigm.

The following key metrics can be used to track industry 4.0 progress:


Digital Maturity Score

Practical digitization and digital transformation are difficult requirements for obtaining measurable quality from new technologies. This means that estimating the impacts and consequences of your digital transformation strategy is crucial. Each area of business needs to be defined including strategy, operations, customer service, and technology. If new technology is adopted in a transformation way, it warrants a high digital maturity score.

Forecast Accuracy

Forecast accuracy metrics gauge technology integration and can predict future success or losses. Industry 4.0’s central objective is to empower the visualization of disruptions before they occur. Essentially, it’s about taking the necessary steps to predict certain behaviors and the maintenance of timely production and effective delivery.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is central to the overarching vision of industry 4.0 and sets the foundation for agile and responsive strategies to be put in place. Any improvements to business processes standardization and technology adoption need to be customer-centric in nature. Addressing gaps in operational strategies that cause delays between different KPIs is how most industry 4.0 incorporated businesses gauge customer satisfaction.

What Are The Risks Of An Industry 4.0 Solution?

Digital transformation can often be one of the hardest parts of incorporating industry 4.0 solutions into your business model. Adopting industry 4.0 poses certain challenges and risks for business which include:

Lack Of Skills

Having vital access to skills is often the biggest barrier to the successful implementation of digital transformation. Training for new skills is weak in vital areas such as data science, user interface, machine-level controls, and software development.

IT & Data Security

Online process integration can cause significant security risks in an industry 4.0 environment. Systems are sometimes left vulnerable to security leaks and targeted data breaches. Network misconfigurations and software disruptions can also negatively affect business operations and disrupt production.

New Business Models

An absence of internal strategic alignment is another risk for businesses wishing to adopt industry 4.0. The advancement of digital technologies means that modern business strategies are being developed that force businesses to rethink their policies and procedures. Unless a unanimous consensus is reached on the development of an internal business strategy, it can be challenging to overcome such issues.

Examples Of Countries That have Industry 4.0


Canada is amongst the world’s biggest hubs for digital innovation and tech. Blockchain and AI digitization are just a few of the imaginative solutions backed by the Canadian government in its efforts to diversify its economy and create a robust portfolio bolstered by the adoption of industry 4.0.


Japan is the number one WEF leading country and steers the way with its modern production structure. Society 5.0 has already been adopted by Japanese businesses who structure their approach around the idea of “monozukuri” which illustrates work ethic and manufacturing skills.

What Will Be The 5th Industrial Revolution?

The 5th industrial revolution or industry 5.0 will further develop the scope for automation, robotics, and digitization with an emphasis on smart technologies. Greater human intelligence will be incorporated into collaborating with robots to optimize results and make gains in productivity.


Humanism, inclusivity, pleasantry, inventiveness, and purpose will flourish side by side with profit and digitally-enabled growth.

Industry 4.0 is being utilized by organizations worldwide to strengthen and reinforce digital transformation strategies. The new ideas that come with industry 4.0 add purpose and meaning to processes and procedures that were once mundane.


The move towards a more inclusive and technology-centric future is inevitable and as industry 4.0 works to change old habits through diversification and automation, businesses are shifting their priorities to facilitate a new digital culture.

Updated: November 02, 2022

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