Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, was popularized by Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman. A paradigm shift that increases interconnectivity and smart automation by joining technologies like artificial intelligence, gene editing, and advanced robotics, a new approach that blurs the lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds.
The following article will provide a brief history of Industry 4.0, its key features, the technology used for its potential burst, its leading solutions, and challenges. We will continue by helping you learn how IoE Corps' engineers have developed the Eden System to raise Industry 4.0 to its full potential, making autonomous automation a reality.
As mentioned above, the term Industry 4.0 became mainstream thanks to Klaus Schwab. He includes in this fourth-era technologies that combine hardware, software, and biology (cyber-physical systems). He also emphasizes advances in communication and connectivity, expecting this era to be marked by breakthroughs in emerging technologies in fields such as:
· Artificial intelligence
· Quantum computing
· Internet of things (IoT)
· Industrial internet of things (IIoT)
· Decentralized consensus
· Fifth-generation wireless technologies
· 3D printing
· Fully autonomous vehicles
The potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution allows decision-makers to achieve autonomous automation and industry verticals with data-to-information refinement. A situation that can be reached via cyber-physical systems (CPS), IoT, IIoT, cloud computing, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence.
What makes Industry 4.0 have the potential to become a digital revolution that will change the way we work, live, and communicate, is based on the following features
· Intelligent interconnection – the Internet of Everything's (IoE) ability to offer things, processes, people, and data to connect and communicate. Providing information to the right people at the precise time it's required.
· Information transparency – IoE provides operators with data-to-information refinement through intelligent interconnection, helping to make decisions. The interconnectivity between these four pillars (people, things, processes, and data) allows the collection of immense amounts of data and information from all points in the manufacturing process. This helps identify key areas to improve, increasing functionality.
· Technical assistance – the technological facility of systems to assist humans in decision-making, problem-solving, and help humans with difficult or unsafe tasks.
· Decentralized decisions – cyber-physical systems make their own decisions and perform their tasks as autonomously as possible.
Specific issues need to be addressed to make the above features reach their full potential. Current components are cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things (IoT), on-demand availability of computer system resources (e.g., cloud computing), and cognitive computing, i.e., artificial intelligence.
Reaching the full potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution means that certain benefits will come into play, helping achieve better living standards and work environments and decreasing the carbon footprint.
Industry 4.0 is transforming factories into spaces where decisions can be made through digital twins that can operate within a decentralized environment and make decisions. To ignite this development, the capacity to communicate data between all departments is essential, as it enables a much more efficient connection of the Supply Chain and better organization within any production environment.
In conclusion, a smart factory is the vision of a production environment in which production facilities and logistics systems are organized without human intervention. In other words, an autonomous automation production line.
Another huge game changer is the possibility of achieving predictive maintenance, a solution that can, for example, detect potholes before they appear. Critical Infrastructure can hugely benefit from this advancement, as maintenance costs would drop drastically. From pipeline leakage to air quality in hospitals, predictive maintenance is a solution adaptable to all infrastructure.
Smart sensors are another crucial part of the impact the Fourth Revolution's potential can have; one of the advancements is embedded artificial intelligence. AI works inside the device, receiving, processing, analyzing, and delivering data to information at the source.
The advantages AI provides at an embedded system level, which are proving to be a game-changer and thus being applied by practically all industry verticals, are:
· Security and privacy - Cyberattacks' common trait is that they exploit centralized infrastructure solutions. With embedded AI, data doesn't require moving to inherently centralized server centers.
· Reduction in data transfer - Deleting the step of sending data to server centers to be analyzed by server AIs reduces data transfer.
· Real-time responsiveness - If the need to send data to the cloud for results is eliminated, the travel time from the source to the cloud and back again no longer applies.
· Cost-efficiency - Again, removing the data transfer from the equation means the vast costs that server centers charge for AI functionalities are no longer an issue.
As we have seen up to now, the potential of Industry 4.0 is enormous. However, challenges have hindered the quicker adoption of digital technologies into our lives and industries. These challenges come at many economic, social, political, and organizational levels.
These reside in the uncertainty of finding the right approach for a business, which results in unclear economic benefits and, in many cases, high investments that don't translate into success. Concerning this, the adoption of digitization requires a restructuring of business models, creating conflicts within the organization.
Due to the ease of big tech companies accessing data to provide a better user experience, there is a social concern about data privacy. Another critical factor is the fear that autonomous automation will leave many people without jobs, especially blue-collar workers.
Here, the agreement of regulation, standards, and certifications needs to be tackled, bringing concerns into unclear legal issues and data security.
Businesses, infrastructure, governments, and aerospace and defense, have multiple challenges ahead to initiate a successful digital transformation. The issues come from cybersecurity, assurance of real-time data, and the lack of C-suits' commitment to this change.
The potential of Industry 4.0 to become a huge game changer is evident; there is no doubt that the problem comes, as we have seen, with the implementation. Current solutions are usually based on centralized systems like the cloud, and we must remember the cloud is a web-based model. Therefore, implementing digitalization into the physical world with web-based systems will be complex and even impossible.
The challenges above provided us with a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished to bring Industry 4.0 to its full potential and implement it into our lives and industries through a well-thought-through plan. In this sense, one of the main technological issues is moving data to server centers to be processed, analyzed, stored, and delivered back to the source. A procedure like this one opens ups to risks that come down to cybersecurity, data privacy, cost-efficiency, sustainable computing, and real-time data.
The Eden system is a decentralized virtual infrastructure developed to work at the source. It is secured using a blockchain that keeps data immutable, tracks all data movements, and verifies that data received comes from another trusted node on the blockchain. An online private garden that changes the client in a client/server setup to become included in the interconnected device pool, where service information is available system-wide. All devices have access to the service information.
Applying this setup provides various benefits for Industry 4.0 as data is kept at the source. Resulting in mitigating cybersecurity risks, ensuring real-time data, offering a cost-efficient solution as there are no unforeseen costs cloud service providers present, and holistically lowering the carbon footprint.
The cloud has proven to be an unsecure way of data management as cybercriminals can access the system through one point of attack. Eden is a fully decentralized system with no centralized point of attack; therefore, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are mitigated. It also detects malware as it tries to replicate itself to other nodes, it can be detected, and the infected node is identified via data transfer checksum consensus on the blockchain. The checksums of transmitted data will not match the received data amounts over the nodes.
As the Eden system keeps all data at the source and, through a knowledge-based AI, AI can analyze the raw data and refine it into information, latency and network bottlenecks are not an issue. In other words, data is processed to information locally in the Eden Edge Cluster so that raw data is never needed to be pushed to the public cloud; a compute-efficient and cost-effective model by saving on bandwidth and external resources.
When we talk about massive IoT deployments, the cost of running an IoT service becomes increasingly larger with each device added, as cloud providers charge you for data transport, processing, and storage, a situation that brings unforeseen costs. Our solution makes it easy to add new devices as nodes. It makes it possible for any device to contribute computing resources over an intelligent mesh network so that computing can happen where needed and close to where the results will be used.
To achieve Industry 4.0, we must deviate from centralized solutions and move into decentralization, working at the source. We can help you deliver these groundbreaking solutions that apply to various industries. Through our engineers' development, you can offer industry leaders an implementation ready to integrate seamlessly into their business model.
We overcome the challenges of security, privacy, and cost-efficiency and add a sustainable holistic approach that reduces CO2 emissions to 85% compared to current cloud service providers. Give your customers the possibility to make autonomous automation a reality through IoE Eden. Start your journey by applying to our Planet Partner program.