People is beginning to talk about Industry 5.0 these days, but taking into account that the vast majority of companies have not even begun to ride the Industry 4.0 wave, what does Industry 5.0 mean?
Before we talk about Industry 5.0, let’s focus first on explaining what Industry 4.0 is. The term was announced in 2011 at the Hannover Messe in Germany. It is a concept initially promoted by the German government to boost its industry in order to counteract the massive relocation of factories to Eastern Europe, China and other parts of the world.
Industry 4.0 is nothing less than the supremacy of data and information in the industry. It’s not just about the Internet of Things. Industry 4.0 is the name chosen for a concept that encompasses all the emerging information technologies, such as Cloud Computing, Big Data or the Internet of Things. The concept of Industry 4.0 explains how these technologies will be integrated into industrial processes and production systems to change the industry from top to bottom.
This new industrial revolution will undoubtedly bring about incredible improvements in the efficiency and quality of companies’ production processes.
The concept proposed by Industry 4.0 is simple: it consists of collecting information from all the machines and sensors that take part in the production lines’ processes. All this huge amount of information is sent to the software systems (databases, ERP, MES, etc.) in order to be processed and obtain a series of decisions that affect the production, more efficient and intelligent. The analysis and the result of this interaction returns to the machines in the form of instructions and reconfigurations in real time to improve the efficiency of the machines themselves, as well as the quality and quantity of production.
The key word in this whole process is interconnectivity. In this context, efficient vertical communication is needed at all levels within the factory, to the extent that it is the machines themselves that warn of future breakdowns and thus prevent line stoppages, the elimination of defective products, thus avoiding subsequent storage costs and customer returns, real-time monitoring of the machines, traceability of production, adaptation of production to demand, among other things. In short, machines will become intelligent, interactive and more productive.
Productivity can grow by up to 30% in the coming years thanks to the incorporation of more robots in the factories and the digitalization of production processes.
If Industry 4.0 focuses on the implementation of a large number of intelligent factories capable of greater adaptability to the requirements and production processes, as well as a more efficient allocation of resources, Industry 5.0 focuses on the interaction between humans and machines.
Every day we see that computers are becoming more and more powerful and cheaper. It is said that every two years the world of hardware evolves markedly and palpably, we just have to look back. If we continue with this exponential growth, some experts dare to predict that between 2029 and 2045, there will be computers with more power than the human brain, which means that the Artificial Intelligence will be superior to human intelligence and will always be ahead, unless humans merge with artificial intelligence in the future.
Towards to Industry 5.0
Although we are already immersed in this technology maelstrom, human beings, by nature, find it difficult to adapt to the changes. Nowadays humans work alongside machines and are connected to intelligent manufacturing plants through devices. There will come a time when this collaboration will go further and we will have more advanced interfaces between humans and machines. This will mean better integration, faster automation and better combination with the power of human brains. In fact, the change from Industry 4.0 to 5.0 means more emphasis on the next generations of robots, which will be safer, more sensitive and more flexible, allowing them to work side by side with human operators. That change, which gathers the best of the human and machine worlds, will probably mean better productivity.
Changes that the Industry 5.0 will imply
Industry 5.0 will imply many changes that will not only affect production processes, but also the economy, ecology and society in general.
Many voices are raised to say that the immediate effect will be the reduction of jobs. I personally believe that this will not be like that. In my opinion, new practices will be transformed and required. For instance, work related to the environment or waste management will be required in this new world. With this new approach, experts specialised in human-machine connectivity, technological profiles, workers who persevere in improving production line optimization strategies and production line processes supervisors will be also required.
Industry 5.0 could be understood as an evolutionary paradigm towards full integration between man and technology, in a scenario where the distinction between the virtual and the physical world will no longer exist, given that man and machines will work together. Industry 5.0 is undoubtedly the revolution in which man and machine will reconcile and find ways to work together to improve the means and efficiency of production.
The question is whether we are prepared for this model of enterprise and society or not. A society that will probably be more clean, more supportive and more collaborative.
Written by Industry 4.0 Blog