Gearing Up For Industry 4.0
Prof. Dr. Deepti Mehrotra
Professor and Head, Accreditation, Ranking & Quality Assurance
Amity School of Engineering and Technology
“Industry 4.0” is the buzz word of today that emphasize to transform the industry by blurring the differences between work of people and work of machines. Industrial revolution triggers when there is significant technological breakthrough resulting in magnificent change in various processes involved in industry. Globally, industry has seen three revolutions, the first industrial revolution uses mechanization, water power, steam power to improve the operation of manufacturing industry, the second revolution introduced electricity into the industry and improved mass production using assembly line concept, and the third revolution also called as “digital revolution” uses electronics, communication and information technology to automate various routine tasks. With advent of “cyber-physical systems” which involve blending of hardware, software, and people to complete tasks, the era of fourth industrial revolution begins focusing on enhancing the information management for knowledge creation and real time decision-making using software. The 4th Industrial Revolution accumulates three phenomena, first one is ensuring digitization and information exchange by establishing real time communication between man-man, man-machine, machine-machine, second one to implement disruptive innovations to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the systems, finally development of machines that gain the ability for autonomous behavior through the use of artificial intelligence e.g., creating the robots which are more flexible and cooperative that can communicate with each other and human.
What is changing?
The digital revolution and use of World Wide Web has created huge information repositories. Advancement of software algorithms in machine learning and artificial intelligence and availability of high end computing facility, cyber technocrats are now able to extract knowledge in any system. Internet of things (IoT) has made this repository more versatile as it facilitates interaction among equipment and humans through World Wide Web. Presently, almost every industry is using fast devices which can collect data that reflects the state of given system, transfer this data to server and algorithms that can analyze information retrieved from the collected data to interpret the system. Industry 4.0 uses this advancement to create a framework, in which industry processes uses concepts of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, internet of things and mix them for transforming the whole process starting from how manufacturing is done in factories, to how services are delivered to customer. Thus now industry is moving from automation to digitization of the manufacturing sector using embedded sensors in virtually all product components and manufacturing equipment, ubiquitous cyber-physical systems, and analysis of all relevant data, such that decision making can be done at instant of time.
What to Expect?
The industry 4.0 era may require lesser number of employees for redundant processes be it at factory or office, instead need specialists who can create, develop and optimize the cyber physical systems. With each industrial revolution, there has always been a fear of losing jobs and getting unemployed. However, during each industrial revolution, humans have created new and better - valued jobs that allow people to turn their passions into greater value for the economy, overall leading to improvement in quality of life for mankind. Thus the need of the day is to look into requirements of newer versions of industry. Further, one needs to understand how disruptive the technology might be, it always requires humans to first design, implement and test the success for proposed technology. A key difference with this revolution is the impact it will have on intellectually intensive jobs rather than the manual activities.
There will be new category of jobs such as app developers, cloud computing specialists, and data scientists, rideshare drivers, drone operators.
The concept of the Internet of Things allows for carrying out the order, production, implementation and delivery of the product without human participation at any time in the course of the process. The improved software is never ending, a software is required that can address the fast computing solution to current problems and also provide a solution for future problems. Software personnel who can design algorithms that analyse gathered information and present it in a user friendly mode that not only humans, but machines can also understand and use it further for advance processing will always remain in demand. Although a single factory may need fewer employees to handle it but it is expected that like previous revolutions there will be increase in productivity, creation of new markets, new businesses domains, and new factories that will be in turn require more skilled employees. Thus, it is clear, that there will be a new category of jobs such as app developers, cloud computing specialists, and data scientists, rideshare drivers, drone operators. As the cyber physical system will be incorporated in every system hence various domain experts need to converge together to produce disruptive technology and produce high-demand jobs. Social media and sustainability will remain a trend changer and hence the experts working in social media and sustainability will be required for marketing these new technologies as well as other products and services. The 4th industry revolution focus on vertical integration which encompasses the vertical digitization of processes across the organisations, starting from product development to logistics and services and horizontal integration goes beyond internal operations, from supplier to consumer and all partners thus leading to wide range of jobs for all categories of aspirants who are ready to adopt the changes.
Stepping up the Education
An important part of the tasks in the preparation for Industry 4.0 is the adaption of the higher education to the requirements of this vision, in particular the engineering education. In past too, the education sector has played pivotal role in success of the digital revolution. On one hand after digital revolution as decades moved, the hardware and software cost came down to the reach of common man, at the same time education sector produced cyber technology enriched people. Some prominent technologies which will drive this transformation are IoT, simulation, horizontal and vertical integration, cyber security, the cloud, additive manufacturing, augmented reality, big data analytics and autonomous robot, renewable energy, food security, intelligent assets and portfolio performance and returns and many more. The major role of education sector is to narrow this gap.The first step to adapt by education sector is the implementation of the Industry 4.0 concept in the curriculum of various engineering and science departments, which reveals synergistic benefits of different expertise areas Industry 4.0 concept has wide applicability in numerous areas. We at Amity believe to transform the education itself according to the principles of Industry 4.0, continuously updating course curriculum as per industry needs. To have graduates who are Industry 4.0 ready, the university has hosted number of seminars, workshops and conferences to align its curriculum and prepare the faculty for the new Industrial revolution. Each course now includes a module taught by industry experts and is supported by mini experts. We have introduced Amity B.Tech 4.0 in lineament industry 4.0 and education 4.0, where the main focus is to prepare the student for “intelligence of things” to lead us into the fifth industrial revolution.