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Industrial Revolutions: Making way for Industry 5.0
Industry 4.0 refers to the connection of machines and processes in industry using the Internet of Things (IoT) and intelligent automation. It paves the way for Industry 5.0.
25 January 2023
Reading Time: 3 min.
Digital twin, offline programming, virtual commissioning and an open architecture: All these topics are home turf for Visual Components, part of the KUKA Group since 2017. And they are key concepts of the fourth industrial revolution. The term Industry 5.0 is already circulating more and more frequently. We spoke with Mikko Urho, CEO of Visual Components, about current developments and whether these revolutions are really needed.
Mikko, is industry even ready for the next revolution, Industry 5.0?
Mikko Urho: Programming robots offline and commissioning production systems virtually in advance are currently important applications for Industry 4.0. We are seeing increased demand for these topics.
Connectivity is another key that builds the bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. Many companies are also making progress in this area and are using it to drive Industry 4.0 forward. Nevertheless, my assessment is that a large part of the industry has not adopted Industry 4.0 yet. This already indicates that it will take some time before the concepts of Industry 5.0 are fully mature. But that is quite normal. Revolutions do not begin and end with a specific date, they intertwine. There will always be companies that are more like drivers and others that are more like followers. The important thing is that these revolutions exist. They bring the entire industry the progress it needs to remain competitive.
While Industry 4.0 aims to digitally mirror the physical world on factory floors, the fifth industrial revolution is shifting the focus to humans. Why?
Mikko Urho: The roadmap for many companies is that they are increasingly investing in digital technologies. But investing in new technologies is not enough. The fifth industrial revolution is about ensuring that these smart technologies enable more meaningful and efficient collaboration between humans and machines. Machine speed and accuracy will be combined with human creativity, innovation and critical thinking skills. Industry 5.0 thus takes a human-centric approach and can be understood as refinement, in that processes will become increasingly efficient and advanced. Many processes will also involve virtual or augmented realities. Then it is precisely about how these technologies can work better with people.
Do we need all these concepts and revolutions for industry to evolve? Are we talking about Industry 11.0 at some point?
Mikko Urho: Yes, these revolutions are needed, definitely. The industrial megatrends demand industrial progress. Customers are asking for highly individualized products. This is leading to a shift in production from traditional mass production to customized mass production and small batch production. The major issue of sustainable production demands answers from society as a whole - and indeed from industry - to the questions of how and where products are manufactured. In retrospect, industrial revolutions have always played a leading role in overcoming global challenges. And Industry 4.0 and 5.0 will produce concepts that make reshoring economically viable, make processes more efficient, optimize collaboration between human and technology, and counteract the
shortage of skilled workers.
Many decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still shy away from robots and automation. But those who try it often find it amazing how smoothly the integration runs and how quickly their investment pays off. This was also the case with the following SMEs, which give insights into their production.