Heading the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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The First Industrial Revolution came with the invention of the steam engine and the systematization of factory work. Soon after that, came the production chain, championed by the American automobile industry. The third wave, much closer to us, came (and is still coming) with the adoption of ICT and the phenomenon of globalization.

Today, technology allows more efficient production chains, virtually simulate the manufacturing of a product, remotely prevent and repair faults, and flexible production, all of that can be achieved without firing the operating costs. Robotics, sensors and cyberphysical systems are improving day by day the results of the industry. But there are still huge areas of improvement that can only be made profitable through technological innovation and changing industrial models and processes.

So, the fourth industrial revolution will not only affect the factories, stores or logistics. This next step will cover the entire industrial value chain. Hyperconnectivity and interoperability, the awakening of technologies such as Cloud or internet of things, Data Analytics, Deep Learning, or massive sensorization, offer new possibilities and new challenges to resolve for the industry.

The 4.0 industry will use these new technologies to reduce costs, improve time, and achieve improved effectiveness and efficiency throughout the value chain.

One of the first derivatives of the digitization of the industrial processes will be the impact on human resources. People will be central to the new Industrial Revolution, but industry itself will have to change the classical model of factory work. The Industry 4.0 will require different profiles, different dynamics, complex paces and different priorities. The new industry is going to need more skilled workforce, the workerd will change the wrench for the software.

VIGO, 16/03/11. GRADIANT. © MIGUEL RIOPA

In addition, the industry will need more security. In a world where more and more machines and devices connected to the internet, the risk of a potential cyberattack is also higher. The data and conclusions about them extracted with the use of Data Analytics technologies will be as or even more valuable than the machines in the factories, and their loss or theft would be ubearable for many companies. Therefore, it is essential to innovate in cybersecurity, to develop secure systems and antiseizure protection measures that are scalable and effective.

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