For several years now, the concept of Industry 4.0 has been at the center of the manufacturing industry. Even if some players are more advanced than others in this technological revolution, all agree on the benefits of 4.0. However, we are already talking about Industry 5.0. What is the difference with 4.0? Are there any links with robotics or artificial intelligence? Why do experts predict that this technological revolution will be even more beneficial for manufacturers? Here is a brief review of the 4.0 and 5.0 concepts, as well as their concrete impacts on manufacturers.
State of Industry 4.0
Combining the physical and digital world to create a world where computers and robots can make decisions without the need of human involvement is what Industry 4.0 is all about. This fourth revolution transformed the manufacturing world by embracing the automation of systems that are now powered by data and machine learning.
Humans have now become accustomed to computers, machines and smart devices supporting them in their decisions. Incorporating a bigger digital presence in manufacturing led to the more efficient and productive factories in the manufacturing environment. In fact, connected machines and devices now have the ability to collect a large amount of data and analyze it to identify potential issues or patterns. A task that could not be done by a human in a reasonable amount of time can now be completed much quicker and efficiently in view of this new revolution.
All in all, the Industry 4.0 is all about being more connected and improving communication. In the manufacturing world, it also includes the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems that create smarter factories. The robots of Industry 4.0 have become more reliable as they minimize downtime and maximize efficiency. The use of artificial intelligence, cloud computing and data analytics greatly contributed to making robots digitally connected. Despite many organizations being slow to adopt the revolutionary concepts of Industry 4.0, it continues to evolve, and a new discussion is now taking place about world transitioning into the fifth revolution of Industry 5.0.
Introducing Industry 5.0
The world is constantly evolving at a fast pace and manufacturers are no strangers to these changes. While some are still trying to wrap their heads around the concept of Industry 4.0, the reality is that a new revolution is now taking place. Now that we have become more familiar with digital communication and robots being able to collect and analyze data, we are introducing a new collaborative era where robots work along side individuals. In terms of robotics, the Industry 5.0 is about robots supporting humans to work together in creating more personalized products in a consistent and efficient manner.
There is a common misconception about the Industry 5.0 being that robots will takeover the workforce and people will find themselves without a job because of this. However, on the opposite, robots aim to support humans in their daily tasks. The need for a human touch will always be necessary for more perception driven and creative decisions. Robots can handle more repetitive tasks that may require consistency, quality or challenging physical actions. Thus, Industry 5.0 combines people’s skills and robots’ capabilities.
“This desire for mass personalization forms the psychological and cultural driver behind Industry 5.0, which involves using technology to return value added by humans to manufacturing” – Esben H. Ostergaard, Founder of Universal Robotics
Humans will benefit in many ways from this new era of Industry 5.0. They will now be able to focus on value-added tasks, which will save them time and also lead to higher paying positions. This new revolution is inevitable. It is expected that around 2 million industrial robots will be installed in factories worldwide between 2020 and 2022. (Preparing For Industry 5.0 – YouTube) With these changes, a new priority arises about finding the optimal balance between efficiency and productivity.
Robotics Systems Including the Concepts of Industry 5.0
This new era of collaboration between humans and robots will affect all manufacturing operations, including finishing operations (polishing, deburring, etc.) and surface inspection. By integrating Industry 5.0 concepts, these robotic systems go even further by putting the emphasis on the human who operates them. Indeed, in order to go faster and be more efficient, robotic systems must be designed to be easily manipulated by workers. Simplifying the programming and the daily use of the systems thanks to specific software, or making the systems intuitive, flexible and adaptable, are all elements that the designers of manufacturing robotic systems must take into consideration in order to remain competitive in the 5.0 era.
AV&R is taking part in this 5.0 revolution by developing systems with a clear vision: humanize robotics. Thus, human beings are at the heart of our considerations and must be able to collaborate intuitively and easily with the robotic systems that surround them.
We believe that Industry 5.0 will push robotic system designers, such as ourselves, and manufacturers to adopt increasingly collaborative and flexible solutions. The future of smart factories will involve collaboration between humans and robots, and will be possible if all players, technology designers and manufacturers, adopt the principles of 5.0.