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Recognizing IT Trends To Spearhead The Next Industrial Revolution

by Avinash Velhal, Group CIO, Atos February-2016

Headquartered in Bezons, France, Atos is a provider of consulting & systems integration services, managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & cyber-security solutions, payments and transactional services.

The industrial revolution implies a change in the manufacturing processes leading to more productive industrial output. The first industrial revolution was one that kicked it all off by moving from farming to factory production in the 19th Century. The second one ran from around the 1850s to World War I and began with the introduction of steel, culminating in the early electrification of factories and the first spouts of mass production. The third industrial revolution that refers to the change from analogue, mechanical, and electronic technology to digital technology that took place from the late 1950s to the late 1970s.

Today we are on the cusp of the fourth Industrial revolution. The fourth is the move towards Industrial digitalization. In the manner Social, Cloud, Mobility evolved independently and made a quantum impact on business models today conflux of the rise of Internet of Things, the advancements in big data and powerful and the communications infrastructure backing is leading to the next manufacturing revolution. It is in fact a new approach to achieve results that weren't possible 10 years ago thanks to advancements in technology over the past decade

The wheels of revolution
Many of the technology that form the foundation for Industry 4.0 are already used in manufacturing, but with Industry 4.0, they will transform production: isolated, optimized cells will come together as a fully integrated, automated, and optimized production flow, leading to greater efficiencies and changing traditional production relationships among suppliers, producers, and customers as well as between human and machine.

The major technologies that are impacting the Industry 4.0 are:

Big Data and Analytics
In an Industry 4.0 context, the collection and comprehensive evaluation of data from many different sources—production equipment and systems as well as enterprise- and customer-management systems—will become standard to support real-time decision making.

Autonomous Robots / Cyber physical systems
Robots are not new to manufacturing but they are now evolving and are becoming more autonomous, flexible, and cooperative. Eventually, they will interact with one another and work safely side by side with humans and learn from them. These robots will cost less and have a greater range of capabilities than those used in manufacturing today.

Simulation
3-D simulations of products, materials, and production processes are already used, but in future, simulations will be used extensively in plant operations. These simulations will leverage real-time data to mirror the physical world in a virtual model, which can include machines, products, and humans. This allows operators to test and optimize the machine settings for the next product in line in the virtual world before the physical changeover, thereby driving down machine setup times and increasing quality.

The Industrial Internet of Things
Today manufacturer’s sensors and machines are networked and make use of embedded computing with limited intelligence and automation controllers.. But with the Industrial Internet of Things, more devices- sometimes including even unfinished products will be enriched with embedded computing and connected using standard technologies. It will allow to communicate and interact both with one another and with more centralized controllers, as necessary. It also decentralizes analytics and decision making, enabling real-time responses.

Impact of Industry 4.0
Between 1990 and 2011, manufacturing value added saw robust growth, up to around EUR 6,577 billion. Over that period, the traditional industrialized countries saw their average manufacturing value added increase by 17 percent, while in the emerging industrial countries it increased by 179 percent. The emerging countries now represent 40 percent of the total manufacturing value added worldwide.

Industry 4.0 is an opportunity to change the economic rules of the industry, especially to overcome the deindustrialization trends faced by some European countries. To catch up to the value economics over the next five years, European companies will invest, on average, 3.3 percent of their annual revenues in industrial internet solutions. This is equivalent to nearly 50 percent of the planned new capital investments and an annual sum of more than €140 billion with regard to the European industrial landscape.

The next industrial revolution lies directly ahead, and will likely prove to be a source of huge opportunities for India. Moving towards Industry 4.0 fits quite well with the Make in India model: it makes it possible to preserve a sustainable industry, develop qualified employees, support energy transition and adapt to large-scale customization. It will also allow India to compete successfully with other regions in the world and promote the emergence of future champion.

But speed is of the essence, the time to move forward and capture this opportunity is now.