What is Industry 4.0 & Why Do We Care?

This past September, we facilitated a Solutions Summit for ARM - Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing in Pittsburgh. The participants were all experts in Industry 4.0, but what about the rest of us?

Industry 4.0 is all about how manufacturing is getting an overhaul, how computers are connected, and how machines can communicate to ultimately make decisions without human involvement. "As a result of the support of smart machines that keep getting smarter as they get access to more data, our factories will become more efficient and productive and less wasteful. Ultimately, it's the network of these machines that are digitally connected with one another and create and share information that results in the true power of Industry 4.0"  1

The History of Industrial Revolutions

You likely studied the industrial revolutions in school...The first industrial revolution came about in the 1700s and was all about coal, water, and steam.  The large scale production of goods and products ensued, which shifted the way that people make purchases. 

People moved to cities to work in factories, and of course that brought about many other issues, like work conditions and wage disputes. The second industrial revolution is centered around the invention of electricity and mass production of goods in the late 1800s and early 1900s. And of course the automobile resulted during this time. The third industrial revolution around the 1950s is all about computers and digital systems, and eventually the Internet and mass communications.

This is where it gets tricky because we have computers showing up in the third industrial revolution, so what makes Industry 4.0 different? Well, it is all about how these things work together. Industry 4.0 is really about how technology is embedded in our lives, it is almost a living entity in that it changes constantly, improves itself over time, and is truly agile. 

People get very anxious when we discuss how machines are getting smarter, but we are the navigators in this revolution, so staying informed and connected is key for businesses and industries. 

Industry 4.0 Fundamentals

Check out Intelitek's blog post to learn the '5 Must Haves When Implementing an Industry 4.0 Training Program.'


Colleen is a writer, teacher, and avid reader. Her love of philosophy transcends every one of her pursuits.

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