What is Industry 4.0?

Before diving into it, let’s have a quick recap of the historical context behind this:

1.    The First Industrial Revolution = As we all know, beginning in the mid-18th century in Britain, the first IR enabled mass production for the first-time using water and steam power instead of purely human and animal power. Finished products were made with machines rather than laboriously by hand.

2.    The Second Industrial Revolution = A century later, the Second IR introduced assembly lines and the use of oil, gas and electrical power. These new sources of energy, along with more advanced communications by telephone and telegraph, allowed for mass production and some degree of automation of manufacturing processes.

3.    The Third Industrial Revolution = It began in the mid-20th century and was quite revolutionary: it added computers, advanced telecommunications and data analysis to manufacturing processes. The digitalization of factories began with the integration of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) into machines to automate certain processes and to collect and share data. 

4.    The Fourth industrial revolution = At present, we are in the 4th IR, also known as Industry 4.0. Characterized by increasing automation and the use of smart machines and factories, informed data is helping to produce goods more efficiently and productively throughout the value chain. To sum up, Industry 4.0 “converges previously separate physical and digital systems in industrial manufacturing” (PTC, 2020).

Flexibility is improved, so that manufacturers can more effectively meet customer needs using mass customization, ultimately seeking to achieve efficiency with, in many cases, the Lot size of one model (producing a single item per order). By collecting more data at the factory level and combining it with other operational data in the company, a smart factory can provide information transparency and make better decisions (IBM, 2022).

Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the way companies make, improve and distribute their products. Manufacturers are integrating new technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and analytics, automation and robotics, as well as AI and machine learning into their production facilities and throughout their operations.

With an Industry 4.0 model, you can empower your business as it offers crucial insights into all parts of an organization’s operation (PTC,2020). Here are some examples of advancements:

  • Augmented reality (AR) : makes it possible for employees to improve their knowledge while becoming more skilled, more quickly AR also reduces the margin for human error as a result of machines consistently performing at a higher standard (PTC,2020).
  • Intelligent Asset Optimization: this ensures machines are more productive through enhanced asset monitoring. For example, machine maintenance can be planned in a more productive way thanks to a combination of real-time data and algorithms (PTC,2020).
  • Reduced Operational Costs : real-time visibility on the full production process can allows to cut manufacturing overheads ; material costs can be diminished with the help of real-time asset-monitoring, predictive analytics and so on.
  • Scalable Production Management : IIoT, AR and analytics make it possible for companies to introduce products to the market quickly while scaling production up or down harmlessly.


Keep in mind that Industry 4.0 is constantly evolving and there is still massive unrevealed potential. As you can see, this revolution like all previous industrial revolutions before is deeply transforming manufacturing as we know it. If you take the steps to get your company towards more digitization, you’ll see that you’ll end up at the front of this transformation, leading the market.


IBM. (2022). Qu’est-ce que l’industrie 4.0? . IBMhttps://www.ibm.com/cloud/blog/industry-4-0-with-openshift-and-the-ibm-cloud-pak-solutions-part-i

PTC. (2020). What is Industry 4.0? A Guide to the Fourth Industrial Revolution . PTC https://www.ibm.com/fr-fr/topics/industry-4-0

LinkedIn post