November 2017, Year IX, n. 11
Coming to grips with Industry 4.0
Telos: Would you please explain what is Industry 4.0?
Alessandro Perego: The expression Industry 4.0 conveys a vision of the future in which digital technology will make industrial and manufacturing companies more competitive and efficient thanks to interconnection and cooperation between their resources (facilities, individuals, data), both in their factories and along their value chain. In practice, Industry 4.0 involves the use of certain innovative digital technologies, called Smart Manufacturing Technologies. We can divide these technologies into two big groups: the first, more close-knit and similar to Information Technology (IT), includes Industrial Internet (of Things), Industrial Analytics and Cloud Manufacturing; the second, more heterogeneous and close to the layer of Operational Technologies (OT), is represented by Advanced Automation, Advanced Human Machine Interface and Additive Manufacturing. Although these technologies are heterogeneous they share one important trait: they facilitate robust interconnection between the resources used in operational processes. ...more
We’ve already reached the fourth, but haven’t yet taken in the third. The fourth what? The industrial revolution of course. Each revolution is different, but they’re all based on a technological break-through (steam, electricity, information technology) and they all trigger the same effect: a radical transformation of the world of work and disruption in social structures. Today, however, we no longer call it an industrial revolution, but Factory 4.0 or Industry 4.0 or, better still, Enterprise 4.0, a term suggested by our November interviewee, Prof. Alessandro Perego, a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Milan Polytechnic and one of Italy’s leading experts in this field. ...more