“During the epidemic, people adopted large-scale lifestyles such as home office, online shopping, food delivery, and online activities, which caused a lot of discussions around the development process of the manufacturing industry, especially Industry 5.0. What changes can this brand-new concept bring about? Are we ready to welcome it? All walks of life in the industry hold different views and visions for Industry 5.0, so there is no unified answer to these questions. And the leap from Industry 4.0 to 5.0 is not only reflected in the technical category, leadership is also a key factor for successful transformation.
Focus on corporate leadership and grasp the advantages of Industry 4.0
Author: Wu Guoshuai, Head of Business Development in Eastern China and Taiwan, Zebra Technology Greater China
During the epidemic, people adopted large-scale lifestyles such as home office, online shopping, food delivery, and online activities, which caused a lot of discussions around the development process of the manufacturing industry, especially Industry 5.0. What changes can this brand-new concept bring about? Are we ready to welcome it? All walks of life in the industry hold different views and visions for Industry 5.0, so there is no unified answer to these questions. And the leap from Industry 4.0 to 5.0 is not only reflected in the technical category, leadership is also a key factor for successful transformation.
Developing Industry 5.0 Concept
What is Industry 5.0? The industry has not yet reached a consensus, which has led to confusion and disagreement. The European Commission pointed out that the main goals of Industry 5.0 are sustainability, people-oriented and flexible, and emphasized that “Industry 5.0 provides an industrial vision whose goals are not limited to efficiency and productivity, but will also enhance the role and contribution of industry to society. “. Professors and scholars such as Saeid Nahavandi, Director of Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation at Deakin University in Australia, believe that Industry 5.0 will enable workers to return to the factory floor.
Industry 5.0 is often described as a new era or a revolution, but the Industrial Revolution has always been a gradual process and will not start and end on a specific date. Therefore, rather than treating Industry 4.0 and 5.0 as two independent entities, it is better to say that the transition between these two phases should be natural rather than mandatory. In addition, when the goals and values of Industry 5.0 are not yet clear, the industry should focus more on tapping the unrealized potential of Industry 4.0.
To achieve Industry 4.0, a long way to go
The complete replication of the physical world into the digital environment is one of the main goals of Industry 4.0. At this stage, a large number of companies have not yet achieved this goal, and digital twins are an important technology to achieve this goal. A digital twin refers to a computer program that uses real-world data to perform simulations to predict the performance of a product or process. The program can integrate the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), and software analysis to enhance the output. It is estimated that from now to 2030, the digital twin market in the Asia-Pacific region will grow at a rapid rate. The growth of the digital twin market can be attributed to the surge in investment in related sectors of information technology and economic prosperity. More and more government initiatives have promoted the deployment of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things and the progress of related technologies. As of 2019, the global digital twin market is valued at US$3.8 billion and is expected to reach US$35.8 billion by 2025. According to a survey and analysis updated by Gartner in January 2021, the adoption of digital twin technology is becoming synonymous with the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). 26% of the interviewed practitioners said they have applied digital twin technology, and 59% of the respondents said they are implementing or planning to implement the technology within the next year. These results show that although digital twin technology is still in the early application stage, enterprises have begun to adopt it widely to achieve asset maintenance optimization or product differentiation. Most manufacturers agree that the intelligence and visibility gained from cyber-physical systems can comprehensively improve corporate decision-making. The important reason why a considerable number of manufacturers have not achieved this goal is that it is not easy to create a complete digital twin system. The inherent complexity of the environment makes modeling and control difficult. How to copy things that are constantly changing and evolving? Setting standards and being inoperable is a solution to promote this process, because an easy-to-follow process can reduce costs and complexity.
Although there are challenges in implementing cyber-physical connected systems, there are ways to present the physical world in the digital world. In the early stages of the cyber-physical connection process, a full understanding of the company’s assets is required. Identifying assets in advance and understanding their location in real time can help prevent asset loss and misplacement, and these two factors will affect continuity and utilization. Then you can go a step further in information processing to determine the status of assets. Data on the whereabouts of assets is valuable, but often not enough. Real-time use of temperature sensors, machine vision, and radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies are needed to fully understand the status of assets. For example, knowing that product A is not kept in the correct temperature range, or that the battery of device A is low, can simplify the decision-making process and save time.
Achieve the leap from technology to leadership
Every manufacturer agrees that mass customization can reduce costs and waste, thereby bringing huge commercial value. But to achieve mass customization requires precise understanding of supply and demand information and balance the certainty of suppliers. When various manufacturers begin to delve into where they should invest in mass customization, the dynamics of Industry 4.0 at the specific operational level will appear one after another, because everyone has different answers. In addition, expressions such as “mass customization” and even “digitalization” are relatively vague terms. As mentioned earlier, digitalization of operations earlier only involved asset positioning, but now it also includes asset location and status.
Moving towards large-scale digitization sounds like a good future, right? Because of its visibility into processes, work units, and factories, digitization provides a large amount of operational intelligence data. However, this transformation is not easy to achieve and requires a high degree of coordination of resources and cross-functionality. Managers need to find high-value pressure points to implement these ready-made technologies to quickly realize operational value. New technologies such as the connection between Wi-Fi 6 and 5G and low-cost active sensors symbolize major advancements in the industry. But as the previous article said: The key to a new journey in industry lies not in technology, but in a leadership challenge. Both the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) fields have their own technologies, goals, budgets, and skills, so creating a solution that can provide value for everyone is still quite challenging. In other words, the main obstacle is the search for innovation across departments.
Before the challenges of Industry 4.0 have been resolved, there is no way to achieve cross-generational transformation. But there is no need to worry, companies can move towards Industry 5.0 after making sufficient preparations. Most companies are still trying their best to solve the problems of leadership and solutions related to Industry 4.0. Prioritizing this initiative can improve the visibility and responsiveness of cyber-physical systems, enabling companies to better focus on development to the next stage when the time is right.
Link to this article：How can enterprises lead industrial 4.0 and move towards industrial 5.0