IoT, or Industry 4.0, is Coming

E-Newsletter for October 2015

Here in the states, we refer to IoT as the Internet of Things. I recently returned from the EMO show in Milan, Italy, where the Europeans refer to it as Industry 4.0. Whichever term applies, the emergence of intelligent connectivity of smart devices in the manufacturing process represents a potential new age in making things that represents a new industrial revolution for the 21st century.

After integrating mechanization, mass production using electricity, and automation using computers, which each represents a new age furthering manufacturing, Industry 4.0 is the fourth stage of industrial revolution. At least that’s what being discussed as the Web and Internet continue to be exploited for its universality.

Upon returning from EMO, having heard about Industry 4.0, I realized that I actually knew very little about IoT as it applies to manufacturing. I’ve heard about the intelligent appliances such as refrigerators, furnaces, alarm and lighting controls that can report the status of each unit remotely and conversely be adjusted remotely, but that is not what we heard about in Italy.

The focus of numerous presentations was about how the capability being applied in the consumer world will play out in manufacturing as the century unfolds. In my research about IoT for industry, I came across an excellent article on the topic from Mark Albert, editor of our sister publication, Modern Machine Shop. It’s titled Seven Things to Know about the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. Those of you trying to get a handle on this emerging trend, like me, will find it quite helpful. Click here to read the article. http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/7-things-to-know-about-the-internet-of-things-and-industry-40