industry 4.0

What is Industry 4.0?

Are you confused about what Industry 4.0 is? Many people are because it seems to be so similar to Industry 3.0, or the 3rd Industrial Revolution, an era that just recently ended. So what’s the difference?

Here’s the simplest way to put it:

Industry 4.0 is in fact the practices of Industry 3.0, but with an added use of smart technology which produces connectivity. So, devices communicate with each other and are able to even make decisions.

So what’s that mean?
You’re familiar with Industry 3.0 practices. These are the traditional manufacturing practices like Lean, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Automation, just to name a few. Now let’s add in the element of smart technology, or smart manufacturing. The entire production is connected and every single part, machine and employee are working in sync. Efficiencies are automatically captured and implemented. Inventory is always recorded which reduces waste. Because every machine or device is connected, real-time data is given which allows for data-based decision making on when to order materials, when to ship, when to reschedule a product and more. All this information makes it clear what the health of your organization is at any given moment. Information that is critical to the life and success of your company.

Endless possibilities with Industry 4.0

The potential and possibilities that come from implementing an Industry 4.0 production really are endless. If you free up workers in certain areas, they are then able to focus on new initiatives. If you reduce waste, you have new capital to use on new technology. Efficiencies open up the ability to expand and grow. And, let’s face it, you’ll have new leverage when it comes to recruiting new employees that want to be a part of smart technology.

If you’re interested in learning more about Industry 4.0, you can read more of our manufacturing blogs or visit our manufacturing services page.

Get to know our manufacturing team! Read about our Industrial 4.0 Project Manager, Joseph Schultz and our Business Development Specialist, Cathy Witte.

industrial revolution

What Industrial Revolution Are You In?

Are You Stuck In The Past?

The manufacturing industry has seen an immense amount of change throughout history. Technology has changed how we build products and how we work as a whole. There have been four industrial revolutions that have kept companies across the globe competitive and innovative. The transition into each revolution might come naturally for many, but not for all. However, transforming into new technology and practices is critical for continued success and relevance. Let’s take a look at how far the manufacturing industry has come. What industrial revolution are you in?

1st Industrial Revolution

Mid-1700s to 1830
Agricultural societies became more industrialized and urban. Water and steam power make mechanical production facilities possible. Society was forever changed by the spinning jenny, water wheel, steam engine, cotton gin, concrete, steam locomotive, modern roads and batteries.

2nd Industrial Revolution

Mid-1800s to mid-1900s
Also known as the Technological Revolution, mass production and standardization sparked with the help of the assembly line and electrical energy. Steel production advanced drastically which expanded the railroad system and more industrial machines were built. Some of the top inventions were plastics, lightbulb, telephone, automobile, typewriter and assembly-line manufacturing.

3rd Industrial Revolution

1960s to 2000s
Also known as the Digital Revolution, automation was enhanced through IT and electronic systems. Renewable energy is a key focus for companies. The internet changed the world forever as the term Internet of Things was established. Some of the top inventions were computer programming, machine automation, internet, nuclear energy and robotics.

4th Industrial Revolution

We are living in it, but are you practicing it? Also known as Industry 4.0, manufacturing is rapidly changing through the world of robotics, AI, smart and digital manufacturing, cloud computing and predictive programming. The need to be as efficient as possible is critical to production, which is made possible through lean principles. Cybersecurity is vital as everything is digital. 3D printing has brought ideas to life that were once thought as impossible. Every machine or device is connected and gives real-time data that allows for data-based decision making. According to the Manufacturing Data Summit, the number of connected devices per person is more than 1 for the first time in history, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has become mainstream and internet assistants now greet you in your home.

So which revolution is your company living in?

Unfortunately, many manufacturers are stuck in the past which will be costly as time goes on and prices of products and services increase. It’s time to embrace the future and start making the necessary changes to get to Industry 4.0. Good news is, progress can happen gradually and we have a team of Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 experts that will be with you each step of the way. Take that first step by contacting our manufacturing team for a no-strings-attached assessment.

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with. Learn more about our Industrial 4.0 Project Manager in the blog Getting to Know Joseph Schultz, Industrial 4.0 Project Manager.

Learn more about our manufacturing services.


Getting to Know Joseph Schultz, Industrial 4.0 Project Manager

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

We’re continuing our Getting To Know CIFT series with our Industrial 4.0 Project Manager, Joseph (Joe) Schultz. The Industrial 4.0 Project Manager job is a brand new position at CIFT and Joe joined the team almost two months ago, diving head first into the position and working directly with different manufacturers in Ohio. We asked Joe some questions to get a glimpse into his role and what motivates him.

What do you do at CIFT?
I am the Industrial 4.0 Project Manager. I work with manufactures to bring them into the Industrial Revolution 4.0. This includes Lean (implementation, training, assessments), Smart Manufacturing (Internet of Things (IOT), AI, preventive maintenance), Digital Manufacturing (ERP, digital thread, data capture), Cybersecurity (focus on CMMC), Automation (robotics, smart sensors) and Additive Manufacturing (3D printing, prototyping). Another aspect of my job is to build relationships with manufacturers and service providers in the Northwest Ohio Region to help them see and know CIFT as an available resource.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
The opportunity to change and improve Northwest Ohio manufactures and be a part of shaping the future. To help improve the quality of manufacturers in both product and improvement of their employees’ work.

What are you most looking forward to with this new role?
I am most looking forward to growing my skill and knowledge base, while leaving an impact on a better Ohio.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?
I want people to know that Industry 4.0 is the future. If employers are facing workforce shortages, it is time to look into going Lean. If a task is dirty, dull or dangerous, there is a robotic solution. Companies need to evaluate their cybersecurity to protect their business, customers and, in some cases, continue to stay in business. Lastly, 3D printing can save companies time and money on reduced time to prototype and organic design.

I also want people to know CIFT is here to help and partner with them as their Ohio MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership).

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have a high desire to learn and as a result I am full of random information and facts. I love kayaking and spending time with my wife.

Learn more about our manufacturing services and success stories through our different manufacturing blogs.