Every new industrial era brings with it improvements in the way we work and the technologies we use.
While we are immersed in the fourth industrial revolution, the future of industry is slowly but surely being prepared. We are already talking about Industry 5.0, which brings a new way of conceiving the relationship between intelligent machines and humans.
In this article, we take a look back at the great periods that have marked the industry as well as a glimpse of what lies ahead with Industry 5.0.
Dating from the 1760s, the first industrial revolution marks an important turning point in history. Indeed, this period corresponds to the transition from classical craftsmanship to new manufacturing processes. New sources of fuel such as steam or coal accelerated the adoption of machines.
This upheaval made it possible to produce goods in greater quantities, especially in the textile industry where machines generated a yield up to eight times greater than what could be obtained by hand. The first industrial revolution also brought new modes of transportation such as the ship and the steam locomotive.
It was in the 19th century that major discoveries were made that changed the existing manufacturing processes. Electricity, gas and oil were the new sources of energy that powered the production plants.
The second industrial revolution led to the creation of the combustion engine. It also led to the development of the steel trade, chemical synthesis and means of communication such as the telegraph and the telephone.
Finally, the inventions of the automobile and theairplane at the beginning of the 20th century are the reason why, to this day, the second industrial revolution is considered the most important.
Around 1970, the third industrial revolution involved the use of electronics and computer technology (information technology), which made it possible toautomate part of the production lines. Some programmable robots are now capable of performing all kinds of tasks without the need for human intervention. As a result, manufacturing methods are progressing considerably, and this is accelerating thanks to Internet access within factories.
This period is also marked by the use of renewable energies. Indeed, part of the third industrial revolution is based on the energy transition, thus abandoning coal in favor of cleaner energy sources.
The fourth industrial revolution is the era of intelligent production machines, capable ofexchanging information, triggering actions and controlling themselves autonomously without human intervention.
This information exchange is made possible by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as we know it today. Industry 4.0 is characterized in particular by:
Read about it: Industrie 4.0: How to ensure the competitiveness of smart factories in France?
Barely 10 years after the term "Industry 4.0" was coined, people are already talking about the challenges that tomorrow's factories will have to face thanks to the progress brought by the fifth industrial revolution.
If Industry 4.0 focuses on the transition to smart factories, driven by data exchange, Industry 5.0 should focus on thereturn of the Human.
What are the differences then with the factory as we know it today?
Firstly, Industry 5.0 aims to be more ethical, taking into account factors such as sustainability, the environment and social aspects. Rather than basing corporate strategy on production performance, it is people who will be the cornerstone of the factory's competitiveness.
Secondly, the factories of tomorrow will use technologies designed to go further in the search forimproved working conditions, such as mental and physical fatigue detectors at the workstation.
Taking the environment into account is also an important issue for Factory 5.0. For example, we can imagine new methods of waste recovery, the use of renewable energies or even sensors to reduce energy consumption.
Thus, Industry 5.0 can be characterized by:
Due to the acceleration of technological innovations, revolutions in the heart of industry could come in rapid succession over the next 10 years and beyond. While the first three industrial revolutions took decades to come to fruition, today's revolutions take only as long as it takes for them to be adopted by a majority.
The development of Industry 5.0 is more of an upgrade to Industry 4.0 rather than a full-fledged revolution. As artificial intelligence improves and robots become more and more autonomous, the interaction between computers, robots and humans should become clearer and allow for a revival and improve the attractiveness of industrial jobs.