brisklogic Industry 4.0 and Digitization

How Industry 4.0 and Digitization Improves Manufacturing?

Industry 4.0 is a complete automation of business information, as well as a manufacturing execution framework that aims to improve manufacturing by integrating manufacturing processes and commerce across business boundaries to improve efficiency. The concept Industry 4.0 originated in Germany however, the ideas are in line with international initiatives like manufacturing smarter, Industrial Internet of things smart manufacturing, smart manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing.


Table of Contents

The birth of Industry 4.0

The Industry 4.0 initiative began as part of the 10-point high-tech German strategy plan, which was created in 2006. On July 14, 2010 the German cabinet voted to carry on this strategy and introduce the High-Tech Strategy 2020 initiative focusing the nation’s research and innovation policies on specific projects that are forward-looking in relation to technological and scientific advances over the next 10 to 15 years. Industries 4.0 is a concept of an integrated industrial system that will be realised through using software, computing, as well as Internet technologies. 

The term 4.0 refers to the notion of the fourth industrial revolution

4.0 notion industrial revolution

  • The first is production mechanization by steam and water power.
  • Second Mass production (Henry Ford is often cited as the pioneer)
  • Third: Digital Revolution (e.g. the machine tool’s numerical control control systems that can be programmable Direct digital control and Enterprise Resource Planning)
  • Fourth: Industry 4.0 by leveraging cyber-physical systems embedded computing and Internet of Things technologies


The concept of Industry 4.0 is significantly higher efficiency, productivity and self-managing manufacturing processes that let machines as well as logistic systems, equipment, as well as work-in-process elements interact and collaborate with each other in a direct way. One of the main goals is to use low-cost mass production to enable make-to-order manufacturing in the first order by using embedded processing and communication.

The logistics and production processes are intelligently integrated across boundaries of the company and create a real-time, lean manufacturing environment that is more flexible and efficient. This allows for smart value-creation chains that encompass every phase of the life cycle of the product from first idea of the product, to production, development and maintenance, all the way to recycling. This way, the ecosystem can take advantage of customer feedback on everything from the initial idea of the product through recycling to be able to respond and continuously improve.

Connecting businesses in the Supply Chain makes it possible to improve individual manufacturing steps as well as the whole value chain. For instance, complete data in real time allows businesses to adapt their production processes in response to availability of particular raw materials in relation to price quality, quantity, and other aspects to ensure maximum efficiency. External links allow the control of production processes across the company’s boundaries, thereby saving energy and resources.

The rapid growth of digital technology in industry is predicted to lead to new business models and create huge opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. The first signs are already beginning to occur. For instance, in order to create small-scale metal parts, manufacturers develop virtual 3D models, and employ direct laser sintering (DMLS) which is an additive process that is similar to 3D printing, which deposits metal powder layers, which are then melted with lasers for the creation of components. These are highly robust and have exceptional mechanical properties. Incredibly it is also true that the DMLS process can create complicated geometries, which traditional machine tools aren’t capable of creating.

Asynchronous manufacturing

Traditional manufacturing lines for assembly are synchronous, and have established workflow that are based on production work orders that are running within enterprise business systems. Production processes are centrally communicated to every manufacturing station that is synchronized to the line assembly. However, Industry 4.0 is based on synchronous manufacturing, which includes elements in the production process employing auto-identification technology that can inform the operator and machine what is required in order to make the final product at every stage of the manufacturing process.

The utilization of modern machinery that is able to adapt to the specifications of the item being manufactured is another aspect that is part of industry 4.0. This results in a highly adaptable, efficient, lean and agile manufacturing process, allowing a wide range of different items to be manufactured in the same manufacturing facility. Profitable mass customization permits the production of smaller batches (even smaller than single exclusive products) because of the capacity to quickly configure machines to meet customer requirements and specifications for additive manufacturing.


Industry 4.0 systems gather a vast variety of data that can be utilized to boost productivity and efficiency by utilizing analytics. Analytics can be used in many ways, such as real-time predictive maintenance that helps manufacturing firms avoid interruptions to production due to unplanned breakdowns of machines in the factory floor, thereby improving the utilization of assets. Another example is the optimization of production processes, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency.


The realization of the Industry 4.0 vision is becoming feasible thanks to the dramatic technological advances caused through technology like the Internet of Things, including open software platforms, open communication, open data models with powerful embedded processors. Industry 4.0 employs terms like cyber-physical system (CPS) to refer to the interaction between computers and physical objects, which includes embedded intelligence on all levels such as sensors, machines actuators, production components as well as subassemblies and the products that are being developed. CPS are made up of physical objects, like mechanisms that are controlled or monitored by computer-driven algorithms. An example of current use to CPS includes a mechatronic drive system which uses processors and communications integrated into motor drives to carry out coordinated tasks within a packaging machine, that does not require any physical gearing. This is a significant savings in cost as well as ensuring greater flexibility and reliability.

Competitive driver

The primary reason behind the increase in processes and manufacturing automation across the globe has been the recognition that the pursuit of low labour costs does not seem to be a successful strategy. Staying competitive and agile is possible only using the most advanced technologies and automation being a key aspect for this process to succeed. Utilizing new technologies during periods of rapid innovations is essential to production success. It is a fact that history repeats itself. Take the example of the automobile, an indulgence of the wealthy in the early 20th century.

Historic perspective: Cooperation essential

Industry has sought to integrate in the past since the early 1980s. The most popular concept, referred to as computer integrated manufacturing, connects the entire manufacturing company to improve manufacturing efficiency and productivity. The vision connects electronically and coordinates the functional areas such as analysis, design planning, purchasing, cost accounting, inventory control CNC machines and material handling.

The Manufacturing Automation Protocol (MAP) published in 1982 established an internet-based standard to connect devices from different manufacturers to stop the proliferation of incompatible communication standards utilized by the manufacturers of automation equipment, such as controllers that are programmable. In 1986 the Boeing company merged their Technical Office Protocol with the MAP standard. The standard was later referred to as MAP/TOP.

While it was marketed and utilized by companies, including General Motors, Boeing, and others, on a limited number of initiatives, the system proved costly and cumbersome considering the technology available. The biggest challenge involved the integration of parts from various suppliers, such as the programmable logic controller, CNC machines, conveyors and robots that use different communication protocols. There was also competition in protocols and data exchange standardization between the U.S. and Europe, which could be unproductive.

Worldwide adoption

The German Industry 4.0 initiative is influencing thinking across the globe and in turn affects other initiatives and cooperative efforts.

Made in China 2025 initiative as well as Industry 4.0

China has adopted the idea of the fourth industrial revolution within a 10-year strategy, “Made in China 2025,” an initiative to vastly improve Chinese manufacturing with the aim to keep pace with the production powerhouses of Germany and fight away competition from other nations with lower costs for labour. The plan concentrates on 10 industries, including the most sophisticated computerized machinery and robotics as well as aerospace equipment, renewable energy automobiles, and bio-medicine.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as well as the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reached an agreement to establish cooperation between the two nations in the area of Industry 4.0. The agreement links BMWi’s Industries 4.0 with the Chinese initiative “Made in China 2025,” thereby strengthening the collaboration in innovation between both nations. China recognizes that staying competitive requires taking on automation.

This is illustrated by the Changying Precision Technology Company’s manufacturing facility in Dongguan city in north Shenzhen It was the very one of the first “unmanned” factories that is run by computers-controlled robots, numerical control machinery, unmanned transportation trucks and warehouse equipment that is automated. Six hundred human workers on the assembly line were replaced by automation which resulted in a reduction of five times manufacturing errors, and an increase in productivity of more than 250 percent.

Industries 4.0 process automation

industries 4.0 process automation

The use to Industry 4.0 concepts for process automation is beginning to emerge in the form of the working group that is focusing on experiences exchanges, concepts development and formulating specifications for the following subjects:

  • exploration of the potential and opportunities to produce today and into the near future.
  • Description of the requirements of Industry 4.0 methods from the point of view.
  • position  in the industry 4.0 activities

In collaboration with the Association of German Engineers and the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies, NAMUR released The New Technology Roadmap “Process Sensors 4.0.” The road map for technology identifies the requirements that are essential and communications functions of process sensors ranging from a basic temperature sensor all the way to sophisticated devices. The functions include connectivity and communication via a common protocol, operating and maintenance functions, traceability and conformity with a virtual description, to enable continuous engineering, and interoperability.


Industries 4.0 demonstration system

Brisk Logic as well as The German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and 18 other partners have been demonstrating a functioning production line that showcases the Industry 4.0 concepts at various industry events such as HANNOVER Messe in Germany. The demonstration showed the use of market-ready technologies to build a flexible industry 4.0 manufacturing line.

Brisk Logic is a manufacturer-independent demonstration and research platform in which innovative information and control technologies and their use in a realistic industrial production environment are tested and developed. Brisk Logic shows the concept of the future factory. Diverse components from various manufactures are connected to one another to work together. Intelligent components can assume the responsibility of their own contextual tasks and operate autonomously by delivering custom-designed products that leverage methods of mass production.



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