Industry 4.0, which refers to the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and intelligent automation to connect machines and processes in industry, has laid an important foundation for the arrival of Industry 5.0.
Digital twins, offline programming, virtual commissioning and open architecture – all of these are the expertise of Visual Components, which has been part of the KUKA Group since 2017. These core elements form the key concepts of the fourth industrial revolution. And today, the term Industry 5.0 is being mentioned more and more frequently.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Mikko Urho, CEO of Visual Components, to discuss current developments and how to prepare for the new industrial revolution.
Below are some of the questions and answers
Is industry ready for the next revolution, i.e. Industry 5.0?
Offline programming of robots and virtual commissioning of production systems in advance are important applications for Industry 4.0 today. We are seeing an increase in demand for these.
Connectivity is another key, building bridges between the real and virtual worlds. Many companies are also making progress in this area and using it to drive Industry 4.0. However, in my assessment, most industries have not yet adopted Industry 4.0. This suggests that it will take some time for the concept of Industry 5.0 to fully mature. This is actually quite normal. Revolutions don’t start and end with a specific date; they are intertwined. There will always be companies that are more like drivers and others that are followers. The important thing is that these revolutions do exist. They drive progress throughout the industry and continue to increase competitiveness for the industry’s growth.
While Industry 4.0 aims to digitally reflect the reality of the factory floor, the fifth industrial revolution is shifting the focus to humans. What is the reason for this?
According to the growth plans of many companies, they are stepping up their investments in digital technology. But simply investing in new technologies is not enough. The fifth industrial revolution is about ensuring that these smart technologies make collaboration between humans and machines more efficient and meaningful in practical terms. The speed and precision of machines will be combined with the creativity, innovation and critical thinking skills of humans. As a result, Industry 5.0 takes a human-centric approach, which can also be understood as refinement, meaning that processes will become increasingly efficient and advanced. Many processes will also involve virtual reality or augmented reality. This happens to be the key to how these technologies work better with people.
Are these concepts and industrial revolutions that we have just discussed a real need in achieving industrial development? In some cases, are we talking about Industry 11.0?
Yes, it is undoubtedly necessary to embrace the new revolution, and the general trend of industrial development ultimately calls for industrial progress. Increasing customer demand for highly personalized products has created a revolutionary development demand for production, i.e. a shift from traditional mass production to customized scale production and small batch production. In addition, sustainable production, a hot topic of current global concern, demands that society as a whole – and indeed industry – respond to the question of how and where products are produced. Looking back, the industrial revolution has been playing a leading role in overcoming global challenges. And the new concepts arising from Industry 4.0 and 5.0 have made reproduction economically viable, processes more efficient, cooperation between people and technology further optimized, and the shortage of skilled workers able to be alleviated.