Industrial Revolution 4.0 is transforming the business world and the way products are manufactured around the globe. Its more than 40 technologies are being implemented gradually and sustainably in the companies’ internal processes, through digitization and automation.
For Joe Kaeser, the global CEO of Siemens, the future of Industry 4.0 is as promising as it is challenging. The reduction in time and costs, coupled with the potential of automation in manufacturing processes, will result in a win-win technology scenario. This as long as companies do not lose sight of the importance of being «inclusive» with their employees.
In the framework of the Industrial Transformation Mexico, the ‘Mexican Hannover‘, the director of the German company said that the Internet has been the greatest industrial transformation of all time. For manufacturing –an industry that accounts for 70% of world production— far-reaching changes are still expected.
Specifically, emphasizes Joe Kaeser, the ‘Machine Learning’ (or automated learning) will be the most fundamental subject in manufacturing execution in the next decade. “Machine Learning represents the most fundamental topic in manufacturing execution for the next five to 10 years. It will be the largest thing in the world for manufacturing and engineering,» said Siemens’ CEO.
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Inclusion, another challenge for Industry 4.0
However, Joe Kaeser remarked that the main challenge of Industry 4.0 will be to know the companies’ responsibility to keep their workers’ knowledge updated.
Several studies, he shared, anticipate that, in the next 10 years, about 300 million people will lose their jobs to machines, so all these people will have to be relocated. «The way we deal with inclusion is one of the biggest challenges we have today,» he said.
Siemens’ CEO made it clear that 4.0 manufacturing production methods, through which physical processes can be simulated using 3D printing, will push three major transformations in the coming years.
Kaeser said that the first will be production speed, where a product’s development time can be reduced up to 50% and, consequently, its cost. The second will be manufacturing productivity, increasing between 30% and 40% while reducing costs. Finally, the third, better quality in the final products.
«Today, one out of 10 iPhones does not work after three months and you have to come back with the warranty, which means that 10% could be of poor quality. Think what would happen if one out of every 10 braking systems in a car failed; that would not be good at all. Quality matters in highly professional applications,» he concluded.