Well, this concept is closer to becoming a reality than you’d think.
This idea is the premise of Industry 4.0, a “fourth industrial revolution” envisioned by the German industrial leaders in the process of developing it. The new paradigm involves using the cloud
, big data, simulation, autonomous robots, and the Internet of Things to create the integrated, automated, fast, and highly customizable production system of the future. It’s manufacturing for the new world of work, and it has ramifications that extend across businesses in all fields.
The steam engine in the nineteenth century signaled the first industrial revolution, followed by electricity, then in the 1970s, the use of computers. But industry hasn’t made any great leaps forward since then. Instead, progress has come at the consumer level, with the explosion of mobile devices and e-commerce.
But that will change over the next 20 years, proponents of Industry 4.0 say, and factories will become centers of innovation as they adopt techniques of the 4.0 model.