With public engagement and communication forming a pillar Work Package (WP4) in the Industry4.E Lighthouse support project (CSA-Industry4.E), public perceptions and ideas on what industry 4.0 could do for Europe play a crucial role.
Digitalisation of industry – Industry 4.0 – is opening many exciting opportunities in Europe.
From factories to farms and everything in between, digitalisation will bring changes in ways we wouldn’t have imagined possible. Digitalisation will transform operations making them more efficient and sustainable. These huge advances will bring many societal benefits in healthcare, agri-food, automotive and other sectors.
- Factory machinery will become more efficient and sustainable, using cooperative robotics, sensors, complex modelling, very accurate test simulations and data analytics among other technologies. Sensors can detect issues with machinery before they break and will monitor every step, helping to create new innovative products to the highest quality (reduce or have zero defects). This is great for us and the environment too.
- Computer modelling and simulation advances have made it possible to have an accurate digital replica of a process, product, or service which can be used to simulate and test different scenarios both for design and maintenance. Sensors are now able to monitor machinery such as wind farms or factory machines and feed back data in real-time. The data gathered can be used by human operators to make accurate decisions on how to optimise the machines on an ongoing basis or predict when they will require maintenance. The data can also be used to improve the selection, design and manufacturing of future products. The good news is that this cost-effective, rapid design and defect-free production lends itself to highly customised products becoming the norm.
- Forget one size fits all – 3D printers can print to any spec you can imagine. 3D printed passenger jet belt buckles that are over 2x lighter than conventional designs without compromising strength, and custom hips in super-strong and light materials are just the tip of the iceberg!
- High tech sensors will help farmers to monitor crop and animal health and tackle diseases before they take hold. Autonomous machines for targeted watering, pest and weed control, and harvesting will make farming crops more environmentally friendly and efficient. That means more food available for our ever-growing population.