September 5, 2017

Why digitalization matters and proficiency pays off

Ilja Postel

Are you knowledgeable enough about Industry 4.0 and digitalization? Businesses are constantly changing and becoming more complex through their growth. These developments result in a demand for new skills focusing on digitalization in the industry.

internet of things

Because more and more things are connected to the internet, the real and virtual world are intertwining more each day. Technological progress is one of the reasons why we see developments in this direction, but not the only one. For instance, the growing demand for a more flexible way of producing and, as a result, customer-specific products, requires more responsive technologies.

In 2017, productivity and quality are defining success. Continuous product launches become a necessity for companies to stay relevant. The challenge in all this is building links between real and virtual manufacturing environments: how do we do this? Intelligent production chains have the power to trigger a new industrial revolution leading us to industry 4.0, but these chains need to be built first. Therefore, the backbone of this revolution is the notion of cyber-physical-systems (CPS). CPS enable connectivity and bring the physical and virtual world together, making it possible for machines to communicate and interact with each other independently.

So what does Digitalization really mean?

Digitalization stands for the upcoming wave of automation and international industrialization, including Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Cognitive Computing. It describes the technological evolution from the conventional embedded systems we are used to, to cyber-physical systems weaving the physical and virtual together.

The BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) defines Industry 4.0, or digitalization, as: The increased flexibility that comes from value-creating networks through the application of cyber-physical production systems (CPPS).” According to the BMBF, Industry 4.0 makes it possible for machines and plants to adapt their behavior to changing requirements and operations, through self-optimization and reconfiguration by the CPS.

What are Cyber-Physical Systems?

The cyber-physical concept has three elements that, during the last few years, have gained importance: Internet of Things (IoT), machine to machine (M2M) and cloud computing.  CPS are also known as virtual manufacturing. These systems simulate and compare production opportunities in order to detect the optimal production path. The IoT (Internet of Things) is an important concept within the upcoming CPS. In its essence, it means that in the future, almost every object will be connected to the internet. IoT brings along the ability to identify every diverse object and transfer data over the whole network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction, which simultaneously automates processes and functions for optimization of resources, reducing costs, increasing productivity and enabling faster responses to changes in markets and Environments.

With the ever growing numbers of devices connected to the Internet, being proficient in the world of digitalization means setting yourself up for success. Do you want to be a part of this future? Check out Cisco’s free introductory course on the Internet of Things.

Internet of Things

This blog post is based on Dania Radi’s post “How to crack your Industry 4.0 knowledge“.

Topics: Digitalization, Internet of Things, Industry 4.0