Now, though, we are in the midst of a fourth wave of technological advancement: the rise of new digital industrial technology known as Industry 4.0, a transformation that is powered by several foundational technology advances. In this transformation, sensors, machines, workpieces and IT systems will be connected along the value chain beyond a single enterprise. These connected systems (also referred to as cyberphysical systems) can interact with one another using standard internet-based protocols and analyze data to predict failure, configure themselves, and adapt to changes. Industry 4.0 will make it possible to gather and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs. This in turn will increase manufacturing productivity, shift economics, foster industrial growth, and modify the profile of the workforce—ultimately changing the competitiveness of companies and regions.
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