The steam engine powered factories in the 19th century, electrification led to mass production in the early part of the 20th century, and industry became automated in the 1970s. Now we are in the midst of a fourth wave of technological advancement that BCG calls Industry 4.0: the rise of new digital industrial technology. In this transformation, sensors, machines, workpieces, and IT systems will be connected along the value chain beyond a single enterprise. 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.
Industry 4.0: The Future of Productivity and Growth in Manufacturing Industries
Industry 4.0 will transform the design, manufacture, operation, and service of products and production systems. Connectivity and interaction among parts, machines, and humans will make production systems as much as 30 percent faster and 25 percent more efficient and elevate mass customization to new levels.