Blockchain Technology In Industry 4.0

Wolfie Zhao
Sep 5, 2019 at 09:01 PM
Updated Oct 15, 2019 at 03:52 PM

Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0

In ancient times, humans have much belonged to their hand made tools to complete any of their work. After a lot of decades, the population has grown, businesses have grown, people started to depend on machines, tools, and others to finish their work. This is the root of businesses and industries to grow across the world. As the year passes, industries were trapped into a necessary situation to meet the end-user requirements on time, hence there becomes a compulsion to upgrade the way an industry function and to smarter their work to expand the quantity also enrich the quality. This becomes the first step to automate industrial processes. Based on the time period, the way Industrial technology has to grow differed. So in each time period, industries depended on different methodologies and technologies to automate the processes. This kind of growth in technology implementations on different time period were created a base for industrial revolutions. 

Since the 18th century, the world has witnessed a lot of significant industrial revolutions across the world. Such revolutions have brought us a lot of changes, upgradation, automation in many industries mainly on manufacturing and supply chain. 

Till now there happened three major industrial revolutions each of them focused on technology improvement, efficiency, fast production, enhanced methodologies to deliver customer goods on time without delay and smarter the work process which we have done with older technology. Another thing we have to note with this revolutions is each revolution has enlightened mankind with unbelievable economic growth, the revolution in production, robustness in development, and hence empowered the economic growth of nations. 

In this article, we are going to briefly differentiate, each industrial revolution, and how those revolutions have made the entire world turn in to digital.  Also, we are going to examine how blockchain, the new technology intruder could play a lead role in the fourth industrial revolution, industry 4.0. Let’s have a glance on the history of industrial revolutions, by traveling back to the 18th centuries.

What Is Industry 4.0?

Before discussing the term just have a view on this below explainer video

 

Industry 4.0

The term Industrie 4.0 was firstly announced at Hannover fair In  2011, by a group of representatives from different fields to accomplish the German Federal Government move towards High Tech Strategy of 2020. 

Industry 4.0 is a term that defines the concept of the "smart factory" along with the growth of Industrial technologies (i.e)Industrial internet of things(IIoT) via automation, interconnectivity, Machine Learning, real-time data processing, and digitization. It defines how our society and industries can grow up with the new kind of technologies to enable efficient data exchange, faster, flexible, efficient, smart manufacturing methodology to meet the mass production of high-quality goods with reduced Costs.

If I4.0 becomes true, It would create a better-interconnected ecosystem where everything about an industrial process will become transparent, which will help us to make pre-informed decision making on segments which the processing methodology has to be optimized.

In another way, we could define industry 4.0 is the concept of factories where machines and human ideas can be connected into a system via wireless system and sensors where we can monitor the entire production process and can make a better decision on it. It allows changing the way industry responding to the needs of a common man or a society. 

By all these definitions you could understand that the essence of the fourth industrial revolution is mainly gonna favor the manufacturing and supply chain industry via automation, efficient data exchange through cyber physical systems, IoT, Big Data, Cloud computing, IIOT, and Artificial Intelligence. 

Industry 4.0

Reference : bcg.com

Now let us Have a look at the previous industrial revolutions, then we could get an idea of why Industry 4.0 becomes the hot talk on the internet?.

History of Industrial Revolutions

History of Industrial Revolutions

Ref: cleverism.com

Industry 1.0 - The First Industrial Revolution

Time period: 18th Century ( Approximately 1760 - 1840)

During this period Manufacturing has been evolved from hand production methods and labor work is done with animals to the better-optimized labor work done with machines powered by water and steam. This is the era when machines started to replicate the work done with humans and animals. During this period, many labors lost their jobs as machines started to replace their work.  In this period, the term "Factory" become more popular, and the most notable industries that benefited a lot are, Textile industry, agriculture, iron production, and mining industry.

Industry 2.0 - The Second Industrial Revolution

Time Period - 19th Century (1870-1914)

The Period of modern production powered with factory electrification. During this period water and steam energy have been started to replace by electrical power.  Also, this period is better known for the introduction of railroads, and telegraphs. 

Industry 3.0 - The Third Industrial Revolution

Time Period - 20 th Century ( approximately between 1930 - 1970)

This Period is known as the Scientific and technical revolution, This started to begin after the two world wars. During this period supercomputer has been invented, after that the use and mass adoption of computers started to grow inside the industries. This is the time where machines started to evolve from analog into the digital one.

Industry 4.0 - The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Time Period  - (1975- Present )

We are currently in the early period of Fourth industrial revolution, that is called the digital revolution. We are living in the era of Machines started to communicate with each other via a  network known as IoT (Internet Of things) and with People Known as Internet Of People (IoP)

Industry 4.0 initiated to foster the idea "smart factory". The component of modular structured smart factories and cyber-physical systems would help us to make a virtual copy of the real world and can make decentralized decisions on it. 

Principles and Goals Of Industry 4.0

  • Interconnectivity
  • Information or Data Transparency
  • Immediate Technical Assistance
  • To Make Decentralized Decisions


Interconnection 


The connectivity between peoples, machines, sensors, and other devices to communicate with each other via the use of IoT.

Information Transparency

The goals of Industry 4.0 is to bring up the idea of mass production to live on the market. So when there is an execution of mass production, the communication and data transmission should be proper, as well as transparent to each other inside the network.  Because if there is any inefficiency happens, the transparency of information would help the authorized people to make the right decisions and take actions on it.

Technical assistance

To empower the idea of smart factory, smart informed decisions have to be made on time, with just short instant notice. Technical assistance systems support humans in this to make such decisions by aggregating and visualizing the useful information comprehensively on time.

Decentralized Decisions

To automate and faster the decision-making process the CPS systems has to make decisions on their own and must complete some tasks autonomously.   So, this kind of decentralized decision-making process will be automated with the use of IIoT and CPS systems. 

 


Which Will Drive Industry 4.0 in the right Path?

1. Digitization of Vertical and Horizontal Value Chains

Vertical Value Chain - Internal operations inside an organization to deliver a good to the customer, like product development, manufacturing, 


Horizontal value chain - Internal operations between the suppliers and customers. 

2. Digitization of products and services offering methodology

3. Digitization of customer interaction and customer profiling
 

Now let us have a look on which components could power industry 4.0

Components of Industry 4.0

Components Of Industry 4.0

Ref : Forbes.com

Without the below components and technology implementation, the journey of Industry 4.0 will drive us nowhere. Some of the components are real-world entities too. 

1. Mobile Devices ( Smartphones)
2. IoT ( Internet Of Things)
3. Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT)
4. Big Data 
5. Artificial Intelligence 
6. Location detection Technologies ( Advanced GPRS methodology)
7. Smart sensors
8. Augmented Reality
9. Machine Learning 
10. Fog, Edge and Cloud Computing
11. 3D printing
12. Fraud Detection technologies

We can cover up all the above into 5 major categories as below

1. IoT
2. Cyber-Physical Systems
3. Cloud Computing
4. Cognitive Computing
5. Real-Time Data processing

What is IoT?

It is a network of connected devices, to transmit digital data, without requiring any effort from the outside entities including human-human interactions or human-machine interactions.

What are Cyber-Physical Systems(CPS)?

Cyber-physical systems, communicate internally with each other, humans, organizational services and other participants of the value chain.

Value chain - it is a set of activitiy of a firm or an organization in a specific industry to deliver a product or service on time to the market.

CPS is also can be defined as the system of cyber manufacturing, that offers real-time data processing, data analysis and also transparency across a fully connected network of the manufacturing operations. 

What is Cognitive Computing?

It is a set of technology platforms, which are based on some of the scientific technologies like artificial intelligence and also signal to process.  Cognitive Computing encompasses machine learning, reasoning, NLP (Natural Language Processing ), Speech and Object Recognition.

What is Real-Time data processing

It is an act or an ability of computers to continuously process the data and provides real-time insights ontime through the automated data analysis. 

What is Cloud Computing?

It refers to the process of analyzing computerized data inside an external source mostly on a permanent virtual storage so-called cloud storage.

What is the Smart factory?

By definition smart factory, is the connected network of IIOT(Industrial Internet of Things) whereas the CPS can be communicated with the IoT and IoP(Internet of People) to aid them in the process of executing the production or manufacturing tasks.


What are Industrial Internet of Things ( IIoT ) ?

IIoT refers to the usage of smart sensors and actuators to empower the manufacturing process of an organization belongs to a specific industry. This power-up the idea of the smart factory that leads the goals of Industry 4.0 This IIoT connects with CPS to enhance the transparency, connectivity and data exchange to execute the expected output during a factory production process. 

Why Businesses Should Evolve with Industry 4.0?

From all the above statements and discussions, the world is evolving into next-generation technology. People have enough capability to accept those technology changes and are willing to implement them for their real-life usage. So, to travel with people and technology growth business have to grow with the flow and should adopt or implement those technology changes towards their business operation. 

The reason why businesses have to adopt industry 4.0 is, This new modern industrial revolution is a pack of automation, enhanced interconnectivity, and decentralization. If businesses refuse to adopt any of these above components they would left alone in the crowd of competitors and may fail to fulfill their customer needs on time. 

Which businesses or industry must adopt industry 4.0?

  1. Supply chain 
  2. Manufacturing 
  3. E-commerce
  4. Wholesales and Retail businesses. 
  5. Business to Business service providers and Business to consumer service providers
  6. Agriculture.
  7. Information technology Business.
  8. Data Science companies.

and more.

Benefits of Adopting Industry 4.0

1. Beat The Competition:


The topmost beneficiary of this industrial revolution is supply chain industry and e-commerce industry, So by keeping this in minds, Amazon has already started to enrich the process of goods delivering methodology into more digital. So, a business which focuses on goods delivery and supply chain could beat the competition if it is enough capable of adopting Industry 4.0 Components.


2. Boosts Profit, and fosters the Growth

By adopting artificial intelligence, automation, and cloud computing the work process would become more easy to handle,  so your business basic functionality would become more transparent, effective and hence robust too. 

3. Business operations could be stronger, efficient, and also collaborative too

As everything focused to be automated any process inside a business network would be more efficient, trackable, robust, and also easy to collaborate.

4. Easy to identify the big problems

With sensors and connected IoT devices, we could easily identify the problems before occurs inside any segments of a value chain. So we can easily decide on time to recover those problems with the help cyber physical systems.

List of Challenges in Adapting Industry 4.0

1. Economical Challenge

  • High Installation Costs
  • Adapting the New Business Work Model

2. Social Challenge

  • Loss of Jobs

3. Organizational Challenges

  • IT Security Issues
  • Reliability in Machine to Machine Communications
  • To maintain the integrity of the Production process
  • Insufficient qualification of workers
  • Low Involvement of top managements

Hope you have a complete overview of Industry 4.0 and challenges in adapting industry 4.0. 


Now lets have a look at how The Don of Technologies - Blockchain, could support the implementation of Industry 4.0 across various industries. 


Blockchain In Industry 4.0


Now we have come to the core concept of this article, How the blockchain technology can  be implemented for the cause of industry 4.0

The topmost challenges of adapting industry 4.0 are 

  1. Implementing the data transparency, 
  2. Decentralized decision-making process, 
  3. Interconnectivity,  
  4. Ease of data exchange, 
  5. Automation, 
  6. Informed decision, 
  7. Scalability of machines or  device implementation for mass productions, 
  8. Traceability in SCM, 
  9. To store data passed by the IIoT devices, sensors and CPS systems inside a fully secured storage. 

The only addressable technology that could meet all the challenges in recent time, is " The Blockchain Technology". 
If we can integrate blockchain technology to the components of Industry 4.0 Industries could smash all the hurdles, and could empower the ideas of a smart factory with IIoT devices empowered with Blockhain Methodology.

Blockchain Use cases In  Industry 4.0


Here are the notable use case of blockchain in manufacturing (i,e) blockchain in industry 4.0


1. Blockchain could automate and integrate the process of a supply chain with highly transparent information traceability

Check out blockchain would work in SCM: Blockchain In Supply Chain Management


2. Can secure the Industrial IoT Process, functionalities, Data exchange between the IIoT devices. 

Check out Blockchain In IoT

3. Data Processing and Data Analyzation With Big Data could be more efficient

Check out Blockchain In Big Data

4. Blockchain With Artificial Intelligence

By implementing blockchain with artificial intelligence we could eliminate the hurdles in automated data transfer between the CPS system and IIoT connected devices in a production value chain, 

Check out Blockchain in Artificial Intelligence


Apart from the four above, the following use cases are the default use cases that could help in enhancing an industry. 


5. Scalability 

6. Data transparency

7. Decentralization 

During the mass production process, industries may face a situation of expanding their machines and device implementations. So, the basic technology which powers the entire mass production should be capable of supporting the scalability of device implementations, and data transparency with those devices as well as fulfill the decentralization. Blockchain would be the only choice to meet all these technical requirements.


If you still need proof  why blockchain would be the only choice for Industry 4.0 then check out the articles below.

Other Industries that are powered by Blockchain Technology

  1. Blockchain in Cyber Security
  2. Blockchain in Banking
  3. Blockchain in Healthcare
  4. Blockchain In CRM
  5. Blockchain In Education
  6. Blockchain In Insurance

Blockchain Technology in 2020

Adaptation of blockchain technology has grown very faster insider the business market. When blockchain has been introduced people have struggled to understand the concept, after just 2 or 3 years the blockchain adoption maturity has grown drastically. 
check out the below diagram which portrays blockchain adoption maturity from 2011-2022.

Blockchain adoption maturity

Reference: Blockchain and industry 4.0

 

 A blockchain that becomes the promising technology of digital revolution along with AI, IoT, Big Data, AR, VR and more. So this immense technology is irreplaceable and can optimize for the betterment. In this article how blockchain technology will be in 2020, and what are the use cases that could power some notable industries across the world.

Check out Blockchain Technology in 2020.

Final Thoughts about Blockchain in Industry 4.0

industry 4.0 is obvious and couldn't be avoided by anyone. But it is upon us to decide whether to go with the industrial revolution or stay back from the growth of industries. If industry wanted to grow with the trending technology it is a must for them to adapt, implement and experiment the concept of industry 4.0. The arrival of blockchain in industry 4.0 will sure enrich the idea of implementation and will empower the digital revolution across the world.

If you are really wanted to be the part of the fourth industrial revolution along with your business, get connected with bitdeal- A Blockchain Development Company.  We are ready to assist you with blockchain implementation for any industry. 

 

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