What is this big hype about Industry 4.0? One should actually ask, what is Industry 4.0? Talking about the fourth industrial revolution, one cannot help but think about what really happened in the previous three and how those impacted our day-to-day going about doing our jobs. In short, condensing hundreds of years into a few lines, the first industrial revolution (IR1.0) saw the birth of the word press. With this, reproduction of books became faster and knowledge got round faster, however that led to the need for more people to become literate.

The second revolution (IR2.0) saw Henry Ford producing any colour motor car, as long as it was black, in a factory where “mass production” was the need. This turned manufacturing around, producing in quantities and resulting in lower cost, stimulating economic growth. The third revolution (IR3.0) saw humans going to the moon, aka, the birth of computers. The disruptive technologies driving the fourth industrial (IR4.0) revolution would include things like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Block chain and Building Information Model (BIM).

You may say: “Great Jannie, so what?”

Well sitting back, doing some reflection on what is happening on my desk from day to day, I realised that every so often I sit down still re-writing (pre-IR1.0) systems that could need some innovation. I tend to miss opportunities coming my way that could make life happen in “Mass Production”. There are so many technologies out there, functioning in other industries what with a little bit of ingenuity could end up solving tedious procedures and data acquisitions. Then, by employing other technologies, this metadata could lead to making better decisions faster. Why is it that when you are thinking of something and open Google to read up on it, Google search finishes your sentence? With data, predictions are made and with more data, better predictions can be made (Stats 101).

The challenge however remains in recognising the trends and acting on it. Applying technologies in a surface operation are “easier” than the intimidating underground environment, but yet again, every horse has its course. Do not try to fit a square peg in a round hole!

Go ahead, sit back and do the same. What can be done differently today that will have a major impact on the way your department is running. And with that I do not suggest resigning!


Till next time… Be better today than yesterday