The spotlight has been firmly fixed on The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 lately as we progress through the fourth industrial revolution. As our knowledge and technology increase and improves, it will affect everything in business, from manufacturing and logistics to product design and marketing.
The development of this trend is focused on automation and includes robotic applications. This will eventually lead to a situation where humans are left to handle only the highly skilled jobs of programming the system at large, while machines take care of the repetitive, often hard labour.
Artisinal Craftsmanship needs to catch up with Industrial advances – and this opportunity exists currently – there has been a collaboration between Artisans and Technology and this is referred to as Industry 5.0.
The current level of technological advancement has not yet removed the need for human senses and the reasoning skills of the brain behind them, and yet there is no way for humans to work with the precision of a robot. Robots also do not get tired. In order to leverage our strengths against our weaknesses, we have found ways to use co-working robots in new environments beyond the manufacturing workspace. Much like the skilled workers of the first industrial revolution, today’s factory workers are seeing tasks once managed by humans given to robots. There is concern among factory workers that the workforce is being replaced by machines, and the tension is palpable.
Companies are aware that traditional manufacturing processes need to be changed and replaced with new skills and requirements such as automation, programming, data and analytics, AI, system integration and software development. This will lead to companies having to develop new operating procedures, which will, in turn, require additional changes.
We are only at the beginning of this daunting yet exciting revolution. Companies will have to upskill and retrain employees, and these people will need to be identified. New talent will need to be attracted, and new ways of working will have to be developed. All this has to take place, while the factory floor remains productive throughout, as companies would need to keep growing.