Why You Can’t Ignore (Even If You Try) Industry 4.0...
...(Or Why They’re Calling the Upcoming K Show “K 4.0”)
...(Or Why They’re Calling the Upcoming K Show “K 4.0”).
As I wrote last month (see July 21 blog), exhibitors this October’s K 2016 show in Dusseldorf, Germany, will be constantly reminding visitors that “Industry 4.0 is coming” or even that it is here already. The term Industry 4.0 refers to what some call the “fourth industrial revolution” or, more specifically, the interconnected, internet-enabled Smart Factory. (See our Sept. ’15 feature for more explanation.)
It’s not just a matter of machine builders jumping on the latest bandwagon or echoing the buzzword of the day. This quote from Arburg of Germany (U.S. office in Rocky Hill, Conn.) sheds light on what’s going on: “Innovative machine manufacturers like Arburg are rebranding themselves as suppliers of flexible production systems for IT-networked production in the ‘smart factory.’”
If you find yourself walking the aisles of this mammoth show, or even if you only read about it, don’t get confused by the welter of different labels that individual machine suppliers give this new industry direction: Plastics 4.0, Injection 4.0, Wittmann 4.0, Electrified 4.0, Extrusion 4.0, Recycling 4.0, and even Packaging 4.0. They’re all just trying to bring this soaring concept down from 40,000 ft closer to shop-floor level.