We are firmly inside Industry 4.0, where manufacturing has taken on the label of “smart” through the integration of the IoT, AI, cyber-physical systems, Cloud and cognitive computing. But Industry 5.0 is becoming more and more a reality, which will bring an increased human touch back to manufacturing.
Where Industry 4.0 put smart technology at the forefront of manufacturing, 5.0 will mean increased collaboration between humans and smart systems. It aims to combine the high-speed accuracy of industrial automation with the critical thinking skills of humans. Industry 5.0 is becoming necessary due to consumers high demand for individualization in the products they buy.
Industry 4.0 already gives you many personalisation opportunities, but Industry 5.0 brings it to the next level. More and more manufacturers are also increasing the human component for increased efficiency on the production line. Industry 5.0 will enhance both machine and human roles in the manufacturing industry, leaving the monotonous, repetitive tasks to the robots and further opening up the creative side to humans.
This will allow staff to take on more responsibility and increased supervision of systems to elevate the quality of production across the board. Industry 5.0 will perhaps reduce the inherent fear most production workers have concerning being replaced by automation. It’s not just about increased productivity. Industry 4.0 has brought long-term, high-value careers as jobs changed with its introduction in factories. We also saw great increases in safety, quality, and waste reduction.
The same will happen with industry 5.0. The operative within the manufacturing cell becomes more involved in the design process than in the manufacturing process, which is automated. Industry 5.0 allows us to push the boundaries of physics on design, which now is constrained by today’s manufacturing capabilities, by the amount of data and the ability to feed that data back into the design process. While you’re taking humans out of the manufacturing route, they’ll be more involved in how the product is being used and how it can be designed because they have more information.
The COVID pandemic has fostered the growth of industry 5.0
As the pandemic persists, companies of all sizes have responded with speed and agility to maintain operations. People have discovered new ways to coordinate, collaborate and communicate with colleagues, customers, and partners. Covid-19’s travel bans have helped ignite innovation.
People around the world have found new ways to engage, connect and complete their work. Global collaboration in 2020 has made a big leap forward: digital tools and immersive experiences, using augmented and virtual reality, as well as at-a-distance collaboration tools, are gaining rapid adoption, accelerating us towards Industry 5.0.
The convergence of human cognition and artificial intelligence will produce many new use cases in the future. Imagine what could be possible when people and collaborative robots, virtual assistants, digital twins and avatars work side-by-side or enjoy truly immersive experiences in ways not fully imagined before Covid-19.
But the biggest accelerant in this evolution is how people have stepped up to fix problems, learn new technologies and maintain business operations, because they couldn’t count on fly-in teams to troubleshoot new technology deployment or resolve broken manufacturing processes. This has changed the dialogue from “How do I fix this?” to “I have some ideas on how to make this process work better.”
The ability to take greater ownership and apply more innovative thinking will serve us all well during Industry 5.0, especially in balancing automation with increased demands for personalization and customization.
With 2020 forcing companies to move to work-from-home systems, we have also realised the limitations of large office buildings. Soon, corporate America may no longer be defined by physical offices and gleaming headquarters. Several industry leaders including Google, Uber, Twitter, Reuters, Facebook, and others, have already announced extensions of their work-from-home policies.