CHICAGO - The pandemic continues to impact every industry, presenting a variety of challenges and opportunities. The global economy grew, and the trade of goods rebounded. However, labor shortages persisted, spurring heightened interest in automation and driving lead times for robots to stretch to as long as six or even 12 months.
In this environment, most manufacturers’ concerns have revolved around figuring out how to improve the supply of raw materials and meet demand while also controlling both costs and quality. For many manufacturers, the solutions to these issues have emerged in the application of the technologies known collectively as Industry 4.0 (I4.0):
- 3D printing
- Advanced robotics
- Wearables, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR)
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
I4.0 manufacturing is characterized by increasing automation and the implementation of these technologies to improve decision-making and productivity. This report will outline the key developments in this technological revolution and discuss how manufacturers are using them to address their biggest challenges.
Developments in the key components of I4.0
To begin with, one should look at the essential elements of I4.0 that aim to highlight some the key developments across platforms and applications that have occurred since the previous report, and their implications for manufacturers.
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