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Electronics Manufacturing Evolves to Imagine Industry 4.0

The electronics manufacturing world is evolving. Recent years have seen significant changes thanks to the adoption of innovative technologies, which are encouraging manufacturers to re-imagine how products are designed and produced in the smart factories of tomorrow.

Since the 18th  century, we have moved through various revolutions – shifting from farming to industrial production to the IT revolution, which enabled automated production through the advent of electronics and technology. Now, as digitisation takes hold, we face the dawn of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. But how will this impact electronics manufacturing?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

During the 18th  and 19th  centuries, rural societies across Europe and North America became more industrial and urbanised in what was known as the First Industrial Revolution. This was then followed by the Second Industrial Revolution between 1870 and 1914 – a period of growth for pre-existing industries and expansion for new ones such as steel, oil and electricity – which saw electric power used to create mass production. Major technological advances during this period included the telephone, light bulb, phonograph and the internal combustion engine.

Starting in the 1980s, the Third Industrial Revolution has seen advancements including the personal computer and the internet, as well as information and communications technology. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) builds on this, transforming technology to become further embedded within societies and even the human body. This new era is marked by emerging breakthroughs in a number of fields including robotics, AI, nanotech, renewable energy, quantum computing, 5G networks and IoT, decentralised consensus, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles.

Not just a label

When computers were introduced in Industry 3.0, they were disruptive thanks to the addition of entirely new technology. But Industry 4.0 has been identified as an evolution rather than a revolution – it’s not just  another label or another technology.

The underlying basis for Industry 4.0 lies in advances in communication and connectivity rather than technology. These technologies have great potential to connect billions of people through the web, drastically improve the efficiency of businesses and to help regenerate the natural environment through better asset management.

This rise in digitization opens up new ways to respond effectively to customer needs and enables machines, computers and even data itself to have an active role in the manufacturing and production processes – reducing the need for human involvement and making the smart factory a reality.

Optimization & automation in electronics manufacturing

The current trend of automation is still evolving, and we might not have a complete picture of what that means for electronics manufacturing until we look back 30 years from now. But in the coming years, the industry is likely to see widespread adoption of automated equipment and smart technologies on the factory floor.

These optimized technologies will help to automate recurring tasks, transform communications, and allow operations to be executed with minimal manual intervention. Resulting in enhanced productivity, better allocation of resources and faster process cycles with greater quality control.

For example, 3D automated optical inspection (AOI) machines could replace 2D systems and augmented reality could be used by production managers to monitor and report on a range of factory floor metrics. While smart materials and intelligent labelling could improve speed and agility by enabling manufacturers to track deliveries in real time and automatically notify operations of delays.

Embracing new ways of working

Industry 4.0 and digitization are set to cause even more disruption in the decades ahead, making it crucial for the current workforce to continuously adapt skill sets and embrace the changing landscape.

5 comments on “Electronics Manufacturing Evolves to Imagine Industry 4.0

  1. Jordanbelfort
    July 3, 2019

    Nice Post

  2. MarkSindone
    July 22, 2019

    It is time that we present to the market what the industry can truly achieve in view of how fast we are approaching the year 2020. It is already too late to dwell on existing technologies which seem to have fallen a little behind. Expectations have risen so mobile technologies need to stay on par, if not ahead of them all.

  3. EdwardThirlwall
    July 24, 2019

    For us who are the children of the age and who don't study history, it's hard for us to imagine that this is a revolution of any sorts. I mean surely we can see that we are migrating from one form of operation to another more sophisticated method, but still is seems like the move has been gradual and near subtle to anybody who isn't involved in making the change happen.

  4. MarkSindone
    July 31, 2019

    Industries need efforts in order to progress forward. Before achieving any specific plan, steps need to be taken to realize it. When we hear of any sector evolving, we know for sure that we can expect the plan in mind to become a reality real soon. End users need to know this fact in order to continue their support in the meantime.

  5. aolgoldinstall
    August 7, 2019

    agree

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