Industry 4.0 is a project in the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerization of the manufacturing industry. The goal is the intelligent factory (Smart Factory), which is characterized by adaptability, resource efficiency and ergonomics as well as the integration of customers and business partners in business and value processes. Technological basis are cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things.
Meanwhile, in the United States, an initiative known as the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition is also working on the future of manufacturing. Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) is a non-profit organization of manufacturing practitioners, suppliers, and technology companies; manufacturing consortia; universities; government agencies and laboratories. The aim of this coalition is to enable stakeholders in the manufacturing industry to form collaborative R & D, implementation and advocacy groups for development of the approaches, standards, platforms and shared infrastructure that facilitate the broad adoption of manufacturing intelligence.
Similarly, GE has been working on an initiative called ‘The Industrial Internet’. The Industrial Internet aims to bring together the advances of two transformative revolutions: the myriad machines, facilities, fleets and networks that arose from the Industrial Revolution, and the more recent powerful advances in computing, information and communication systems brought to the fore by the Internet Revolution. According to GE, together these developments bring together three elements, which embody the essence of the Industrial Internet:
INTELLIGENT MACHINES, ADVANCED ANALYTICS and PEOPLE AT WORK.