Industry 4.0 – the 4th Industrial Revolution or the Intelligent Plant

While in the private sector the introduction of Web 2.0 led to a global connectivity among individuals and the integration of the real and virtual world, we experience a similar movement in the industrial sector, known as Industry 4.0.


Initially the term evolved in 2011, the label 4.0 should indicate the link to the previous three revolutions. The 1st Industrial Revolution arose in 1712 in Great Britain, when the transition from agriculture to an industrial society due to mechanization based on water and steam took place. Followed by the 2nd Industrial Revolution in 1870, starting from the United States, where the capability of mass production with the help of the first assembly line and electrical power evolved. The Digital Revolution followed in 1969, when electricity and information technology were used for further automatization of production.

Coherent, the real and virtual worlds are also growing closer together in the industry sector.

The center of attention is the intelligent plant, a plant that stands out from all existing plants. Single components are information carriers that communicate with humans as well as machines. Human, machine and components spontaneously connect so data can be saved in dynamic information networks. A comprehensive data exchange among Apps, integrated services and algorithms takes place.

Summarized, Industry 4.0 brings the following benefits:

  • Manufacturing of tailor-made products instead of mass production

  • Targeted planning of processes

  • Low unit price

  • Lower energy cost

  • Conservation of resources and

  • Increase in efficiency and security

For German companies, especially for those in the engineering and manufacturing technology sector, Industry 4.0 brings new opportunities, because already established know how can be further advanced on a global scale.

ER GBS understands the analog and digital world alike and brings both together, evolving new business models and services.