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Industry 4.0 will have a major impact in Singapore and is getting noticed.

Posted over 1 year ago by Charlie Robinson

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FocusCore is also focusing on Industry 4.0 and its future recruitment needs.

You probably see new buzzwords and acronyms appearing nearly every day. New and creative terms referring to emerging products and services. In this blog we are focussing on Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is the term for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing*.  

Why 4.0 you may ask? If you look back at the industrial revolution there was the first level using developments in water or steam power to drive machines. Then level 2.0, with the emergence of mass production, which got the boost from electric power. More recently level 3.0 and we see robots assembling cars bringing together computers and automation, and now we have level 4.0 with the deployment of Cyber Physical Systems. These are mechanisms controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms, tightly integrated with the Internet and its users.

Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a "smart factory". Within modular structured smart factories cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes. They create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralised decisions.

Via the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time.  Via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organisational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain. This has also led to the term "The Industrial Internet of Things".

Whatever name you apply they all point to the major new technology wave we are now starting to see. This will provide new services, needs and opportunities.

Currently, companies sell their products and usually offer product support services, perhaps via a warranty plan, together with spare parts and field services. We have already seen remote diagnostics with predictive maintenance and a much fuller service offering. This has been rolled out in many sectors using existing communications technologies to link to products sold. For example, luxury super yachts have their engines monitored remotely and globally 24 x 7. This option is a key benefit amplified in the sales pitch to help secure the order. Now, with Industry 4.0 we have systems that can predict failures and trigger maintenance processes autonomously and even respond to unexpected changes during the product manufacture.

There are multiple significant innovations in digital technology that are going to change dramatically the many existing processes and offer many new solutions across numerous sectors.

New advances in robotics, harnessing artificial intelligence, are spreading widely across many areas. Put just some of the following elements together and you can easily grasp the magnitude of the changes arriving! These include; very refined sensors, improvements in cloud computing, the Internet of Things, better and simpler methods to secure data capture (giving better analytics), digital fabrication e.g. 3D printing,  plus then also software changes e.g. software-as-a-service (SaaS), mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), even self driving cars with advanced micro and macro navigation...one report we saw also mentioned and linked ride-sharing apps and automatic delivery systems....you can see where this is going!

The electronics sector is still predicted to be the leading area to benefit. Listed by their predicted level of future revenue growth, forecasts for 2022 show the other sectors will include; Aerospace and Defence, Industrial Manufacturing, Chemical sectors, Paper Production, Transportation, Construction and Auto Manufacture. It is interesting to note that as of today, Electronics leads, with Auto Manufacture second and Paper production third. So digitisation is spreading across many areas and will mean so much more and to more people and more industries.

Leaders in adopting digital solutions such as GE, Siemens and ABB are among companies sharing the spotlight. Siemens opened its Digital Factory Manufacturing Design Consultancy in Singapore in 2016. This is designed to help customers introduce automation, digital processes and augmented reality. (A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view). They also report that data from factories can now be monitored, they even simulate or identify bottlenecks and plan for automated solutions to be invoked.

There is no doubt that Industry 4.0 is much more than just a buzzword. It is an innovation that promises to change the way most products are manufactured in the future.

Industry 4.0 will have a major impact in Singapore where we have over 2000 manufacturing companies. This will doubtless focus minds and make sure that there is an integrated and comprehensive strategy in place. 

Every buzzword has had (or continues to have) its era. In 2009 we heard a lot about cloud computing then in 2010 big data analytics started coming into the picture. Now the trend is with Industry 4.0.  Technology of course continues to evolve and we now see a strong indicator as to this next big phase for recruitment.

This automating of manufacturing processing technologies is growing rapidly in importance.  FocusCore rests at the forefront in recruitment. We advise companies on where and how to find the best staff, including  for the emerging technologies, and also guide candidates on where and how to find the companies which are best suited to their skills and aspirations. 

As a recruiter we are also focussing on this next wave, Industry 4.0. If these developments are of interest to you as an employer or as a candidate, do not hesitate to contact us now so we can place your details on file in the strictest confidence.

*Cognitive computing can apply machine reasoning and machine learning algorithms. This means the systems can continually learn and better understand via incoming data. A continual refinement of the data is ongoing with also searches for patterns, with one aim being to anticipate future problems and offer solutions. It is one branch in the field of artificial intelligence. For example and in summary IBM, offers Watson Analytics that can "take in" and review huge volumes of data files, but also products in the IoT space, which can analyse voice communications and emails.