In the last few years we’ve written a lot of articles on sensors, telematics, canbus, big data, and other hot-button technologies that are changing farming. Now, there’s a report that that puts them all in context.
According to the report called, “Industry 4.0: The Future of Productivity and Growth in Manufacturing Industries” by The Boston Consulting Group, they are all part of a digital transformation called Industry 4.0, or digital industrial technology. The authors say the transformation is powered by nine foundational technology advances.
If you haven’t heard of all of them yet, you will. So let’s count them down:
- Big data and analytics
- Autonomous robots
- Horizontal and vertical system integration
- The Industrial Internet of Things
- The Cloud
- Additive manufacturing, or 3D Printing
- Augmented reality
The report reads, “In this transformation, sensors, machines, workpieces, and IT systems will be connected along the value chain beyond a single enterprise. These connected systems (also referred to as cyberphysical systems) can interact with one another using standard Internet-based protocols and analyze data to predict failure, configure themselves, and adapt to changes.”
The authors use case studies from Germany, a leader in industrial automation, to show how this next wave can benefit everyone in the value chain.
The overall take home message?
“Industry 4.0 will make it possible to gather and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs. This in turn will increase manufacturing productivity, shift economics, foster industrial growth, and modify the profile of the workforce—ultimately changing the competitiveness of companies and regions.”
Farming is an industry that has embraced many of these technologies already, and we will continue to analyze each of them as we head into 2016.
In the meantime, Boston Consulting Group’s full report will give you a good bearing on where this digital revolution is taking us next.