The fourth industrial revolution has already begun | Daily News


The fourth industrial revolution has already begun

Dr Himendra Balalle, Head Consultancy, National Institute of Business Management
Dr Himendra Balalle, Head Consultancy, National Institute of Business Management

The first industrial revolution started in 1760. This revolution makes a milestone in history as it marked the era of mechanization. In this period, people tried to understand how to use the deferent energy sources. The steam engine and looming the machine are the valuable inventions in this period.

The world is changing every day. We are at the beginning of the revolution which is fundamental changes of our day to day life. With the advancement of technologies, everything is shape out and complicated than before; this transformation may be difficult to understand, affordable to the human being.

The technology breakthroughs, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing, etc. indicate the new revolution has begun. It is the 4th industrial revolution (4IR).

How the industrial revolutions changed our world

The first industrial revolution started in 1760. This revolution makes a milestone in history as it marked the era of mechanization. In this period, people tried to understand how to use the deferent energy sources. The steam engine and looming the machine are the valuable inventions in this period.

The period during the first industrial revolution, we can see the rise of industries mechanized by steam energy and water, development of textile industry, evolving stages of metallurgy, and metal works. The second industrial revolution was utilizing the oil, gas, and electricity. Furthermore, most valuable innovations happened during this era in the field of communication, transport, and manufacturing. The invention of the telegraph by Samuel Morse in the 1800s made the foundation of today’s communication.

Antonio Meucci, an Italian immigrant, began developing the design of a talking telegraph in 1849. However, many people believe today; Alexander Graham Bell was the one who invented the telephone. In 1802, Humphry Davy invented the first electric light. Again, Edison wasn’t the person behind the first light bulb.

The Internet and renewable energies are beginning to merge to create a new infrastructure for a third industrial revolution. It will change the way communication and power distribution in the world. The internet has reduced the marketing communication cost significantly, in the same way, the automation also reduces the labour cost and improved the production efficiency.

This is what the fourth industrial revolution looks like

An autonomous car is a vehicle that can guide itself without a driver. This kind of vehicle has become a reality and may pave the way for future systems where computers take over the art of driving. As technologies such as sensors and artificial intelligence in progress, the capabilities have shown for autonomous machines to improve at a rapid pace. Even today, the drones and submersibles are used in military applications.

One gram of thorium yields the energy of 28,000 liters of petrol and 8 grams are enough to drive a car in a lifetime. It is emission-free and environment-friendly. There are positive as well as negative arguments about this concept. However, it is much safer than uranium.

3D printing, also called additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Most people think that 3D printing is a simple desktop document printing, but that’s not the entire picture. 3D printing can be divided into metal, fabrics, bio and a whole host of other industries. The technology is being used in a broad range of applications, from giant wind turbines to small medical implants. The worldwide 3D printing industry is expected to grow from $3.07billon in revenue in 2013 to $12.8 billion by 2018, and exceed $21 million global income by 2020. 3D printing technology is expected to transform almost every significant industry and change the future of the people.

The strength and leadership of the manufacturing sector have given a significant contributor in both economic growth and economic recessions of a country. To increase the productivity of manufacturing sector and increase the economic growth, advanced robotics and artificial automation will pay the critical role. With advanced sensors, robots can understand and respond better to their environment and engage in an extended task even in household use.

Like many innovations, we have seen in first, second and third industrial revelations, in the fourth industrial revolution, it is guaranteed where the developments in new materials will lead. New materials can change the world. As we have seen the Bronze Age and the Iron Age as well as stainless steel, and silicon made products. The new class of materials, consisting of a different atomic structure, are emerging and offering numerous benefits than ever before. For instance, the advanced nanomaterials such as graphene, which is about 200-times stronger than steel, a million times thinner than a human hair, and an efficient conductor of heat and electricity. It could merely disrupt the manufacturing and infrastructure industries in the world.

Another critical aspect of the fourth industrial revolution is the internet of things (IoT), In its purest form, it can be described as a relationship between things such as products, services, places, etc. and its connectivity with the people, it possible to connect through the internet and various platforms. There are billions of smart devices around the word that are connected to the internet. This will alter the way in which customer ordering goods and services, manage supply chains by enabling us to monitor it online. It will change the entire industries from top to bottom.

The remote monitoring is an extensive application of the IoT. Any shipment can now be equipped with a sensor, transmitter or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows a company to track where it is as it moves through the supply chain.

The impact

The fourth industrial revolution makes a tremendous impact on the world economy. It will increase the overall production and support the economic growth of the country. Automation and remote sensing are significant in the fourth industrial revolution, and human labour will not be the critical factor in the production process. Therefore, most of the investors will consider energy cost before taking the investment decision than the labour cost. Indeed, some countries developed their economy by supplying labour as the primary commodity, as a result of 4IR, they will end up with high unemployment.

Many Business Consultants expects that the Fourth Industrial Revolution change the role that companies play in society. When companies begin to adapt their business models to leverage with emerging technology, we can expect the paradigm shift of the company and overall operation. The top management of the company attempt to navigate the business in correct path to meet the business objectives in a new landscape.

Since companies entered the period of Fourth Industrial Revolution, their responsibilities are to empower and educate their employees to keep up with the pace of change. As the pace of technological change quickens, we need to be sure that employees are keeping up with the right skills to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution. That applies to both technical and soft skills. There will be changes in both areas.

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