Surely the key difference lies in the definition: manufacturing history has taught us that to describe a certain period as a true "industrial revolution" it must have as its common denominator the invention of extraordinary technologies that forever changed the way people worked.

Specifically, digitization 4.0 of production processes is based on 9 fundamental pillars, such as:

  1. Using additive manufacturing processes (for example, 3d printers)
  2. Implementation of augmented reality solutions
  3. Inclusion of autonomous robots in the machine fleet
  4. Big Data management and analysis
  5. Cloud connection
  6. Use of cybersecurity protocols
  7. Horizontal integration (or two-way communication between machines, IoT devices and programming processes) and vertical integration (use of data collected and analyzed also by organizational levels of the enterprise) of systems
  8. Inclusion of Internet of Things solutions
  9. Simulations and digital representations

Compared to 4.0, 5.0 is to be understood more as a social revolution in which the two components, digital and environmental, coexist in perfect balance, based on the 3 basic pillars, which are:

  • Human-centrism
  • Sustainability
  • Resilience

The second major diversity is that of the convergence of technologies: 4.0 has as its focus the interconnection of machinery and the total digitization of production processes; while as for that of 5.0 it points to the close cooperation between man and machine so that human experience can be combined with technological precision. The resulting change and improvement from this close cooperation is the greater empowerment of the individual worker with unique skills that can add value to the process, such as, for example, creativity, decision making, and complex problem solving.

The last substantial difference is that of the sustainability theme: 4.0 has as its primary goal the efficiency of production processes with a view to decreasing energy consumption through the use of innovative technologies; 5.0 emphasizes the theme of production sustainability and proposes that companies use renewable energy sources, design efficient systems to nimbly decrease energy consumption and CO2 emissions.


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