Recently passed but surely not forgotten year 2020 showed us how much we can and maybe should rely on advanced technologies. Not only in our homes, keeping a distance from friends, coworkers and relatives but also in various industries we are able to push further into the technological future. And what are the trends and predictions for Industry 4.0 in this, let’s hope a little less pandemic, year?
IoT – Internet of Things in recent years is a thrilling sensation and 2021 will be no exception in the further development of this solution. And technologies that will take advantage of this upcoming year will be in many ways connected with IoT.
First of all, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will become more and more popular in usage, making real-time data analysis, information transfer and finding optimal solutions easier and more efficient. IIoT is one of the many steps taken to make work in manufacturing more optimized, more accessible to new workers, and ultimately leading to fusion of the shop floor and the office floor. With sensors and adapters connected to apps, dashboards and controllers, gradually but dynamically the picture of manufacturing will be changing. As IoT is becoming more globally common in use it will move towards being open source. Eclipse IoT Commercial Adoption survey published in March 2020 shows that more than half of respondents are bearing in mind open source technology when they make deployment plans. Single-vendor manufacturing is becoming thing of the past making room for permissionless technologies that are more affordable and making development even faster.
And when IoT is the solution that the developing technologies have been betting on for some time now, Internet of Everything (IoE) is our future. In IoE we add processes and people to the connection of physical objects to extract all possible information and values that come out of it. People, processes, data, and things – all of them being online and everything taken into account when analyzing and finding the right solutions. This is the direction the world of technology will take.
Digital Twins and their increasingly common use of virtual replicas and simulations of processes, products and systems has been very well received on the market, gaining popularity in 2020, which is expected to grow steadily over the next 5 years. Even though it is a solution with a high entry threshold in long-distance it saves a lot of costs and allows you to be prepared for various scenarios. A departure from well-known 2D images in favor of 3D, also with the use of Digital Twins, is too anticipated for 2021. 3D is now something less expensive than ever compared to the quality of the image we receive. This will provide us with easier and more pleasant navigation around new technological solutions.
A good approach to customers, understanding their values and sharing their priorities can be the key to successful development in 2021. After the pandemic, everyone, including companies, focuses on the values that are important to them. In the coming year, we should focus on gaining customer trust by focusing on communication in the field of product strategy and forecasting, customer experience priorities and of course marketing content. This will be reflected in the increasing customization of solutions that will appear on the market. Dedicated products tailored to the company in compatibility with not only their requirements but also their brand.
And as more things will be online because of IoT, IIoT, and eventually IoE, at the same time becoming more customizable, thus personal for companies and workers, in 2021 Industry 4.0 will start putting more and more emphasis on safety. Ensuring safety transmission and processing of sensitive industrial data and how we approach the dangers of possible cyberattacks will be among the most important factors on which we will be basing our business decisions.
2020 has changed the perception of remote work forever. Previously regarded as a privilege, it is now often a requirement and/or the norm. According to Forbes Predictions for 2021 more than one-third of European white-collar workers will remain remote full-time. The recruitment process has also become remote, and the employees that companies will be looking for in the upcoming year are technically trained people who can adapt to new, dynamically evolving technologies. Labor shortages also will be present in connection with the increasingly popular use of robotics, AI and automation solutions in manufacturing.
Environmental responsibility will also not be forgotten in 2021. Bio-materials will be used in the production of products and packaging. Sustainable development, which is an important part of the business for many, will push us to look for new, better solutions for the environment.
And finally – what is Industry 4.0 about?
I hope that the new year will bring us further technological development, will be better than the last one, and that we will use the full potential of Industry 4.0 and what can it offer us in 2021 and beyond. At A4BEE, we focus on new partnerships with Yaskawa and Advantech to bring more emerging innovation to our Clients. There are many challenges ahead of us, but also opportunities, surprises and new technologies that await their application.