Skip to main content
Arrow Electronics, Inc.
Group_of_Blue_LED_Lights_Closeup
Article

New Industrial Revolution - Blending the Analog and Digital

April 20, 2022

We are witnessing a technological revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, innovative technology, machine learning, and real-time data, thus blurring the lines between the physical and digital world. The term "Fourth Industrial Revolution" refers to this new phase in the technological revolution. When this term is applied to manufacturing technology, it is often referred to as Industry 4.0.

Each industrial revolution was marked by a new technology that improved the way industries worked. During the First Industrial Revolution, steam-powered motors replaced manual labour. During the Second Industrial Revolution, electricity, the telegraph, and railroad networks were widely adopted, allowing significant interconnection of people and communications. The Third Industrial Revolution shifted the balance from analog to digital and giving rise to IT and computer automation.

Graphiant is a Silicon Valley venture-funded stealth startup working on next generation networking technologies. In his predictions for 2022, Khalid Raza, Founder and CEO, has forecasted the industrialisation of the internet. This brings with it unprecedented speed, scope, and systems, changing the way we live, communicate and work with one another. We’ll explore his other two predictions over the coming months.

The main characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Industry 4.0 represents the convergence of manufacturing and industrial processes with digitally transformed enterprises, powered by information technology (IT). The promise is that established industrial enterprises can realise greater efficiency, identify new revenue streams and gain competitive advantage.

While enterprises spent much of 2018 and 2019 experimenting their way to uncovering the potential power of the edge as an execution venue, 2020 delivered a surprise in its own right: the global COVID-19 pandemic. It’s impossible to explore the evolution of industry without considering the aftermath and still-unfolding impact of the pandemic. And notably, it turned out to be more of an accelerant than an inhibitor to digital transformation, with one management consulting firm famously estimating enterprises accelerated their digitisation efforts during COVID by an astounding seven years – in a mere matter of months.

Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 efforts enable acceleration. Many enterprises kept their IoT projects moving during the pandemic, some accelerating them and others continuing on as previously planned. That steadfastness is driven by the need to serve customers in new ways, ensure employee safety, and adopt new modes of automation and autonomous operations.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution focuses on establishing intelligent products and production processes. Among others, it is characterised by:

  • The emergence of cyber-physical systems, a fusion of technologies that are blurring the lines between the physical and digital
  • Further automation than that brought by the Third Industrial Revolution
  • Advanced manufacturing and production, representing a shift from centralised industrial control systems towards one where AI and ML facilitate company operations
  • Personalisation/ customisation of products
  • Digital economy and blockchains
  • Deployment of AI across all aspects of life.

The goal of the new industrial revolution is to facilitate autonomous decision-making processes, monitor assets and processes in real-time. By enabling connected value creation networks and vertical and horizontal integration through the early involvement of stakeholders.

The expectations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The new industrial revolution continues what the Third Industrial Revolution started by adopting and extending advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).

Organisations are scoring early Industry 4.0 wins and applying lessons from their initial experiences with digitisation to quicken their pace to reach its full promise.

Corporate silos and roadblocks are eroding as organisations recognise that operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) groups must coordinate for effective digital transformation.

Challenges of the past year – the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic impact and the creative solutions required to maintain productivity – have compressed the time frame to realise Industry 4.0 benefits by months, if not years.

And more importantly, critical digital technologies have evolved and are coalescing – none more important than the Industry 4.0 Operational Edge, a real-world-tested, mission-critical, real-time analytics and execution environment necessary to fully meet industrial requirements.

The key elements of these technological advantages are significantly affecting all industries and economies, including:

  • Robotics and autonomous systems - With the help of AI, autonomous systems include self-healing capabilities, ensuring maximum production uptime, lower maintenance costs, and extended equipment life.
  • Mobility and cloud - Previously, only services in traditional data centres could be provided securely through private or public clouds.
  • The Internet of Things - IoT is the essential element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Smart sensors produce massive amounts of data. Data should be collected and analysed correctly for valuable insights. Whether we're talking about the self-healing of a piece of machinery or optimisation decisions in a production line, data processing can be enhanced with the aid of AI and ML.

Ever more powerful execution and analytics

With an IT/OT operational edge in place, businesses can take full advantage of executing more of their use cases closer to where their mission-critical data and systems already reside. That includes the execution of more – and more powerful – analytics at the edge.

Data at the edge can be used, often in conjunction with public cloud APIs and capabilities, to train and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models. AI and ML can help organisations more thoroughly understand what is happening within an operational environment to anticipate both performance degradation and outages as well as opportunities to optimise further. This application of AI/ML is particularly notable in that it requires powerful capabilities both in the cloud, for model training, and at the edge, for delivering inference capabilities.

HPE InfoSight

Most organisations are seeking to unlock agility and drive innovation at a faster pace. As infrastructure becomes increasingly complex, there is little room for interruptions and delays. This requires an end-to-end cloud operational experience that streamlines IT operations by detecting and preventing problems throughout the infrastructure stack and making decisions that optimise application performance and resource allocation.

HPE InfoSight delivers AI-powered autonomous operations that ensure business environments are always-on, always-fast, and always-agile. Every second, HPE InfoSight collects and analyses data from more than 100,000 systems worldwide, and uses that intelligence to make every system smarter and more self-sufficient. As a result, HPE InfoSight predicts and automatically resolves 86% of customer issues.

HPE InfoSight has a unique approach to data collection and analysis. The industry's most advanced AI for infrastructure, HPE Infosight has since analysed more than 1.250 trillion data points and saved enterprises more than 1.5 million hours of lost productivity since 2010.

It leverages telemetry data from connected infrastructure (IoT), thus understanding the ideal operating environment for every application and workload. Instead of fighting fires and dealing with last-minute escalations, advanced ML then drives its predictive analytics and recommendation engines. This way, any problematic behaviour is predicted by recognising the underlying patterns and configurations in each system.

HPE InfoSight offers organisations the opportunity to transform how they are managing their IT infrastructure. AI-driven mechanisms ensure that the infrastructure is highly available, running optimally while improving past capabilities and performance. 

Conclusion

In contrast to the previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving exponentially rather than linear. Emerging technology breakthroughs have already been deployed with various enterprises enabling supercomputing, ML, IoT, cloud, autonomous machinery, and robotics while integrating them across the supply chain and production environments.

Built upon a decade of data collection and refinement of its ML models, HPE InfoSight goes beyond traditional performance monitoring and allows organisations to quickly locate, diagnose, and even predict problems across apps and workloads with the power of AI. With HPE InfoSight, you can leverage autonomous infrastructure that self-analyses, self-troubleshoots, and self-triages.

The industry's most advanced AI for Infrastructure and leading AIOps platform is integrated into HPE storage systems, servers, and hyperconverged offerings. For your business to take advantage of HPE Infosight, we can help you refresh your business’s server or storage infrastructure with HPE.

With so many different applications running on various clouds and data centres, organisations need to focus on the "big picture" where infrastructure and IT are working as a whole. As your IT partner, we can help your business take its next steps into the 4th industrial revolution.

Contact us