Factories of the 21st Century

A while back, I started thinking about how factories are likely to change in the 21st century. It is a big, big topic because the number and diversity of factories around the world as well as the accelerating rate of technological change. Clearly changes were on the way, but what sort of changes?

This article from FC gives an interesting picture. This quote caught my eye

… only 40-50% of equipment in factories will have to be replaced over the next decade, as large multinationals work toward an ideal techie industrial revolution called Industry 4.0. (Heavily promoted by the German government, Industry 4.0 is a buzzterm that refers to the integration of sensors into factories. Industry 3.0 was automated manufacturing, Industry 2.0 was the rise of electricity, and Industry 1.0 was the adoption of steam power).

Industry 4? There is something not quite right here. And I think it is the idea that “large multinationals” will lead the way to change. Surely large multinationals want to lead the way. But will they? There are reasons to think not.

I will be following up this trend in follow up posts. Stay tuned!


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