Industry 5.0: towards a human-robot symbiosis

Diota Industry 5.0 blog article

We are already familiar with Industry 4.0. But have you heard of Industry 5.0? Indeed, although the fourth revolution has barely arrived, the next version is already on our doorstep.

Behind this 5th industrial revolution is an extension of the 4.0 era but with fresh specificities. To better grasp the scope of this next step and what it implies, we must first understand how this initiative is characterized.

Let’s see what is changing between these two revolutions and what it means for your factory.

Definition of the industry 5.0

Let’s be honnest, the distinction between the fourth and the fifth industrial revolution is thin and can lead to confusion. This can be explained by the fact that these two approaches are simply co-dependent on each other.

The European Commission defines the main objectives of Industry 5.0 through 3 key areas: resilience, sustainability and people. It also adds that Industry 5.0 offers a vision of industry that goes beyond efficiency and productivity as the only objectives, and strengthens the role and contribution of industry to society. Tomorrow’s industry is based on these three pillars and seeks to go beyond operational excellence to include real societal and environmental issues. To be well prepared for what it implies and to think about the actions you could take in this regard, here is what you need to know.

Fifth industrial revolution: what you need to know

A fifth industrial revolution focused on human/machine collaboration

Where Industry 4.0 is about interconnecting factories with their systems, the field, the design office, work processes and machines, Industry 5.0 looks beyond productivity and focuses primarily on people.

This new era involves cooperation between workers and robots or other machines in every industrial process from production to maintenance. Field personnel work alongside collaborative robots that can fulfill their mission by working together. These solutions will allow operators to work better and faster thanks to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, internet of things (IoT), robotics, augmented reality or big data. Thus, these new technologies and human capacity will become one to build a more autonomous, effective and efficient operator of the future.

By embracing this new age, new perspectives are opening up in the manufacturing sector, while we are only at the dawn of Industry 4.0.

Industry 5.0 human-robot co-working illustration

An industry that deals with environmental issues

One of the three priorities to which Industry 5.0 contributes is to take into account the environmental issues related to sustainable development, a real topic of our time. The European Commission believes that a transformed industry will bring a lot of value and will have a positive impact on society, which is why Industry 5.0 focuses on actions that aim to ensure sustainability and stimulate awareness through a European industry that takes the lead.

Here, the limits of environmental awareness in the industrial sector are being pushed even further by focusing on:

• Prevention and recycling of waste

• Use of renewable energy

• Energy-efficient data storage, transmission and analysis

• Smart, energy-autonomous sensors

It will simply bring technologies with more ethical uses that are in line with the focus on human needs.

Looking ahead to the challenges of Industry 5.0

While Industry 5.0 offers many advantages, it also brings its own challenges. Therefore, we must know how to deal with them and respond to them in order to build this future.

Indeed, although it is supposed to be a complement to the previous one, this new industrial revolution implies new challenges. As stated above, humans will have to collaborate with digital solutions such as robots, machines etc. And where human centric is one of the assets of 5.0, it is also one of its challenges since it is not so simple to apply this kind of half-digital, half-human transformation.

It requires the development of new skills and implies the creation of new jobs to manage these new technologies. But it also requires putting the field technicians at the center of these changes, supporting them and helping them to improve their skills to make them more autonomous and efficient. So you’ll need to be patient and resilient. After all, this is nothing new, as implementing new technologies in your factory has always taken time.

To conclude …

In other words, there is still a long way to go before we can pass the 5th industrial revolution and face up to the challenges it brings. To prepare effectively, it will inevitably be necessary to anticipate and prepare your actions according to the objectives and needs expected in your business without neglecting the components of Industry 4.0 since one cannot go without the other. Moreover, it is difficult to orient yourself towards the new trends of 5.0 if those of the previous generation have not yet been achieved.

The arrival of 5.0 does not mean that 4.0 is becoming ancient history, because it is still vital if we want to take the turn of this new stage in industrial history. In fact, Industry 5.0 is more an extension of Industry 4.0 that is not focused on technologies but rather on value, and these two terms are so complementary that we should perhaps call it “Industry 4.5” rather than the fifth industrial revolution.

Fortunately, there are no priorities to switching to Industry 5.0, so you can start when you are ready. Nevertheless, you can always ask for information on the subject or have one of our experts accompany you.

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