Category: industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 in the food sector

Technology evolves at a rapid pace and organizations must adapt to changes as soon as possible in order to generate sources of competitive advantage. The digitalization of the industry is a revolution that will change (and in fact is already changing) the paradigm of industrial manufacturing, and those organizations that will manage to catch the wave of Industry 4.0 will achieve success in their respective sectors. However, this transformation is not only affecting the secondary or industrial sector, but is also affecting processes in sectors traditionally considered less innovative, such as the primary sector.

In some farms, for example, GPS sensors have been placed to measure the position of the cows allowing also to count the number of steps and their movements. This can be useful to allocate livestock in real time, in case of the farm where the cows are in the open-air field. However, some organizations have gone further and have begun to exploit the data provided by these sensors.

Cow insemination treatments have an important cost for a farmer. They should be done when the cow is in its fertile cycle which comprises a small time slot of about 16 hours every 21 days. To make the things more difficult, each cow has a different cycle, so it can be difficult for a farmer to guess when is the best time to inseminate each cow.

Fujitsu began to collect the data of the movements that make thousands of cows every day and started to process it to see if something could be found. The data volume was very high and could not be processed quickly by a normal computer. Therefore, a set of servers located in what is called the ‘cloud’ with a much higher calculation capacity was used. With this technology Fujitsu developed the program called Gyuho SaaS and discovered a pattern that showed that cows moved much more precisely in their fertile cycle. Thanks to this, it can be predicted more quickly and accurately when a cow is in the fertile period and therefore they can be inseminated with more chances for success, allowing to achieve a success rate from 44% to 90% in insemination treatments.

But that is not all. Apparently, it was discovered that the probability of producing male or female is different depending on whether insemination is done at the beginning or end of the fertile cycle, so the use of this software also helps to increase the probability of getting offspring with the desired gender. In addition, this software also allows monitoring the health status of the livestock or estimating the production that a farm is going to have.

This is only one example of the potential of the big data analysis. This can also be applied to people and not only to cows. Companies have a lot of our data: phone calls, credit card expenses, electricity and water consumption, allocation through mobile phone, etc. With all these data that can be crossed among themselves, we can find that companies know more about us than ourselves.


What is in reality Industry 4.0?

The essence of every industrial revolution is to increase productivity. Three previous industrial revolutions were triggered by technical innovations: utilization of water- and steam-powered mechanical manufacturing which took place at the end of the 18th century and allowed organizations to gain higher productivity, introduction of mass-production techniques by using electrical energy at the beginning of the 20th century and the shift from analogue to digital technology in the 1970s. Now, though, we are in the middle of the fourth wave of the technological advancements. The fourth industrial revolution is going to have more extensive impact triggered by Internet and allowing communication between humans and machines in Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPS) throughout large networks. Industry 4.0 will make it possible to collect and analyze different data across machines, allowing faster, more efficient and more flexible processes to manufacture goods of higher quality at reduced cost.

The term “Industry 4.0” describes the expected digitalization of industrial value chains with the idea of using emergent technologies to implement internet of things (IoT) and services in order different engineering and business processes being integrated allow production to operate in an efficient and flexible way with low costs and high quality.

The main aspects addressed by Industry 4.0 are the following:

  1. The IT-enabled mass customization of manufacturing products, meaning that production should be adapted to the needs of the individuals.
  2. Production chain’s adaptation in a flexible and automatic way to the requirements of the rapidly changing environment.
  3. Tracking and self-awareness of different parts and products and their mutual communication with other products and machines.
  4. Advanced human machine interaction paradigms, which includes new radical ways to interact and operate in the factories.
  5. Production optimization thanks to Internet of Things enabled communication in the Smart Factories.
  6. Appearance of completely new business models which will contribute to the radically new ways of interaction in the value chain.

Technological advancements on which Industry 4.0 relies, can be summarized into nine following concepts: autonomous robots, the cloud, industrial Internet of Things, big data, cybersecurity, simulation, additive manufacturing, horizontal and vertical system integration and the augmented reality.

Autonomous robots

Even though manufacturers have been using robots for complex assignments for a long time, robots and their capabilities are evolving dramatically. They become more flexible and autonomous and eventually will interact with one another and work side by side with humans.

The cloud

Within Industry 4.0 more organizations will start using cloud-based software allowing them to store and share data across organizational boundaries.


Industrial Internet of Things

The Internet of Things comprises of enriching different devices with embedded computing and connecting them using standard technologies. This allows different devices to communicate and interact both with one another and with more centralized controllers.

Big da

In the environment dominated by Internet of things and Internet of services, new technologies will generate a huge amount of data. The internet of data will allow mass data transfer and storage as well as provide new and innovative analysis methods for mass data interpretation in the context of target application.


CPS equipped with internet technology require reliable concepts and technologies to make sure that safety, privacy, security and knowledge protection are taking place. Therefore, reliable and secure communications together with sophisticated identity and access management of machines and users are crucial.


Even though 3-D simulations are being used in the engineering phases nowadays, such simulations will also become widely used in plant operations in the future. They will use real-time data to mirror physical world in a virtual model, including products, machines and humans. As a consequence, the quality of products will increase dramatically.

itive manufacturing

With the arrival of Industry 4.0 additive-manufacturing methods (e.g., 3-D printing) will become widely used to produce small batches of customized products offering different construction advantages, among those lightweight and complex designs. Such systems will also decrease stock on hand and transport distances.

izontal and vertical system integration

The horizontal integration means cross-organizational and organizational-internal intelligent cross-linking and digitalization along the value chain of the life-cycle of the product and among value chains of adjoining life-cycles of the products. Vertical integration is seen as the intelligent cross-linking and digitalization of different hierarchical levels of the value creation module.

ented reality

The organizations of the future will widely use augmented reality to provide employees with real-time information allowing better decision-making and improvement of work procedures.

In summary, Industry 4.0 tries to deal with personalized needs and global challenges in order to achieve competitive strength in the globalized markets. It has also a huge world-wide impact mostly concentrated in 4 areas: revenue growth, productivity, investment and employment. In general, Industry 4.0 is thought to have a great impact which is not limited to the industry itself but to the way the humanity works and rests.

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