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Industry 4.0 – What’s That About?
By John Donovan for Mouser Electronics
First we had inflection points; then paradigm shifts were all the rage. Now we are hearing about a new Industrial Revolution – Industry 4.0. According to its proponents it is a new method of production that is creating a fourth Industrial Revolution. Really? What’s that about?
To back up a bit – actually about 250 years – James Watt’s improvements to the Newcomen steam engine in the late 18th century kick started the First Industrial Revolution. Watt did not invent the steam engine, but his numerous innovations increased the productivity of the textile industry by three orders of magnitude. Mechanized factories had arrived.