What Does Industry 4.0 Mean For Modern-Age Workers?

by Duncan

All areas of the business industry are starting to focus on what is increasingly and more popularly becoming known as Industry 4.0, a revolutionary new term that refers to the way in which the industrial regions of business are heading, more rapidly than you may initially realise.

The term itself, Industry 4.0, was first coined in an Oxford study back in 2013 where it was proclaimed that 47% of all US employment jobs were coming under risk because computers were going to take their places. Jobs were going to be made obsolete, and this news has only continued as the years have gone by. At some points, it seems the news and media were announcing a job or career path every week that was going to become meaningless for human workers, especially those on the job trail.

However, for the workers of today’s and tomorrow’s world, this is only spelling doom and gloom. Lack of jobs, a skill set that is no longer necessary or required. People are going to lose their jobs; their careers, and they’ll be so many people who will be unable to pay their bills or find it easy to find their way into another career.
While there is some obvious bad news to this change in the technological tide, that doesn’t mean this is the be all and end all. Could there be some good to come from this inevitable change?

Humanity has had workforce revolutions in the past. The industrial era. The invention of the wheel, then trains, then containers and shipping, plans and so on and so forth. While there are going to many jobs that will be able to be completed using computers and mechanical technology, this doesn’t necessarily mean that human workers are going to lose their jobs.

“In fact, there are many companies, places and businesses in the world that are proactively going out of their way to make sure that the Industry 4.0 revolution still puts the humans being at the forefront of everything that they do”, - explains Elsie Sawyer, a Business strategist at Resumention and Huffingtonpost

Case Study: Bosch Rexroth, Homburg

The Bosch Rexroth production plant in Homburg is a factory that produces hydraulic valves of mobile industry markets around the world. However, this factory plant is one of the most innovative when it comes to Industry 4.0.

Back in 2013, the company had decided to implement Industry 4.0 (computer systems and machines that could carry out certain production tasks), but only on one production line. This line was then dedicated only to be used when the plant was struggling to keep up with orders and needed to produce units quickly or to make sure that order quantities and deadlines were always met.

This line was also activated with the company needed to make sure they were going to meet their quality, cost and production time limits, in case the rest of the factory had overrun during the month, quarter or year.

“The Bosch company was very proactive when it came to implementing the Industry 4.0 concept, making sure that everybody was open and connected to hear what was going on, to stay informed, and to make sure that everybody was happy with the changes that were being made”, - says Patricia Olivas, a Business Analyst at Bigassignments .

Industry 4.0 is already proving to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the fact that computers and machines are becoming installed in our work environments is a beautiful thing. These computers will be able to manage and control resources, as well as carrying tasks far more efficiently than a human worker, meaning companies will be able to manage their resources, their budgets and their sustainability much more accurately than ever before.

There is also a huge safety aspect that far more many people who were operating machines will be able to avoid industry accidents that can cause life-long damage. On the other hand, people are scared that their jobs and careers are in jeopardy, and it’s not sure what is going to happen next.

Margaret Dorrance, a Recruiting consultant at Assignment help says: “However, this doesn’t mean that everything is going to change dramatically. Actual change will happen in regard to how the businesses themselves choose to move forward. If a company decides to replace their workforce completely, bar several operators, with machines, this is where all the problems are going to arise”.

On the other hand, if a company is proactive in implementing Industry 4.0 technology but simultaneously managing the fact that human workers need to be present and that technology can be used to assist people, rather than replace them, then this may be a revolutionise that has positive changes for everyone.

While it’s still relatively unknown the actual effects that Industry 4.0 is going to have on the business world, it is clear that the change will be a result of the decisions that individual companies take, rather than the actual technology itself that’s available.

Author bio: Gloria Kopp is a business copywriter and an editor at Ukwritings writing service. She also works as a communication professional at Essayroo. Gloria writes educational guides and reviews at Studydemic blog.

Photo credit: The Manufacturer

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