What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth Industrial Revolution through the use of cyber-physical systems. It consists of using the digital technologies to make manufacturing more agile, flexible and responsive to customers. Industry 4.0 digitizes and integrates processes vertically across the entire organization, from product development and purchasing, through manufacturing, logistics and service.

All data about operations processes, process efficiency and quality management, as well as operations planning are available real-time, supported by augmented reality and optimized in an integrated network [1].

Features of Industry 4.0 are horizontal, vertical and digital integration of the entire system [2]. Key areas are:

  • The standardization: Companies will easily connect to each other;
  • The management of complex systems: it is necessary to develop and apply new models and methods;
  • A comprehensive infrastructure (high-quality information network, Internet connection), security and privacy in data protection;
  • The work organization and design: the roles of the employees are changed, they are more involved, progress is better and there is life-long learning;
  • A legal framework: harmonization of legal frameworks;
  • The effective use of resources in terms of potential savings of raw materials and energy.

It is important that managers from companies understand the industry 4.0 and how it looks in reality.

Industry 4.0

Origin of Industry 4.0 concept

Industry 4.0 is a strategic initiative of the German government that traditionally heavily supports development of the industrial sector. In this sense, Industry 4.0 can be seen also as an action towards sustaining Germany’s position as one of the most influential countries in machinery and automotive manufacturing.

The basic concept was first presented at the Hannover fair in the year 2011. Since its introduction, Industry 4.0 is in Germany a common discussion topic in research, academic and industry communities at many different occasions [3].

What is Pharma 4.0?

Pharma 4.0 consists of a digitalization of Pharmaceutical Industry. Pharma 4.0 will connect everything, create new levels of transparency and speed for a digitalized plant floor. This will enable faster decision-making, and provide in-line and in-time control over business, operations, and quality. It will also require higher levels of security, since connected systems heighten vulnerability [4].

What is Quality 4.0?

Quality 4.0 is the application of the Industry 4.0 technologies to quality. It is not really a story about technology. It's about how that technology improves culture, collaboration, competency, and leadership. Quality 4.0 includes the digitalization of quality management. More importantly it is the impact of that digitalization on quality technology, processes and people [5].

So it’s about the digital transformation of quality management systems and compliance. During the past decades, Quality is applied in 3 distinct ways:

  • Inspection
  • Design
  • Empowerment

In Quality 4.0, quality depends on:

  • Discover and aggregate Data Sources
  • Discover Roots Causes
  • Discover Insights About Products, Services and Organization

Important note: Quality 4.0 doesn’t replace traditional quality methods, but rather builds and improves upon them. Manufacturers should put in place a framework and interpret their current state and identify what changes are needed to move to the future state.