Humanity’s technological advance was very slow and gradual during the first thousands years of its existence; The first major breakthrough after the domination of the fire happened in the Middle East during the VII millennium BC., in the Stone Age, when the neolithic revolution was carried out (the passage from a nomadic to sedentary life); In the VI millennium BC. began the Age of Metals, first with bronze and copper and ending in the twelfth century BC. with iron.
It took three thousand more years to accumulate enough knowledge to give way to the mechanization of the manufacture of objects.
Towards 1784 began the mechanization of the industry beginning with mechanical looms powered by steam or water (Industry 1.0); In 1870 was introduced the use of electric power, online production and mass production (Industry 2.0). In 1969 began the use of electronics, computer technology and PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) in the factories (Industry 3.0). Today, Internet and Intranet allow factories’ machines and robots to communicate with each other and with any area of the company, and with suppliers and customers, so that customer’s order and it’s delivery can be automated, knowing in real time the status of any step of the process and if there is or may be some failure to correct or avoid it (Industry 4.0).
How works a «factory 4.0»
Connects the administration with the production (interconnecting the machines with each other and with the computers of the administration). Computerizes the design of the product and its production process, as well as the process of selection and purchase by the customer and the delivery of the finished product. Assingns a Barcode label or RFID tag to each process, piece or product so that it can be located at any time, stage and place of the productive process. Robotizes the movement of materials, parts and intermediate products within the production plant. When the customer is a store it is connected with the point of sale to know in real time the rhythm of sale of the product to program its future production.
A factory 4.0 optimizes the use of each machine and production process, as well as the consumption of materials and energy, obtaining a reduction of time and costs in the manufacture, while also facilitating the interaction with the customer, enabling a greater satisfaction with the final product.
Unlike the first technological advances of humanity that took place in a specific geographic area of the planet, Middle East, the industrial revolution 4.0 is being carried out in the five continents, since the globalization and the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) allow the simultaneous and complementary development and implementation of this phase of the development of humanity.