Over time industries have evolved and changed to serve improved societies and economies. However, industrialization trends mainly depended on current human needs. For instance, with the increased use of fossil fuels, we saw increased pollution. This led to new trends that enabled green industrial processes to thrive. As we approach Industry 5.0, where green and sustainable businesses take center stage, let’s examine Industry 1.0 – 4.0 and see how work and business have evolved.
Industry 1.0: Mechanization
Water, stream, and mechanization of production drove the first industrial revolution in the 18th of century. Water and steam fueled manufacturing processes and mechanical production facilities. Later, steamships and steam-powered locomotives brought about massive changes because humans and goods could move great distances in fewer hours.
This revolution primarily impacted the textile industry. However, entrepreneurs could create new businesses at a greater scale thanks to developments in production technology, especially the use of water and stream.
Industry 2.0: Electrification
The second industrial revolution began in the 19th century with the discovery of electricity and the assembly line, which increased efficiency compared to water and steam. During Industry 2.0, we added terms like just-in-time and lean manufacturing to our business language. We also saw the start of mass production and assembly line manufacturing.
This era allowed mass production and scale-up operations without paying upfront costs of resources such as steam and coal engines. Reduced costs plus mass production gave consumers access to products like automobiles which were once only available to the elite. On the other hand, entrepreneurship declined because of the costs related to running large-scale manufacturing businesses.
Industry 3.0: Automation
The third industrial revolution began in the 20th century via partial automation using memory-programmable controls and computers. Companies could automate an entire production process without human assistance. This is also when we start to see robots incorporated into the production process.
The invention of the Internet and cloud-computing software’s large-scale availability allowed people to create small businesses, websites, and applications without hardware ownership or administration. Unfortunately, many of these startups failed, but Industry 3.0 is when some of today’s biggest online companies, such as Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, and Apple began.
Industry 4.0: Digitalization
Currently, we are living in the fourth industrial revolution – digitization – where we see information and communication change. For instance, production systems that already have computer technology are expanded by a network connection and have a digital twin on the Internet, so to speak. Moreover, the networking of all systems leads to the creation of smart factories. Also, Industry 4.0 has brought us IoT, cloud computing, additive manufacturing, robotics, augmented reality, smart factories, data analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies to automate the processes further.
We have seen the birth of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning startups during this period. In addition, industry 4.0 makes startups powerful enough to compete with big companies via technological improvements.
Industry 5.0: Personalization
The next industrial revolution, Industry 5.0, will bring back personalization, and it will be a collaboration of humans and machines. It will employ and sync technological advancement with human thinking skills to provide a personalized experience.
We anticipate startups will concentrate on robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, wearables, additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, and energy storage. In addition, startups will contribute to Industry 5.0 by enabling automating the manufacturing process better and collecting real-time data. Lastly, Industry 5.0 startups will focus on and bring value to sustainability, clean energy, upcycled materials, decarbonization, and water management.