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Effects Of 4.0 Operations Management

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Discuss how Industry 4.0 affects Operations Management.


Revolution of Industry

It was in practice since long that the manufacture of food, goods and cloth was introduced by hand. But in 19th century, changes were discovered in the manufacturing process and revolution took place.

Introduction of Industry 1.0 – Industry 4.0

In late 1800s, machines based on water and stem were used in order to help the workers. When the capabilities of the production raised up, business started growing from personal cottage owners to managers of the organization taking care of employees and managing customers as well.

In 20th century, the major source of power was electricity because it was easy to use instead of water which helped business to run machines under the industry revolution 2.0. Machines were portable having their own source of power. The efficiency and effectiveness in the manufacturing process increased which included productivity, labor divisions and mass production (Crandall, 2017). In the last few decades of 20th century i.e. Industry 3.0, electronic devices were introduced such as transistor, integrated circuit chips which made the automation in the machines and replaced the management operators. Several planning tools were established that helped many countries to reduce the cost of labor and formalize the supply chain management. Industry 4.0 is commonly used term which denotes developmental process that is involved while manufacturing any goods or services. This is also commonly known as fourth Industrial revolution. It was first introduced in the year 2011 named as “Industrie 4.0” where many representatives were involved. This industry revolution is taken in order to improve the competition in the manufacturing industry in Germany. The government of Germany has given rise to this strategy to be implemented in 2010 (Gandhi, 2015).


The key Characteristics of this revolution is mentioned below.

  • This revolution will basically aim at focusing on the designing principles and knowing the pros and cons of the approach. The initiative is taken by the government of Germany to enhance traditional industry by involving product engineering, internet services and cyber physical terms into it. Cyber physical system is defined as a tool which is used to add computer and mechanical technologies together known as mechatronics.
  • It also aims at focusing on the technologies which are used in production process such as web designing and artificial intelligence. Apart from Germany, this revolution is named as Industrial internet in other countries (Marr, 2016).

For an example, this revolution has taken initiatives to identify how Google Car actually works. Google Car is a driverless cars which was introduced in 2004 in Mars and is still in use.

Similarly, Mars Rover is also a device which is autonomous in nature and control centers usually manages it. Rovers cannot easily be piloted with the help of normal remote controlling system because it takes a lot of time to transfer a signal from Earth to Mars. These two innovations are working successfully in Mars (Martin, 2017).

Cyber Security System

The concept of cyber system generally uses artificial intelligence along with sensors that helps to drive the entire system. It aims at enhancing the productivity of the production chain and knowing its work flow. The objects involved in this system is majorly the part of the production process. This is also commonly named as “Smart Factory” which is made of the combination of logistics, manmade machines and interaction between machines and machines. It also aims at representing the 3D techniques in the industries which enhances the process. One of the major advantage of this system is that it reduces the chances of damages and unusual accidents that take place in the production department because it helps to detect the problems and risk involved in it on the right time. The concept of cyber system is similar to self-healing systems which is widely used in IT sector. The industry revolution is introduced to manage the production process on the Meta level and products on the instance level (Hudson, 2014).

For an example, the production process involves the creation of 3D replicator and the products for it are 3D replicators.

Internet of things

Internet of things is the second technology innate in the revolution. The significant logic involved is that all the devices can easily be interconnected with each other via internet. The interconnected devices can communicate with each other (Hinks, 2015).

Operation management

This revolution has aimed also aimed at providing the technical assistance to the industry in the operation management by making the complex decisions into simpler forms and reducing the unnecessary risks. Moreover, it has provided transparency in the production process with 3D effects and aiming at reducing accidents and mishappenings. The managers in the industry are able to take more decentralized decisions which help them to increase the productivity with more effectiveness and efficiency.

The revolution plays a major role in the industry process because it has provided help and support in the overall production of the products with multitude of reasons. Likewise, it has aimed at enabling sustainable prosperity, putting human efforts into the center of production and increasing challenges for the manufacturers.


The basic design principles followed by this revolution are Interoperability, Virtualization, Decentralization, Real time Capacity, Modularity and Service Orientation.

How operations management has been affected by the revolution

Nevertheless, there are lots of difficulties to be faced to achieve this revolution. The major problem involves security and the capability to manage the quantity of the data.

Security of the system is one of the significant factor that must be taken into highest priority. It has majorly two aspects involved i.e. the reliability of the embedded software and protection from hacking.

For an instance, one can imagine the main reason behind the failure of the driverless cars which is running at the speed of 130km/hr. The reason behind the attack is the lack of operation management. It becomes very difficult for the operation management to tackle huge number of bulky data. Using new technologies and several innovative cycle to control the large volume is hard. But the problem can easily be solved by the proper implementation of the revolution (Scalabre, 2018).

Other issues examined under this revolution include the standardization of protocols i.e. rules and regulations and interfaces. There are millions of protocols that must be considered and followed to perform all the operations. Minor mistakes may lead to serious accidents (IScoop, 2016).

Another basic problem for this industry revolution is the problem of employment. The question such as Will this revolution generate jobs? Obviously not because it will destroy the number of jobs in near future because technology create innovations and reduces the number of jobs (Lasi, Fettke, Kemper, Feld & Hoffmann, 2014).

As a result, the community has been affected a lot due to the issues and challenges involved in the revolution. There is no solution that has been emerged but it is very necessary to address those issues.


Robotic Advancement and AI

The Robotic advancement in the manufacturing industry plays a major role in the current trend. It aims at focusing on the robots who perform on the industry basis and they believe in automation. The use of Robots in industry is increasing at pace and has aimed at losses in jobs and employment. Artificial intelligence is also used widely which enables to perform the operation and activities of industry in simpler form. Today industry are involved in automation where they use industrial robots who minimize the manual work and also mimic the intension of actual workers. Robots in the industry are working faster and the work done are 100% reliable too (Lorencik & Sincak, 2013). They perform work beyond the expectation of the human such as microscopically precise assembly. Robots are programmed and they are instructed to do all the task as per the guidelines of the industry. Likewise, AI has also aimed at cutting the manual cost of the industry by developing AI algorithms and solving the complex decisions. They also help to showcase the sensory capabilities of the emerging trend and predicting the needs and demand of the market (Faggella, 2015).

With the use of Artificial Intelligence, the industry started working smarter and planning every activities in a wider aspect. The industry today are more developed and they can easily schedule the customer’s patterns and then produce the goods as per the demand. The use of AI has also helped industry to avoid the unnecessary production that leads to the losses and involved of costs (Robotics, 2018).

There have been drastic changes in the industry in last few years. The Increasing number of hybrid and electric cars has helped industry to use AI and robots in a wider aspect. Hybrid cars and electric cars are in trend in recent years. According to the research conducted in United States, it has been found that the sale for these cars has raised 45% in 2017 as compared to the demand in 2016. The trend of these cars will be followed because they aim at manufacturing cheaper batteries and more robust charging infrastructure which helps to cut the cost of electric cars. They basically aim at focusing on the power and drive train systems which include clutch, rear axle, propeller shaft yoke and propeller shaft. The taxes charged by government on these cars are comparable lower than those involved in diesel cars.

For example, Volvo is expected to emit 30% less CO2 and save the fuel of 5-10% by adopting a hybrid long haul truck. The company has also planned to update its drive train which will decide the best time to use diesel cars and electric cars.

Likewise, Tesla has built its image by selling 28000 of S model and Chevy has sold 25800 of its hybrid volts. However, Toyota’s Prius Prime is known as the third highest selling electric hybrid company in 2017.


Cloud on 3D Printing

3D Printing operating system is one of the world’s first operating system available for 3D printers. The manufacturer in the industry today uses this technique in order to manage the platform by fixing the necessary changes available in 3D designs to 3D printers by tracking data and analyzing it using analytical tools (Smith & Anderson, 2014). With the help of 3D printer, an industry can easily search and find out the 3D designs and upload them with 100$ security as well. It also helps to store the designs and also male new designs using several applications. Several applications are used while designing such as cloud slicer and magic fix. It also helps to keep a track of all the activities and conduct auditing of those activities to assure that they are performing well or not. Moreover, 3D printers can easily be connected with 3D printersOS within one click. It do not involve any specific complications which must be addressed properly (3D printersOS, 2018).

In terms of manufacturing industry, the implications of 3D printing is used in massive form. It helps to reduce the lead time that is invested in unnecessary computation. It also aims at reducing the cost such as material costs, labor cost and transportation cost (Davidson, 2015).

The supply chain management and logistics department has also been benefited by the revolution. The supply chain management has been shrunk because of the cost cutting and Research and Development cycle are also involved in collaboration that helps to design networks by interconnecting with each other.


The goods are personalized and manufactured according to the requirements and demands. They are produced on the basis of batch size of one which helps to fulfil the demand of the customers on the highest priority. It also helps to conduct business meeting in a more formal way. The demand of the customer for any specific products are made to exacting specifications (Wright, 2017).

Productivity and Quality

The production line in a manufacturing company has also played a significant role in today’s era. Maintaining the quality driving with the price is very difficult which is made easy with the help of AI and industrial robots. Today robots have made the work easy and introduced goods with high quality. The production line is minimized by avoiding all the additional efforts that are done by humans.

Thus it can be concluded that the use of AI in the industry has provided a great assistance in terms of production, cost, advancement, quality, time and many more. Today, industry are producing more goods and they are fulfilling the demands of the customers beyond the expectation. The robots used in the industry has simplified all the complexity and difficulties that one faces while manufacturing goods and services (Tirgul & Naik, 2016)



3D printersOS. (2018). How-It-Works. Viewed on 26th February, 2018. Available on:

Crandall, R. (2017). Industry 1.0 to 4.0: the Evolution of Smart Factories. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Davidson, G. (2015). 3-D Printing and the Cloud: A Natural Fit for Manufacturers. Viewed on 26th February, 2018. Available on:

Faggella, D. (2015). Global Competition Rises for AI Industrial Robotics. Viewed on 26th February, 2018. Available on:

Gandhi, G. (2015). Industry 4.0 – fourth industrial revolution. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Hinks, J. (2015). 5 things you should know about Industry 4.0. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Hudson, P. (2014). The industrial revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing.

IScoop. (2016). Industry 4.0: the fourth industrial revolution – guide to Industrie 4.0. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Lasi, H., Fettke, P., Kemper, H. G., Feld, T., & Hoffmann, M. (2014). Industry 4.0. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 6(4), 239-242.

Lorencik, D., & Sincak, P. (2013). Cloud Robotics: Current trends and possible use as a service. In Applied Machine Intelligence and Informatics (SAMI), 2013 IEEE 11th International Symposium on (pp. 85-88). IEEE.

Marr, B. (2016). What Everyone Must Know About Industry 4.0. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Martin. (2017). Industry 4.0. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Robotics. (2018). Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Your Industrial Robotics Application. Viewed on 26th February, 2018. Available on:

Scalabre, O. (2018). Embracing Industry 4.0—and Rediscovering Growth. Viewed on 22nd February, 2018. Available on:

Smith, A., & Anderson, J. (2014). AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs. Pew Research Center, 6.

Tirgul, C. S., & Naik, M. R. (2016). Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Engineering & Technology, 5(6), 1787-1793.

Wright, I. (2017). Bringing Artificial Intelligence to Manufacturing. Viewed on 26th February, 2018. Available on:

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