Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. The term "Industry 4.0", shortened to I4.0 or simply I4, originates from a project in the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing.
While many organizations might still be in denial about how Industry 4.0 could impact their business or struggling to find the talent or knowledge to know how to best adopt it for their unique use cases, several others are implementing changes today and preparing for a future where smart machines improve their business.
Here are just a few of the possible applications:
Identify opportunities: Since connected machines collect a tremendous volume of data that can inform maintenance, performance and other issues, as well as analyse that data to identify patterns and insights that would be impossible for a human to do in a reasonable timeframe, Industry 4.0 offers the opportunity for manufacturers to optimize their operations quickly and efficiently by knowing what needs attention
Robots: Once only possible for large enterprises with equally large budgets, robotics are now more affordable and available to organizations of every size. From picking products at a warehouse to getting them ready to ship, autonomous robots can quickly and safely support manufacturers and also reduce costs and allow better use of floor space
Internet of Things and the cloud: A key component of Industry 4.0 is the Internet of Things that is characterized by connected devices. Not only does this help internal operations, but through the use of the cloud environment where data is stored, equipment and operations can be optimized by leveraging the insights of others using the same equipment or to allow smaller enterprises access to technology they wouldn’t be able to on their own.
While Industry 4.0 is still evolving and we might not have the complete picture until we look back 30 years from now, companies who are adopting the technologies realize Industry 4.0's potential. These same companies are also grappling with how to upskill their current workforce to take on new work responsibilities made possible by Internet 4.0 and to recruit new employees with the right skills.
Source - https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/09/02/what-is-industry-4-0-heres-a-super-easy-explanation-for-anyone/#11cbc6c79788