The fifth revolution or Industry 5.0 is underway and is here to stay. This new term was coined by the European Commission in 2021 to refer to a new industrial model based on three fundamental pillars. In this article we delve into what Industry 5.0 is and what its principles are.
Towards Industry 5.0
While some companies are still assimilating the concept of Industry 4.0, the fifth revolution or Industry 5.0 is already just around the corner and this will force us, once again, to face the new challenges for which we must be prepared.
The fourth revolution or Industry 4.0 was characterized by advances in technology and digitization. Thus, within Industry 4.0 the key elements were automation, robotization, big data , intelligent systems, virtualization, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of things.
This fourth revolution focused on the digitalization of industrial processes and the use of new technologies to increase business productivity and efficiency, but it did not take into account such important aspects as the role of workers, social welfare and care and respect for the environment. This has gradually made it necessary to move towards more sustainable development models that are the basis of the new Industry 5.0 model..
Far from considering this new Industry 5.0 paradigm as a new threat, we must see it as a new opportunity to build a society based on two key levers: sustainability or green transition and digitization. Industrialization should not be based only on criteria of business competitiveness and economic benefits, but should also focus on environmental and social sustainability.
What Is Industry 5.0?
According to the definition developed by the European Commission itself in its report, industry 5.0 is a new paradigm that focuses on three key elements: the human being; environmental sustainability and resilience. We must place research and innovation at the service of the goal of achieving a sustainable, human-centered and resilient industry.
Of course Industry 5.0 does not dispense with the use and development of new technologies. On the contrary, rather it tries to put them at the service of new values, more humane and more sustainable. Thus, the Commission in its report refers to digital twins and simulation as key technologies; artificial intelligence; transmission, storage and analysis technologies (Big data) or technologies for energy efficiency, the use of renewable energies, storage and autonomy.
In recent times we have seen how industrialization was based solely on a purely profit-driven approach and this has become increasingly unsustainable. We are in a globalized world and an industrial development focused exclusively on economic benefits ends up having unacceptable environmental and social costs.
This first human-centric view of Industry 5.0 is a fundamental paradigm shift, as it moves from seeing people as means to ends, to seeing them as ends in themselves. In other words, people would go from being at the service of organizations to organizations being at the service of people, according to this fifth revolution or Industry 5.0 .
Companies must begin to define their sustainability plan , because only companies that know how to integrate respect for the environment into their roadmap will be able to be competitive and aligned with the new changes introduced by Industry 5.0
Resilience is another of the three key points on which Industry 5.0 is based. Resilience refers to the need to build a greater degree of robustness in industrial production, better arming it against disruption and ensuring that it can provide and support critical infrastructure in times of crisis.
A resilient strategy based on Industry 5.0 must be “agile and resilient with flexible and adaptable technologies”. Organizations must be less vulnerable to the ups and downs to which they are subjected and, therefore, they must be able to systematically anticipate, react and learn from any crisis or situation that contravenes, which guarantees stable and sustainable growth over time.
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