How Covid-19 Is Driving The Evolution Of Industry 5.0
Ready or not, the age of Industry 5.0 is here. While many manufacturers are developing methods for implementing new technologies to improve efficiency and productivity, which is the guiding principle behind Industry 4.0, the next phase of industrialization is already upon us.
The ripple effect of Covid-19 continues to impact the way we work, learn, live and play. As the pandemic persists, companies of all sizes are responding with surprising speed and agility to maintain operations, despite the massive threat of massive disruption.
With nearly all business travel being at a halt for around a year, people have discovered new ways to coordinate, collaborate and communicate with colleagues, customers, and partners. Employees, who once traveled across the world regularly for business purposes are now managing their daily operations from their homes.
However, Covid-19’s travel bans are actually igniting innovation. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. People around the world are finding new ways to engage, connect and complete their work. In turn, the emerging processes are led by resilient leaders, who are championing new use cases for existing technologies.
According to a recent article, global collaboration in 2020 has advanced tremendously. Digital tools and immersive experiences, boosted by technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), as well as other collaboration tools, are gaining rapid adoption while accelerating us along the path to Industry 5.0.
Evolution, Not Revolution
The Fifth Industrial Revolution is resulting in the combination of the skill and speed of automation with humans’ critical and creative thinking. As such, the revolution represents the ultimate partnership between intelligent humans and smart manufacturing machines. While Industry 4.0 marks an era of automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 5.0 puts the focus on people.
However, this is an evolutionary step, not a revolutionary one. We’ve seen countless examples of how people are stress-testing technologies because of the need to connect from afar. New use cases are emerging, thanks to the widespread use of AR/VR to support remote immersive experiences.
The convergence of human cognition and artificial intelligence is poised to produce a new solution shortly. The possibilities are plentiful when people and collaborative robots, virtual assistants, digital twins, and avatars work hand-in-hand or enjoy truly immersive experiences in ways not fully imagined before Covid-19.
People: The Accelerant
While technology adoption being on the rise during COVID-19, the biggest accelerant is people stepping up to fix problems, learn new technologies and maintain business operations. Without the benefit of the physical presence of teams to troubleshoot new technology deployment or in resolving broken manufacturing processes, individuals and teams growing at a fast pace.
Since people cannot rely on others to fix their problems, they came up with successful solutions. As a result, they became better problem-solvers, more innovative thinkers, and more productive teams.
The ability to take greater ownership and apply for more innovative thinking benefits during Industry 5.0, especially in balancing automation with increased demands for personalization and customization. In this next industrial era, smarter manufacturing machines help in reducing costs and driving efficiencies, so experts can tailor the products consumers want most.
Looking ahead, it is important to realize that Industry 5.0 will make way for innovative products without losing sight of the craftsmanship that only experts can deliver. Indeed, COVID-19 is speeding up the Industry 5.0 revolution.
There will be many more lessons to be learned from Covid-19 that can be applied to the future of Industry 5.0. Now more than ever, we need to be open to these learnings while giving creative freedom to put their human touch on how smart machines operate. In the long run, we’ll all produce better outcomes while finely calibrating technology road maps to produce breakthrough products that benefit everyone in our ever-changing world.