It all began with the steam engine, the invention that gave industrialisation the decisive boost. Factories were suddenly far less dependent on manpower. Mechanical production plants began manufacturing goods at a much swifter pace and in far greater quantities than ever before. Technological developments triggered further leaps in progress – mankind was advancing from the first industrial revolution into the future.
In the early 1970s, automation made its way into production. Satisfying ever increasing consumer demands for a greater range and variety of high-grade products started becoming a reality, thanks to the deployment of electronics and information technologies in production. Manual operations were taken over by machines, thus ushering in the third industrial revolution.
Today, we are on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution – also known as Industry 4.0. Technologically advanced, intelligent networked systems are set to bring about this fundamental change. The cornerstone for this development had already been laid years ago by simultaneous developments in electronics, software technology, networking and mechatronics.
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