Industry 4.0 Czech Republic: In the period of the age of innovation

Author / Editor: Dipl.Ing. Roman Dvorak, Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, MM Industrial Spectrum / Lisa Saller, Lisa Saller

Allow me to state that we are not standing on the theshold of a new industrial era, no matter how we call it, perhaps a bit presumptuously even revolution. In my view this is not up to us, it will be the privilege of next generations to judge about present developments like “Industry 4.0“.

No revolutionary novelty in corporate processes. But now implementation has started and we speak abou 3 types of industrial integrations. • Horizontal integration (value chain) – i.e full computer integration providing all from placing orders over the supply chain, development, production up to dispatch and the distribution network • Vertical integration (intra enterprise) – i.e. integration from the level of real time management over planning, scheduling of production and ERP systems up to decision making on the highest level • Integration of engineering support (life-cycle) across the entire engineering chain – from research, development, prototyping, production scheduling up to dealing with the entire life-cycle of a product.
No revolutionary novelty in corporate processes. But now implementation has started and we speak abou 3 types of industrial integrations. • Horizontal integration (value chain) – i.e full computer integration providing all from placing orders over the supply chain, development, production up to dispatch and the distribution network • Vertical integration (intra enterprise) – i.e. integration from the level of real time management over planning, scheduling of production and ERP systems up to decision making on the highest level • Integration of engineering support (life-cycle) across the entire engineering chain – from research, development, prototyping, production scheduling up to dealing with the entire life-cycle of a product.
(Photo: ARC Advisory Group)

What is, however, indisputable is the fact that the fourth industrial revolution started already long ago in the most developed global economies, although under different names but driven by the same effort. An effort to preserve and support the competitiveness and technical supremacy of these states on global markets. These countries run into difficulties also in their effort to have greater control over the entire value chain, particularly at the contemporary level of the price of the labour force and its availability.

Demographic and geopolitic hazards

Last but not least also in the efforts to deal with combined social and economic issues and efforts to face demographic and geopolitical hazards. This leads many global firms to reappraise the current concept of allocation of means of production and to the systematic creation of a modern model of industrial production. Initiatives reacting to the fourth industrial revolution, no matter if it is the German one called Industrie 4.0, the Industrial Internet Consortium or Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition in the USA or similar programmes in Japan and China, they are an absolutely new philosophy of the systemic application, integration and interconnection of various technologies while taking into consideration their constant and extremely rapid development. Due to the wide range of the impact, this philosophy must penetrate into the thinking of the whole society. If accepted it will not only offer great challenges but also hitherto undreamed-of opportunities for industrial enterprises. And this is why particularly they must respond to these changes. The disregard for this new reality would lead to a gradual loss of competitiveness not only of individual firms, but also of the EU and/or the Czech Republic.

Wide range of “Industry 4.0“ changes

New technologies rapidly change the character of our economy and lifestyle. The fourth industrial revolution does not introduce essential changes in the field of industrial production. This, of course is still its centre-piece. However the range of the fourth industrial revolution is much wider. This is an absolutely new philosophy bringing changes to the society as a whole and affecting numerous fields ranging from industry over standardization, security, system of education, legal order, science and research up to the labour market or social system. The Czech Republic belongs to countries with the largest industrial tradition and our ambition is to guarantee that its future remains related with industry. The fourth industrial revolution offers numerous challenges but namely a unique opportunity to guarantee long-time competitiveness of the Czech Republic in the global competitive environment. We live in an exceptional era and our capability to seize this opportunity will have an impact on the quality of the life of future generations.

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