With the rapid changes in society, the methods we have previously used to solve many of our problems are less intelligent and effective. We have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is rapidly altering the face of our economy and our way of life. The previous three industrial revolutions were caused by the expansion of mechanical production equipment powered by steam, the introduction of mass production using electricity, and the use of electronic systems and computer technology in manufacturing.
The worldwide Industry 4.0 initiatives aim to address those challenges of the global change to maintain the economics competitive, sustainable and responsible. The new solutions and strategical approaches are therefore needed for the whole range of areas, starting from educational, scientific and innovation approach up to the new way of thinking in the application sector, particularly in the industry. The success is however determined by the critical amount of human capacities in the educational and scientific sector sharing and enhancing the vision of Industry 4.0 towards the smart and responsible Society 4.0.
The term Industry 4.0 has begun to be used by German governmental institutions for modern and advanced automation of production. It covers the current progressive technologies in industrial production. Basic vision of Industry 4.0 is a smart factory that monitors its surroundings through machines and their sensors and makes decentralized but highly qualified decisions to optimize production. The second basic feature of Industry 4.0 is the online linking of the entire value chain of a particular manufacturer – from suppliers on the one hand to customers on the other.
The term Industry 4.0 is used for digitalization and integration of any simple manufacturing-business relationship to digitization and integration of complex interconnected production and sales chains. Moreover, the Industry 4.0 lies also in the digitalization of production and service offerings creating new business models.
Industry 4.0 is not really revolution but evolution. However, the importance of introducing the Industry 4.0 concept is revolutionary: the benefits shift the companies applying the principles of Industry 4.0 to the world’s top. On the other hand, ignoring the Industry 4.0 can lead to a total loss of the competitiveness of the industrial firms, not only on the global but also on the local market.
For the purpose of such complex production and sales chains, leading German companies and institutions have developed and in 2015 published following models: RAMI 4.0 (Reference Architecture Model Industry 4.0) and Industry 4.0 Component model. The RAMI 4.0 model authors are BITCOM, VDI / VDE and ZVEI. These institutions have decided to develop a 3D model in order to represent all currently “manually” interconnected features of production.
The RICAIP concept aims to enhance the current Reference Architectural Model Industry 4.0. The RICAIP will introduce a new quality of the industry 4.0 initiative – multi-site industrial production and production development, both having a strong social impact: