Geoffrey Moore’s groundbreaking book crossing the divide (1991) describes the transformation of technology application from the early stage to the mainstream, which is widely regarded as “the Bible of bringing cutting-edge products to a larger market”. This book provides a perfect framework to look at the industry 4.0 era we are about to face. For those early adopters who are not familiar with the technology, they may be interested because of the novelty of the technology, or they may be able to see the actual benefits.

It has been about 30 years since the book was published. We can see more and more clearly that industry 4.0 will “bridge the gap” for the following reasons:

Factor one: the appearance of 5g

It is worth noting that 5g is not just one more g than 4G. Historically, factory automation was achieved through fixed cable connections. 4G connection is the right big step towards automation, but its basic bandwidth and delay problems prevent it from becoming a feasible solution.

As Williamson’s slini calapala said in an interview: “previous generations focused on this technology, a single vector – either to transmit more data with higher quality voice, or to transmit voice across the country. But when you study 5g, we are not thinking about providing a single carrier, but about transmission across multiple carriers. It has high throughput, lower latency, better security and higher reliability – all of these dimensions can provide service requirements in a few minutes. Now, to do this, we need to rethink the way we build the network and make real changes in the process. “

Karapala then discussed 5g millimeter wave technology “how we can provide gigabytes of bandwidth to a single user.”. Imagine that gigabytes of data (about 10 times as much as available today) are wirelessly transmitted to a single device with ultra-low latency and security and reliability. Applying these ideas to factories, 5g will become a game changer, which will enable robots not only to automatically unplug power, but also to run autonomously. In this way, we can create a smart factory with certain flexibility, which can only be realized in science fiction before.

Factor 2: the influence of covid-19 is inevitable

Covid-19 acts as a technology accelerator. Novel coronavirus pneumonia China novel coronavirus pneumonia survey, launched in 2020, found that the new crown pneumonia has brought the 70% 5G project in the United States and China’s 98% 5G project to a fast track. We found that 39% and 43% of the industries in the United States and China are in the “covid-19 survival mode” respectively, while 35% and 33% of the industries reported that covid-19 is promoting their transformation.

Then we compared the investments between the different factions. For example, taking 100 as the index of “survival mode”, we find that the ratio of companies focusing on investment transformation in these areas is as follows: accelerating 5g development (179), container based development (173), digital transformation Initiative (159), artificial intelligence (134), cloud native application development (133) and Internet of things development (122). To be honest, everyone went into “survival mode” last year. Not only that, the future survival and prosperity need more investment.

Factor 3: the future needs to “cross the gap”

It is estimated that the global industrial 4.0 market will reach US $260.71 billion by 2026, and the compound annual growth rate is expected to be 16.3% from 2019 to 2026. Manufacturing industries that invest through the adoption of new technologies have high expectations. In the second survey of “5g and industry 4.0” in the later period of covid-19, American and European manufacturers pointed out that the adoption of new technology has increased their customer satisfaction, internal confidence, competitive advantage and profit margin by 50% or more. In order to achieve these benefits, 50% of the respondents expect to use 5g this year, and 81% expect to use these technologies within three years: big data analysis, artificial intelligence, autonomous cooperative robots, machine equipment diagnosis, cloud computing / cloud native applications, cloud end PAAS, industrial automation, machine learning, digital twins, and edge computing.

Factor 4: the power of intelligent edge

Gartner predicts that by 2023, more than 50% of enterprises will create and process data at the edge. Industry 4.0 and 5g are key drivers of this shift. The reason for this change is that it is close to the process source data, which can avoid the cost of return transportation, but the key is that the real value of the data is often from the moment it is created, calculated or perceived. For example, 5g and edge computing can help a manufacturing plant that produces thermosensitive materials, wirelessly monitor the entire production line as needed to ensure optimal production, and alert and respond in case of failure to avoid costly maintenance costs.

Intelligent edge is the connection point between industry 4.0 and 5g. Through 5g connection and edge processing, the goal of industry 4.0 can be achieved.

Factor 5: expectations of the new generation

The last factor is related to the transformation of our technical manpower. According to the statistics of Pew Research Center in 2016, the millennials have become the largest generation in the labor force. Most millennials don’t remember an era without mobile phones or the Internet. Think about how common it is for them to spend a few minutes on a mobile phone to complete a transaction that used to take days or months to complete through email, telephone or door-to-door visit. With the new generation and the future people more and more pursue the convenience and personalization of personal life, they will also have expectations in their work.

Moore’s book aims to propose a model for companies or entities to promote the market-oriented application of new products or technologies. Crossing the real “chasm” of industry 4.0 will be driven by the emergence of intelligent edge, which is the integration of multiple products and technologies. With the establishment of the concept of intelligent edge and its actual infrastructure, it will grow and spread exponentially, and now is the best time to build an intelligent edge system.

Editor in charge: yyx

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