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Industry 5.0 | Virtual Factory and Industrial Metaverse

The highly transformative impact of a digital, data-driven, and interconnected industry is bolstered by the concept of “Industry 4.0”. Industry 4.0 represents a solid ambition and a sound guiding principle for the innovation and further technological development of industry in the present.

Accelerate the journey to building your sustainable, resilient and human-centric organization. Overcome today’s smart factory challenges, extend the data-centric industry 4.0 approach and prepare for tomorrow’s virtual revolution.

What is Industry 5.0

Industry 5.0 complements the existing Industry 4.0 paradigm for the not-too-distant future by highlighting research and innovation as drivers for a transition to a sustainable, human-centric and resilient industry. It moves the focus from shareholder to stakeholder value, with benefits for all concerned. Industry 5.0 attempts to capture the value of new technologies, providing prosperity beyond jobs and growth, while respecting planetary boundaries, and placing the well-being of the industry worker at the center of the production process.

Society 5.0 and Industry 5.0

The concepts of Society 5.0 and Industry 5.0 are related. Both refer to a fundamental shift of our society and economy towards a new paradigm.

Society 5.0 attempts to balance economic development with the resolution of societal and environmental problems. It is not restricted to the manufacturing sector but addresses larger social challenges based on the integration of physical and virtual spaces. Society 5.0 is a society in which advanced IT technologies, Internet of Things, robots, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality are actively used in everyday life, industry, healthcare, and other spheres of activity, for economic advantage and the benefit and convenience of each citizen.

Our approach

We believe in this transition to the modern industrial revolution and focus on four main pillars of action towards achieving industry 5.0.

Our approach to industrial modernization and technology as an enabling lever involves the adoption of four major interconnected concepts that we believe are fundamental in establishing the long-term strategy of any organization.

The idea is simple, achieve virtual environments and representations of your real-world that will enable you to establish a new paradigm and core values in the organization.

Bringing as much of the real-world environment into a virtual system enables simulation capabilities that lead to optimization in many different ways. Testing without the need of building in advance and less use of resources are just some of the benefits that transform your processes into more sustainable. At the same time, virtual environments facilitate human-machine collaboration, empowering, supporting, assisting, and engaging workers in a more connected human-centered industrial environment. Finally, forecast and prediction capabilities together with modeling and simulation allow building on flexibility and anticipation for your value and supply chains, therefore achieving resilience.

We believe that the best way to navigate towards industry 5.0 is by modeling the real world using digital twins and taking advantage of the endless possibilities they bring.

Technologies

The vision for ‘Industry 5.0’ we propose moves past a narrow and traditional focus on technology-or economic enabled growth of the existing extractive, production, and consumption-driven economic model to a more transformative view of growth that is focused on human progress and well-being based on reducing and shifting consumption to new forms of sustainable, circular and regenerative economic value creation and equitable prosperity. Rather than representing a technological leap forward, Industry 5.0 actually nests the Industry 4.0 approach in a broader context, providing regenerative purpose and directionality to the technological transformation of industrial production.

Industry 5.0 should not be understood as a chronological continuation or an alternative to, the existing Industry 4.0 paradigm. It is the result of a forward-looking vision, a way of framing how industry and emerging societal trends and needs will co-exist and align. As such, Industry 5.0 complements and extends the features of Industry 4.0 while aligning them with the new demands.

Virtual

The consolidation of new enabling technologies such as AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics, has expanded the use of digital twins beyond its original intended usage. Today, they are quickly expanding to take on various forms across industries, enabling companies to forecast and create with more accuracy and foresight. It may even hold the key to the success of the metaverse.

The term digital twin refers to a virtual representation of a physical site, object, product, service, system, or process, capable of mimicking its real-world counterpart’s condition and behavior and that spans its lifecycle, is updated using real-time data, and helps inform decision-making through the use of simulations, machine learning, and reasoning. Enriched with data, it informs decision-making by helping understand the past, observe the present, and predict the future.

A generic approach of a digital twin, the physical world (space, object, product, service, system, or process) is “captured” with sensors related to its various areas of functionality and features. The sensors generate data about their performance and conditions aspects. That data is then passed on to a processing system that applies it to the digital twin. Once the virtual model is informed using the sensor data, it can be used to run very accurate simulations, study inadequacies or problems, and generate potential solutions or actions that should be applied to the physical element.

With the metaverse on the horizon, the use of digital twins has expanded to include buildings, factories, cities, people, and processes, extending the concept even further. The technology can be used to bring much of the real-world environment into the virtual one.

The ability to run accurate simulations extends to the metaverse, where they can be applied to interactions with virtual users and worlds. Ultimately, the metaverse can be understood as the future Internet, the connective tissue that binds lots of different worlds together, while the digital twins may come to represent the worlds (or part of the worlds) themselves. Digital twins are a core element of the metaverse because they digitally represent the physical world and enable users to interact with the digital versions of people, places, and things from any location.

Human-centric

The human-centric approach puts core human needs and interests at the heart of the production processes and empowers workers through the use of digital devices, endorsing a human-centric approach to technology. Technology serves people. It is not only about asking what we can do with new technology but rather using technology to adapt the production processes to the needs of the worker.

It is everything about how to support, assist and empower your workforce with task and environment insights leading to safety recommendations and warnings while you relieve them of low-value tasks. The worker is more empowered and the working environment is more inclusive. To achieve this, workers are to be closely involved in the design and deployment of new industrial technologies, including robotics and AI.

The human-machine collaboration aims at empowering and engaging workers in a more connected industrial environment. The workers are given more influence and hence greater responsibility in shaping the production process, through virtual means. As such, a virtual factory concept gains strength and importance. Linking ever-increasing automation with human expertise is key, thus strengthening the human-centric approach.

The Extended Operator is another key approach, which aims at expanding the capabilities of the industrial worker with innovative technological means, rather than replacing the worker with robots. This means complementing and extending operators’ capabilities with technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable devices, intelligent personal assistants, collaborative robots, Big Data, analytics, or even Exoskeletons. With this approach, humans remain at the center of the production process, and technology maximizes the benefits for both the company and the worker.

Sustainable

For the industry to respect planetary boundaries, it needs to be sustainable. It needs to develop circular processes that re-use, re-purpose and recycle natural resources, and reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainability means reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, to avoid depletion and degradation of natural resources. Technologies like AI and additive manufacturing can play a large role here, by optimizing energy efficiency and consumption, resource efficiency, and minimizing waste.

The idea is to combine competitiveness and sustainability, allowing the industry to realize its potential as one of the pillars of transformation. The industry has to pursue new game-changing solutions, put them into practice and understand the implications of reworking its business models.

Resilient

Resilience refers to the need to develop a higher degree of robustness in industrial production, arming it better against disruptions. It is about being able to deal with uncertainty and change and avoid the fragility of our current approach to globalized production. It should be balanced by developing sufficiently resilient strategic value chains, adaptable production capacity, and flexible business processes.

The industry of the future needs to be equipped to adapt quickly to changing circumstances for key-value chains, in order to secure its role as a sustainable engine for prosperity. A resilient industry can deal with vulnerabilities that can occur on many levels, including the factory floor, supply network, and industrial system levels.

Innovation in the industry tends to focus on increasing the efficiency of production lines and supply chains, often at the cost of lowered resilience. Developing and implementing mitigation strategies as the cornerstones of optimal and resilient functioning of the industry in the future is crucial. Innovative techniques, including more modular production lines, remotely operated factories, use of new materials, and real-time risk monitoring and management can help industry attain the resilience.

A special role will be played by digital technologies. While digital interconnection will enable a host of resilient technologies including data gathering, automated risk analysis, and automated mitigation measures, increased dependence on digital technologies exposes the industry to technical disruptions, due to malfunctions as well as cyberattacks. Developing the cybersecurity required for the resilient industry of the future will also play a key role.

Industry 5.0´s vision becomes reality thanks to our state-of-the-art technology solutions and products, to lay the foundation for this modern industrial revolution.

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