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January 01, 2020 Wednesday 04:06:11 PM IST

Leadership 4.0

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In the dawn of eighteenth century, the first Industrial Revolution produced machines to substitutephysicallabour, and provided us with the steam engine and water power. In the early twentieth century, the second Industrial Revolution brought us electricity, which gave birth to the assembly line and mass production. Between the fifties and seventies, electronics, computers and digital technology birthed automation in manufacturing – kick-starting in the third Industrial Revolution. And now we are at the cusp of embracing the fourth Industrial RevolutionorIndustry 4.0. This latest phase of industrial revolution concentrates heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data.Industry 4.0 is no longer just something that organizations need to prepare for – it’s a reality that has already arrived.

Industry 4.0 employs close alignment with advanced technology to guarantee that manufacturers can amass rich insights about everyday operations. These understandings are critical for refining cost savings and operational competency. Nevertheless, before businesses can leverage on them, they need the right strategic rules in place. As with majority changes in the contemporary workplace, the majormakeoversstarts with the right leadership. Leadership 4.0 means building a team of managers, administrators, and business leaders proficientenough to embrace the fourth industrial revolution. These are the individuals who comprehend the fortes and flaws of initiatives in the existing environment and know how to express the advantages of things like Internet of Things, Big data and instant connectivity to their teams. Efficient digital leaders will be vital for handling the incessantlyvarying relationships between machines, technologies, and individuals in a fresh workplace setting. Here are three examples of how 4.0 leaders have created a leverage in their own industrial spaces using technologies of fourth Industrial Revolution.

Internet of Things and Big Data

At the core of Industry 4.0 is the Internet of Things (IoT). Put simply, IoT represents a network of physical devices that are digitally interlinked, enabling the communication and interchange of data through the Internet. Big Data denotes the large and intricate data sets created by IoT devices. Bosch united IoT and Big Data to spearhead the digital renovation of its Automotive Diesel System plant in Wuxi, China. The organizationsattaches its machinery to evaluate the complete production process at the core of its factory. This is accomplished by implanting sensors into the plant’s machines which are then used to gather data about the machines’ conditions and cycle time. Once amassed, cutting-edge data analytics tools process the data in real time and caution employees when any bottlenecks in the production operations have been spotted. Taking this tacticfacilitates to foresee equipment failures, permitting the plant to schedule maintenance operations well before any failures happen.As a result, the plant is able to keep its machinery running and functioning for extended stretches of time. The firm confirms that using data analysis in this way has donated to more than 15% increase in output in different areas, whilst bettering delivery and customer satisfaction. Eventually, a superior insight into the factory’s operations complements better and quicker decision-making throughout the whole organisation, empowering it to bring down equipment downtime and improve production processes.


Cloud Computing

In layman’s language, cloud computing is about storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet as a substitute of your computer's hard drive. In an initiative to convert itself into an industry 4.0 driven organization, Volkswagen has publicised a partnership with Microsoft to build the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. Looking beyond self-driven cars and renewable energy powered technology, the German automaker’s goal is to create a unified experience for drivers from the moment they enter, use, and leave their automobiles. From uninterruptedly listen to the same music as they enter the car, to making calls and inspecting calendar appointments, the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud purposes to blendprevalent third-party applications into a smooth, unified experience. With the dawn of 2020, more than five million new Volkswagen brand vehicles per year will be fully linked, and will be part of the IoT cloud. The partnership between both firms will lay the foundation for uniting the global cloud proficiency of Microsoft, with the know-how of Volkswagen as acarmaker with a global market presence. As the automotive industry makes extraordinary strides in developing radical autonomous and electric vehicles, automakers need to come up with an agile approach of handling and communicating large amounts of data to their vehicles. Integrating cloud-based storage and communication platform arises as an efficient way to surpassing the hurdles faced by these automakers.

Advanced Robotics

Cutting-edge robotics systems are poised to revolutionize industrial operations. Compared with traditional robots, advanced robots have greater perception, integrability, flexibility, and agility. These enhancementsallows faster setup, authorising, and reconfiguration, as well as more competent and stable operations.  California-based Fetch Robotics has created collaborative Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) for tracing, following, and shifting inventory in warehouse and logistics facilities. A DHL distribution centre in the Netherlands is employing Fetch AMRs to accomplish pick and place operations. At DHL, AMRs independentlytravel across the facility together with the employees, spontaneously learning and sharing the most effective travel routes. Employing self-driving robots in this manner can help bring down order cycle time tohalfthe original time and deliver up to twice the picking productivity gain, according to the organization. As robots become more self-directed, flexible and collaborating, they will be able to solve even more complex tasks, discharging the employees from repetitious tasks and enhancing productivity on the factory floor.


As we look ahead, 4.0 leaders will define the future stability of companies. These digital leaders are not only enhancing their own bottom lines and improving faster than their counterparts, but also are visionary in the ways they lead their organizations. By experimenting with combined human and robotic workforces, they have the potential to shape the future of many workplaces across the globe.


Dr. Manu Melwin Joy

The writer is an Assistant Professor at School of Management Studies, CUSAT

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