Industry 4.0 and beyond

Industry 4.0 and beyond

For some time now, the term Industry 4.0 has been discussed widely in the Turkish business community. For some time now, the term Industry 4.0 has been discussed widely in the Turkish business community. 

Siemens’s vice president Ali Rıza Ersoy was the leader in putting the concept in businesspeople’s agenda, and I was wondering who would be the champion of the topic once he would retire. 

Last week I met with the president of Honeywell in Turkey, Orhan Geniş, and I saw in him the same devotion to national technological progress that I saw in Ersoy. 

Geniş worked all over the world for Honeywell in various positions. In the end he proposed to open an office in Turkey. Last week he announced that the company has seen its revenues double in Turkey in only three years, as a result of rising demand for latest technologies that improve the performance, efficiency, safety, security and connectivity of industrial companies.

During his presentation to the press, Geniş discussed the growth Honeywell delivered to Turkey since it was established 25 years ago. He also spoke at length about how Honeywell is helping Turkish industries capitalize on the efficiencies provided by “Industry 4.0,” which takes advantages of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Big Data mega trends to allow Turkey to grow and innovate. Key points from the conference included:

• Gartner Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020.

• Data from Statista suggests the number of global smartphone users is expected to grow from 1.86 billion in 2015 to 2.87 billion by 2020.

• Driven by this global boom in connectivity, we have entered the fourth industrial revolution, or “Industry 4.0”: The 1st Industrial Revolution was the 1800s steam/water-driven mechanical engineering, the 2nd was the 1920s era of electrically-powered mass production, and the 3rd was the emergence of computing power in the 1970s.

• At the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is IIoT, and it is redefining how industry operates.

• Previously, disparate systems and endpoints across an operation – whether it be an industrial plant, an airport terminal or a logistics warehouse - were traditionally functioned in standalone silos.

• IIoT sees these disparate endpoints become connected and capable of sharing real-time data on the entire site, thanks to the use of software systems and the internet. This data can be used by companies to improve their operations by making them more efficient, productive and safe.

“We live in an always-on world where everything from our televisions to our refrigerators are connected to the internet, highly automated, and capable of generating increasingly large quantities of data. This is just as much the case in our industries as in our homes, and industrial companies that fail to harness the data their operations produce will quickly become uncompetitive,” Geniş said. 

All in all it was a conference where once more we underlined the importance of Industry 4.0 but I always have two question in my mind when I am being told that a new wave of technological innovation is coming. Are we ready for it as a country and what can we contribute to Industry 4.0 that would make us creators of the future rather than a new market for foreign technologies. Geniş told me there is a special clause in all of the governmental contracts that forces foreign companies to increase the national input to current technology on yearly bases. 

This is fantastic, but is it enough? Can a Turkish company be on par with Siemens or Honeywell in Industry 4.0 in the next 10 years? Hopefully we can do it, with the knowhow transfer through these type of companies. But let’s first see how things unfold.

Ersu Ablak, hdn, Opinion