What is Industry 5.0 and How is it Shaping Manufacturing?
As we enter into the new year, we also embark into a new and emerging phase of industrialisation. No longer a futuristic idea, Industry 5.0 is happening in the here and now. Adding a personal human touch to the automation and efficiency pillars of Industry 4.0, Industry 5.0 encompasses more than just manufacturing. It utilises developments in technology, such as artificial intelligence, automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, robotics, and virtualisation, to drive collaborative working between humans and advanced technologies.
While robots have been performing dangerous and repetitive work on manufacturing floors for decades, Industry 5.0 enhances processes to deliver more human-centric, resilient, and sustainable businesses. The development of automation means that while robots were central to Industry 4.0, cobots take centre stage in Industry 5.0. Cobots are providing new opportunities where machines and humans can work safely alongside each other, instead of being fenced off in cages.
As we venture further into Industry 5.0, what does it mean for manufacturers and what are the implications for your current and future strategies?
What is Industry 5.0?
While Industry 4.0 was technology-driven, Industry 5.0 is value-driven.
Although it brought new levels of efficiency and productivity, Industry 4.0 created a number of challenges, from the displacement of workers, lack of adaptability due to high specialisation and investment required to produce complex and specialised products.
Industry 5.0 however, is about skilled humans and collaborative robots working in tandem to focus on value-adding processes to take personalisation of products to a new level. It is about leveraging advanced technologies to help humans work faster, safer, and more efficiently.
Built over three pillars; human-centric, resilience, and sustainability, Industry 5.0 has significant implications for manufacturers.
Industry 5.0 is about supporting, not replacing, humans. It moves people from being seen as resources to being genuine assets, refocusing businesses to create added value for workers in order to attract and retain employees.
The human-centric pillar emphasises creating working environments that are safe, healthy, and fulfilling, while also creating opportunities for workers to learn and develop new skills.
Industry 5.0 emphasises the importance of resilience in a strategy, to remain agile with flexible and adaptable technologies. It hyperfocuses manufacturers to anticipate and react to any crisis, thereby ensuring stability through challenging times.
Resilient manufacturers have the flexibility to respond to changing market conditions and recover quickly from setbacks, while still maintaining high levels of quality and productivity.
Sustainability in terms of Industry 5.0 is not only about reducing and minimising harmful effects on the environment. It’s about actively pursuing efforts and implementing processes to create a positive change on the climate.
The focus is about making the world a better place, with manufacturers becoming part of the solution instead of the problem. Cobots are already playing a critical role in transitioning towards a circular economy by facilitating more efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes.
The Pros and Cons of Industry 5.0
Industry 5.0 undeniably brings with it a host of advantages, most notably in the creation of higher value jobs that benefit industries, workers and society. Humans are assisted by the benefits of cobots, such as technical precision and lifting capabilities, to provide a higher degree of control and improve production.
This new phase of industrialisation allows manufacturing processes to be handled through collaborative automation, increasing businesses competitiveness and helping to attract, and most importantly retain, skilled workers.
The focus on resilience and sustainability increase manufacturers' agility and flexibility to remain competitive in highly competitive and changing markets, while also having a positive impact on society.
It is difficult to note the disadvantages of Industry 5.0 so early in its inception, but a particular challenge will lie in how manufacturers adapt and embrace this new concept. Those who are able to become more human-centric, resilient and sustainable will likely be at the forefront of future solutions and implement ways that benefit human workers and the business as a whole. Those who fail to keep up will most likely fall behind.
Working with Cobots in Industry 5.0
While they may have worked on the same production line, throughout Industry 4.0, humans and robots worked independently to each other in defined spaces. The delineation between the two is removed in this new era to strengthen the bond between humans and collaborative robots.
Cobots, like CoboTend, are specifically designed to work side by side with humans to transform manufacturing processes and progress industries into the age of Industry 5.0. Working in close proximity and collaboratively, cobots are helping to improve productivity and efficiency without significant financial investment and occupying much less space than their industrial robot counterparts.
Bringing versatility to a wide range of tasks, cobots are improving resilience while creating a harmonious workspace with humans. Among their technological advancements, cobots are designed with safety in mind. Equipped with built-in sensors and advanced safety features, cobots can detect and avoid collisions with humans to increase the safety of the working environment.
In terms of the sustainability pillar of Industry 5.0, cobots are energy efficient and able to be easily integrated into more clean energy sources. They can also work in a wider range of temperatures compared to humans, reducing the need for specific cooling and heating systems to be integrated into the factory floor.
With cobots at its heart, Industry 5.0 is about combining people’s creativity and problem solving capabilities with the speed, productivity and precisions of collaborative robots. It is about utilising the best of human and cobot capabilities in conjunction with each other to progress manufacturing, business and industries.
Take a Step Into Industry 5.0 with Cobots Online
If you’re looking to increase efficiency and productivity through resilient, sustainable and human-centric production, Cobots Online is here to support you. Our range of cobots create new opportunities for innovation and growth through a range of automation features and capabilities.
To see the potential cobots can bring to your business, contant the Cobots Online team for an in-depth discussion or live demonstration in our on-site facility.