Industry 4.0, Time for a Change – and the Czech Republic Is Sleeping

Roman Žák Aimtec
2. 5. 2016 | 4 minutes reading

Whether we call the Industry 4.0 a revolution or evolution, obviously it is an unrepeatable opportunity for small and large (states and companies) to change their conditions of existence. However, if the one having the reins in the hands does not awake, how the commons might master the issue.

None of the industrial revolutions happened within tens of hours, and the last one having number four is no exception, even it might seem really revolutionary in terms of information transfer in the cyberspace. New technologies in the area of industrial production have been developing for more than twenty years, and in this context, the suppliers of the technologies talk rather about an evolution than about a step change or revolution. The fight for power, to be sure, has never stopped, and insatiable yearning to rule the world is driving the mankind towards peremptory steps trending in keeping the oil prices constant, or in (non)- humanitarian faults in order to gain as much own production technologies as possible. Luckily, the same desire has become the driving engine for visionary ideas, and thus, besides disasters, we reached a true progress, too. Today, the wealth no more resides in mineral raw materials, as well as it is not backed up with cheap manpower. It is near to those who have access to the vast amount of generated data, and who are able to manage the demand in synergy with increasing demands in the flexible market.

Sufficient support and promotion are missing

Chances offered in the digitized world are open to all who are able to respond in time regardless the initial complications. Our western neighbours appeared at the base almost three years sooner, before the Industry 4.0 term even reached the awareness of the wide public in this country. And paradoxically, just in Germany, there are voices getting louder saying that considerable part of companies ignore the entry into the cybernetics age, or simply, they do not know how to get involved. Conversely, in the Czech Republic, we would like to get involved, but the whole concept of the digitized industry lacks sufficient support and promotion by political top bodies. One of the biggest opportunities for the Czech economy is slowly escaping, together with competent managers migrating abroad, where they can apply and commercialize their skills much better. Even after a brain in the chamber of deputies wakes up to life, the potential of Czech multi-discipline entrepreneurs and IT experts will likely be foiled for the benefit of multinational companies, and profits will prevailingly flow to them. As long as our educational system does not change in a significant manner, we cannot even hope to educate a generation which would be motivated to such extent to return, partly at least, lost opportunities to this country.

Industry 4.0 is waiting for ideas

We have human resources for the Industry 4.0, however, we have to give them a vision, more support corporate environment, create bureaucratically unexacting endowment programs, and financial resources. These are no big requirements, when considering that completely Czech companies would obtain competition advantage within their own production, and would be able to expand their share on the globalized market in higher quality. Not only manufacturers and exporters of production equipment, such as machine tools and assembly lines, but primarily developers of mechatronic and IT infrastructure components or software companies have right today the opportunity to produce much higher profit. And the most enlightened inventors get open even the gate to luxurious life of Mark Zuckerberg. The Industry 4.0 is still waiting for big ideas, whether new marketing and commercial models, revolutionary tools and applications in the cloud, or, maybe, epoch-making end smart devices in the Internet of Things. However, there is a question remaining, when and in which form the public will see an action plan for the implementation of the Industry 4.0, which was advised for March this year, and whether it is not going to be too late anyway.

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