Retail sales and the media are examples of business activities in which digitalisation is causing thorough changes right now. A similar upheaval is at hand in manufacturing as well.
Industry has already utilised data technology in many ways, both in products and their design, and also in the direction of production and automation. Nevertheless, upcoming changes spurred by the industrial internet and new manufacturing technologies are so comprehensive that German industrial interest groups are using the expression "Industrial revolution 4.0" to describe this phase of development.
The industrial internet is a key driver of the industrial revolution. The products and systems are capable of collecting information about their activities and exchanging it with each other. It has been estimated that 80 percent of the new business activities in the so called Internet of Things are in the service sector.
Alongside the industrial Internet, new manufacturing technologies are emerging, such as additive manufacturing (3D printing). When the limits of processibility no longer guide the planning of components and products, the characteristics of products, both with respect to geometry and materials can be optimised. Placing production closer to the customers, dispersing production, and tailoring products to the needs of individual customers will be easier.
In the upheaval that is under way the forerunners will reap the greatest benefits. Others might have to experience only the negative sides of digitalisation in the form of a loss of present business activities. Tekes is financing trailblazers who want to upgrade products, services, and production with the help of the industrial Internet and new manufacturing technologies.
Director, growth companies
Twitter: @KariKomulainen #uudistuvateollisuus