The First Industrial Revolution was born out of the necessity to have faster and more efficient production methods. This was the transition from “Hand Made” to “Machine Made” utilising steam and coal powered machinery. The textile industry was the first industry to absolutely benefit from this revolution and utilise the modern manufacturing methods. As a result, there was a substantial increase in employment opportunities, and this had a positive effect on almost all aspects of everyday life.
Then between 1870 – 1914 the roll out of power grids, railroads, and telegraph networks spurred on the Second Industrial revolution. Electricity could now be transferred around the country which allowed for factories to produce goods even faster and introduce the production line that is still used Worldwide today. As well as moving electricity, the internal combustion engine, the telegraph, and rail networks all allowed for people, information, and ideas to be transferred faster. The world was speeding up, and true globalisation had begun.
100 years later after 2 world wars, production methods were about to change for good and the world was about to take a quantum leap with the introduction of the computer. We all know what effect the computer has had on our everyday life, the same can be said with the effects it has brought to the manufacturing industry, with the ability to process data far more accurately and efficiently. This gave rise to robotics. This is commonly known as the Third Industrial Revolution.
In more recent times, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IOT) is allowing a further revolution of production methods, and we are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, otherwise known as “Industry 4.0”. This is coinciding with the events of 2020, to create a manufacturing situation that we never seen before.