The Journey of Progress: Industry 1-5 and the Resilience of Technology

A.W. Schultz, A.W. Schultz Engineering & Training

The world is undergoing rapid changes powered by technology, which has led to an evolution in many industries including maintenance and reliability. This transition brings about digital leadership, climate neutrality, and global competitiveness, thereby transforming the industry.

Consequently, the public's trust and commitment are necessary to accept the modernization of a people-centric society, along with the resilience of technology and the understanding of how sustainability is changing today's industries. This transformation is referred to as Industry 5.0, which is how the Industrial Revolution and generations measure advancement. While the research and technology organizations (RTOs) introduced it in 2020, its conception dates back to 1730.

When disruptive forces reshape industries, it defines progress.

To understand Industry 5.0, it is essential to comprehend the previous industrial revolutions.


Industry 1.0

The original Industrial Revolution, Industry 1.0, dates back to the 18th century. It represents capabilities to produce and distribute on a mass level. This ability was driven by new manufacturing processes using steam power and coal. The inventions in mechanization or automation, such as the weaving loom in the textile industry and transportation industry with the introduction of the steam engine. 

Industry 2.0

If steam and coal were part of Industry 1.0, it was no surprise that introducing electrical energy was a huge change to how the industry operated. Therefore, Industry 2.0 saw mass production at a new level and was considered the first Industrial Revolution that began in the 19th century. The electrical capabilities allowed even greater production with sophisticated machines with the ability to assemble.

Industry 3.0

Jumping forward to the 1970s, Industry 3.0 is commonly referred to as the "Digital Revolution" or "First Computer Era." This leap utilizes computers, PLCs, and electronics that furthered automation. Industry 3.0 saw another boost when integrated circuits and transistors brought greater accuracy in production, increased speed, and quality to the product produced. While the revolution evolves, its technology is often seen in many factories today. Examples of these can be seen in robotics and continuous flow assembly.

Industry 4.0

It is a fair debate that Industry 4.0 is still here. With what 3.0 brought, 4.0 only made it bigger and better. Industry 4.0 gives Information Technologies a stimulus of competitiveness and efficiency by interconnecting every resource (data, people, and machines) in a supply chain. However, Industry 4.0 is thought of as continuous monitoring, the ability to process "Big Data," and having mobility in handheld devices. This data exchange is possible due to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Consider the following elements of Industry 4.0. 

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) - Interconnected networks that allow machines and vehicles embedded with microchips and sensors to scan, monitor, and react to information; ability to have wireless (Wi-Fi) technology
  • Cloud Computing - Offsite data store and hosting of "Big Data"
  • Cognitive computing or Artificial Intelligence - Predicting algorithms and giving authority to decide

These advancements led to a revolution in shared learning and the collaboration of best practices. 

  • Creation of international standards of work
  • Improved sustainability
  • Increased flexibility in addition to product customization
  • Improved decision-making
  • Improve the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics

In addition, industries that have embraced 4.0 often have reported a 70% decrease in operating costs, a 50% decrease in inventory costs, and a 20% increase in revenue (Source: Spartakus Technology)

Industry 5.0

In 2020, the European Union asked the Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) team to ask how Europe meets the Paris Agreement of Net-Zero CO2 emission by 2050. The goal was to align the future with its need to protect, prepare, and transform. The group briefed the European Union that we would embark on our next Evolution. European Commission introduced the concept of Industry 5.0. The Union recognized that industrial transformation, primarily driven by factors related to Industry 4.0, needed to be a better framework to achieve Europe's 2030 goals for reducing CO2 emissions. This "Think Tank," the ESIR, proposed that Industry 5.0 would require government and industry alignment with three core elements: Sustainability, Resilience, and a Human-Centric approach to drive change.

The supply chain should balance developing resilient strategic value chains, adaptable production capacity, and flexible business processes. To shift to the next stage of digital transformation, manufacturers are looking towards easy-to-use and realistic simulation software to benefit the humans in the business and enhance resiliency. Industry 5.0 is the revolution in which people and machines reconcile. The course transposed due to the need to operate in an industry with a balance of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which sees the condition to utilize low code technology in its digital platform for flexibility and resilience.  

Another key aspect of Industry 5.0 is resiliency, with manufacturers needing to develop a higher degree of robustness in industrial production, arming against disruptions and ensuring critical infrastructure can support in times of uncertainty. The ability to lift and shift offers many benefits. 

Industry 5.0 is a human-centric approach, placing the worker's well-being at the center of the production process. To enable operations to move into the Industry 5.0 era, manufacturers must consider how the technology implemented augments their people and helps benefit their roles and career development during significant skills shortages. Human involvement plays an important part in the ability to be adaptive to change the environment. Those who see the need will lead the way in the industry.


In less than 10 years, the discussion moved from Industry 3.0 to 4.0, and now the signs of a shift to 5.0 have surfaced in manufacturing circles. Industry 4.0 saw several facets from IIoT, AI, Digital Twin, and the process of Big Data, among others, while 5.0 has three pillars: Sustainability, Resilience, and Human-Centric. The three are all driven by adaptability to their location or country's environment, society, and governance. Technological innovations are becoming more adaptive in addition to rapid growth day by day. We can expect a full realization that can lead to better processes for our future, better living standards, and increased sustainability. When we all get involved with Industry 5.0, and we create collaboration between team and leadership, we are on a fast track to help reduce CO2 emissions and get our companies and factories greener.

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About the Author

A.W. (Aaron) Schultz is an author, speaker and Principal Consultant at A.W. Schultz Engineering & Training, a company that specializes in promoting and educating Industry 5.0, the new era of...