p.p1 Switzerland has never heard of the term “Industry

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“The Internet of Things is coming. But many companies still do not know what to do with it and how to adjust to it. Every second decision-maker in Germany, Austria and Switzerland has never heard of the term “Industry 4.0”, a term which is intended to describe the digital linking between supply chains in an easy way. Despite all the digital euphoria, both in the social environment and in the economy, half of all decision-makers can not explain exactly what Industry 4.0 means. This is a highly relevant topic because “Industry 4.0 is changing the world of work and the bosses. In concrete terms, this means especially one thing: Many professions become superfluous because they can be replaced by more efficient and less expensive programs or machines. This creates many new challenges for both business and politics, as both must respond to change. Above all, companies based in Germany, which already have disproportionately high labor costs in international comparison, must remain competitive. On the other hand, politics must ensure that there is no social imbalance which could be the possible result of the potential job losses. The central theme of this BA is the impact of Industry 4.0 on the working environment of employees and if we could face a unemployment crisis. At the beginning, the term Industry 4.0 is defined followed by an overview of what happened in the three previous industrial revolutions and how the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 arose. Then will be clarified which professions are especially affected by the fourth industrial revolution, which will grow, shrink or even disappear. Another point are skills and qualifications that are in important or necessary and which will be in great demand today and in the future.

Definition and Origin

For the term Industry 4.0 there are two different definitions that have a very different approach. The newer one, which has its origin in Germany reads as follows: “Industrie 4.0” is a marketing term, which is used also in the science communication, and stands for a “Zukunftsprojekt” (according to the “Hightech-Strategie-Website”) of the German Federal Government. In this context, the word Industrie 4.0 was first mentioned publicly and in the media at Hannover Messe 2011.
A second possible definition according to the Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, which actually refers to the worldwide Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, is: “The so-called fourth industrial revolution, to which the number refers, is characterized by individualization (even in mass production ) or hybridization of the products (coupling of production and service) and the integration of customers and business partners in business and value creation processes. Essential components are embedded systems as well as (partly) autonomous machines that move in and through environments without human control and make decisions independently, and developments such as 3D printers. The networking of technologies and chip-tagged objects results in highly complex structures and cyber-physical systems (CPS) or the Internet of Things.” It is probably due to these two fundamentally different definitions, which take a completely different approach, that many can not say exactly what is meant by Industry 4.0, Internet of Things or the fourth industrial revolution.
Is it just a marketing term, a future project that may be realized, or indeed an industrial revolution that will completely change the working environment?
The first and most original description for Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, comes from Kevin Ashton, who used the phrase “Internet of things” in a lecture in 1999, at his former employer P&G.
Ten years later, in 2009, Kevin Ashton, often referred to as the father of the Internet of Things, authored an article in which he gave a very striking outlook for the future, the Internet of Things, which today, in 2017 already partially became reality.
The most important statements of this article are the following: Today’s computers and thus, the Internet, are almost completely dependent on humans when it comes to information. Almost all of the data available on the Internet was first created and stored by humans. Conventional statistics about the Internet forget the biggest and most important part of the whole: people. Our economy, our society and our survival are not based on ideas or information, they are based on things. Ideas and information are important, but things are more important. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data they collected without our help, we would be able to track and track everything, reducing waste, losses and costs. We would know when things needed to be exchanged, repaired or recalled, and whether they were new or worn out. We need to enable computers to gather information themselves.
“The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world just as the Internet has done. Maybe even more.”

Industrial Revolutions

The first Industrial Revolution, which began around 1750, resulted in an increase in production management. This became possible especially through the use of power and work machines. At the beginning, an estimated 80% of the German population worked in agriculture and livestock. What followed through the Industrial Revolution was a migration to the big cities, 
despite the huge decline in the number of agricultural workers, famine could did not occur on larger scales.
Increased productivity in agriculture, transportation, textiles and mining enabled the population to be better served than ever before, resulting in rapid population growth. There was a social change. Craftsmen and simple farm laborers were largely unemployed because of industrialization and had to move to the big cities to find work there. These two groups formed the new social layer of the industrial proletariat. Although many industrial and agricultural jobs became needless as a result of the first industrial revolution, mass unemployment did not occur despite explosive population growth as new jobs emerged, especially in factories.
The social and economic winners of the first industrial revolution were factory owners who exploited the working class. The growing public discontent over poor working conditions, low wages and poverty led to a bourgeois revolution.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the second industrial revolution, it was possible to further increase the labor output by mass-produced labor using electrical energy. Production costs and prices for goods declined as wealth grew in society. In particular, the industry sectors of the mechanical engineering, electrical, automotive and chemical industries grew and developed rapidly.
Around the year 1970, the third industrial revolution took place, which led to automation and made it possible to produce a large number of series. The individualization of products became more and more important. Sales markets changed to buyer markets. Nearly 30 years later, the fourth Industrial Revolution began. The focus here is the connection of production with the latest information and communication technology. Industry 4.0 is transforming the way in which Germany produces and works in the future: after the steam engine, assembly line production, electronics and IT, intelligent factories (so-called “smart factories”) are shaping the fourth industrial revolution.

Impact on the workforce of workers

Unlike the first industrial revolution, almost all professions will be affected by change in the fourth. People, computers and machines are working together more closely than ever before, with people being able to withdraw more and more from the production and gathering of data and act as a conductor.As Kevin Ashton, the father of the Internet of Things, said back in 2009, computers are still human-dependent. The problem is that people have limited time, attention and accuracy. That’s why it only makes sense (given cost-effectiveness) to delegate all tasks to programs and machines that can do them faster and better. According to a study by the World Economic Forum in Davos, more than five million jobs in industrialized countries will disappear in the next five years. However, these are not primarily traditional factory workers but jobs in the administration. The employees at risk are the ones with” white collar”, according to the survey.
According to this study, specialized personnel in the field of computers and technology will not only continue to be needed, but also create two million additional jobs in these areas. Many professions in factories will not disappear, but evolve. For example, the job description of the plant constructor or industrial mechanic changes so much that he will now do less manual and more intellectual work. 
The knowledge, skills and understanding of machines acquired during job training are still in demand, even in times of Industry 4.0, and will not be obsolete in the future.
Similarly, it will behave with many other craft and physical occupations for which extensive technical expertise is needed. Particularly occupations close to the MINT subjects will be very much in demand in the future. If companies facilitate training and develop training plans that are adapted to the new requirements, Industry 4.0 will not pose a threat to the jobs of skilled factory workers. Helper jobs that do not require extensive training will be more in demand in the future, but less available as these activities will be taken over in the foreseeable future by automation of robots or programs.
Much more complex and unpredictable is the future of administrative activities. Standardized and simple tasks can already be performed by programs today without human intervention. More complicated tasks still require the competence and judgment of a person, especially when dealing with isolated cases. The progress in the development of artificial intelligence will significantly influence this area and decide whether and when administrative activities are taken over computers rather than humans. Not only do occupations fall away, but new professions are created. Looking at the past three industrial revolutions, one realizes that these have led not to a reduction of jobs, but to an increase, with at the same time constantly growing population. The concern of many workers that their job profile could no longer be safe in the future is justified. However, this does not mean that they will not find a job as long as they continue their education and learn the skills they need. The actual work is changing and so is the job description and the demand for specialized staff.