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Industry 5.0: A Comprehensive Introduction

Industry 5.0: A Comprehensive Introduction

At the Hannover Fair in 2011, the term Industry 4.0 was first floated in the context of the German manufacturing industry. It was a vision of the fourth industrial revolution, with interconnectedness and real-time data sharing between machinery and automated systems on the production floor, breaking down silos. Less than a decade later, in 2017, the Japanese Business Federation presented the idea of Society 5.0 at the CeBIT trade fair, again in Germany, with a vision to digitally transform society as a whole.

Industry 5.0 has its roots in Society 5.0, as it combines technological innovation with concern for the general welfare of society. Industry 5.0 refocuses on the human element, using the new technology and systems introduced in Industry 4.0 to help individuals deliver more value. It takes a broad view of organizational success, understanding that sustainable business growth relies on both individual and societal wellbeing.

Industries across the globe are now welcoming Industry 5.0 and its underlying principles. Let’s dive into what Industry 5.0 means, how it sets itself apart from Industry 4.0, and how your organization can best implement its ideas.

What is Industry 5.0?

Industry 5.0 is a set of principles that combine the efficiency and accuracy of machinery with the creativity and personalization humans bring to the table. Industry 5.0 is not a new industrial revolution. Instead, it represents an evolution of Industry 4.0 that is about balancing the advantages offered by automation with the abilities only a human can bring to the workplace.

The first Industrial Revolution replaced manual labor with automation from steam and hydropower, the second saw mass-scale production powered by electricity, and the third brought in programmable computing and a strong digital ecosystem. Industry 4.0 saw smart factories tapping into the power of cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robots, big data, and more. Industry 5.0 addresses key questions that went unasked during these successive leaps forward:

  • In the race for automation, are we missing out on leveraging the resourcefulness of humans?
  • Rather than conceptualizing a completely automated factory, can we find a place for humans to not just fit into but better the continuing transformation of industry?
  • Can we use technology to balance economics, productivity, and social welfare?

To achieve these objectives, Industry 5.0 stands on three pillars :

  • Human-centricity. A human-centric approach places focus on the talent and empowerment of people. It recognizes the unique value of individuals in addition to the potential of machines.
  • Sustainability. Prioritizing sustainability in policy and implementation helps organizations better preserve natural resources, monitor and reduce energy wastage, and protect the environment.
  • Resilience. Resilient industries leverage technology to function seamlessly even in times of crisis and respond with agility to market changes.


The promise of Industry 5.0

These three pillars help Industry 5.0 meet the realities and demands of the advancing 21st century, both in terms of markets and society. Here are just a few of the benefits your enterprise can gain by adopting Industry 5.0 principles.

Better alignment with post-pandemic priorities

The pandemic has led to a new normal for many businesses as they scramble to fast-track their digital transformation initiatives and adapt to the changing rules of the game. Industry 5.0’s call for more resilient business models and an empowered workforce is in tune with this new paradigm. Industry 5.0 helps reveal better ways to keep factories running, restore normalcy in the post-pandemic era, leverage distributed supply chains, and operate machinery remotely.

Happier, more motivated team members

The rapid automation brought on by Industry 4.0 technologies led to employees on the plant floor feeling less valued and having difficulty adjusting to new roles. Industry 5.0 places team members front and center by identifying the specific areas they can make a difference. It changes the relationship between people and machines from antagonistic to collaborative, building excitement rather than dread about learning new skills and exploring new technologies.

New possibilities for innovation and creativity

Industry 5.0 also encourages harnessing critical thinking to create extra value, such as by customizing a product or service or adding human input to formerly fully automated decision-making. By combining the natural creativity of the human mind with the possibilities of automation, newly discovered synergies are sure to arise.

A focus on sustainability

Rather than treating sustainability as just another buzzword, Industry 5.0 makes it a core priority, centering it as a creative way to save on production and maintenance costs over the long term. Industry 5.0 envisions a circular economy where all companies reduce, reuse, and recycle by leveraging technologies like IoT sensors that continuously monitor energy consumption, AI-powered analytical solutions, and additive manufacturing.


Restoring the human touch with Industry 5.0A

Industry 5.0 offers hyper customization and tailored experiences to the customer. Man and machine work together to increase safety, wellbeing, and job creation for workers while also developing the flexibility to offer customers individualized and interactive products.

Collaborative robots, or cobots, are one of the key enablers behind Industry 5.0. Typically, industrial robots have worked in isolation on the plant floor, cordoned off in a separate safe space. Cobots can instead be used in large-scale production to create a semi-finished product with manual intervention at the finishing step. They automate the repetitive, strenuous, and dangerous parts of production, allowing highly skilled workers to focus on product alteration and reconfiguration.

Human involvement can also be in the form of reprogramming cobots to create bespoke solutions . For example, the automotive industry may require the manufacturing of similar parts but with different dimensions for different vehicles. The reconfiguring and reprogramming of cobots for each vehicle is a perfect use case for manual intervention.

Digital twinning is another key pillar of Industry 5.0. The concept of digital twins has been around since the 1960s when NASA used it to mirror its spacecraft vehicles. As a virtual replica of a physical object, a digital twin helps to study and analyze the original object in detail.

Digital twin technologies have found a variety of modern applications. For machinery that’s difficult or dangerous to troubleshoot, a digital twin can be a great way to boost safety and efficiency. Digital twins also have a significant role in enterprise asset management (EAM) — a field that helps organizations maximize asset value across the entire lifecycle. They constantly gather real-time data from IoT sensors that is then studied using AI-powered data analytics. This enables the development of a Smart Digital Reality thatoptimizes asset performance , better coordinates maintenance schedules, helps ensure regulatory compliance, and reduces equipment downtime .

Industry 5.0 also relies on mobile technology so individuals can effectively manage assets and get the job done whether they’re in the office or the field. Ensure that your asset management solution takes a mobile-first approach and includes an easy-to-use app so your employees are always connected. When front-line workers have access to real-time data, they can quickly locate any equipment or other resources they need, respond more speedily to unplanned downtime or other incidents, and improve key metrics like Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), First Time Fix Rate, and Preventative Maintenance Compliance.

Accelerate the transition to Industry 5.0

Your company can use Industry 5.0 as a guide to balance the unique value individuals bring to the table with the advantages of today’s technology. It can apply the core tenets of Industry 5.0 to everything from high level business strategy to production and supply chain optimization.

HxGN EAM's asset performance management (APM) capabilities provide a great starting point for your organization’s Industry 5.0 journey. They help drive a more predictable, sustainable, and efficient approach to maintenance and asset management through capturing and analyzing data on asset performance, centralizing and digitizing maintenance, and building intelligent risk mitigation strategies. With autonomous digital twins and machine learning capabilities, human interventions are limited to only those that provide actual value, while new opportunities to build man-machine synergies appear.

Contact HxGN EAM today to find out more about how we can help.