Equipment manufacturers are using the IoT and machine to machine communication (M2M) to unlock possibilities never seen before.

From water filters to cranes to coffee machines, industrial machines are becoming connected. New efficiencies are being found, and improvements are being made in everything from basic capabilities to customer service.

Industry 4.0

"Industry 4.0" is the buzzword for the arrival of IoT in industry. It no less than a paradigm shift, at least as big as in the first industrial revolution when the Victorians went from hand-made goods to mechanical looms. During "Industry 1.0" the power source was generally coal and steam, and the materials were timber, iron and steel.

Progress to industry 4.0Industry 2.0 started with the First World War, when electricity became widely distributed. Conveyer belts allowed factories to move into mass production.

The 1970's saw the advent of electronics, first analog but then digital, and that brought in Industry 3.0. Many products were miniaturised and production became more efficient.

Since around 2010, industry has been entering a more "smart" era, in which there is an increasing connectedness of all industrial machinery.

Above this sit rules engines to do decision processing, and interfaces to bring information rapidly to managers. There is fingertip-control, no longer by standing at the machine itself, but from a desktop or tablet workstation to a remote machine.