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The new challenges and opportunities of transition 5.0

Transition 5.0 brings with it a redefinition of production, organisational and business models and processes. In all of this, industrial measurement tools play an essential role. Let us therefore discover the new scenarios awaiting companies.

Transition 4.0 had as its primary aim the digitisation of companies and production processes, requiring companies to achieve strong interconnection and integration between the field and management and advancement systems.

The aim was to provide added value to the company’s information instruments by exploiting measured data from the field. These make it possible to track production processes, product quality and to have system feedback to optimise the entire life cycle. Such an approach was, in the beginning, important and somewhat disruptive, and in some cases forced the renewal of the machine park, and above all the creation and structuring of a new information and management system at company level.

This change was, perhaps, much more significant for SMEs than for large companies or multinationals. What the advent of Transition 4.0 has brought as a result, along with the associated tax breaks, has also been a new perception of data, and how these are produced and collected.

This has also brought about a new role and strategic importance of measurement and measurement tools. In addition to this, it has led to an awareness of operating in a new, more digital scenario, which is inevitably accompanied by new challenges and risks, primarily those related to cybersecurity aspects.

The three pillars to be pursued

The next natural step of Transition 4.0 was the need to continue towards Transition 5.0. The latter must take off from a new, more digitised and more integrated/ interconnected reality, and introduce new important aspects, namely the three pillars to be pursued: human-centricity, resilience and sustainability.

This new vision puts people and their well-being at the centre, aiming to make companies more adaptable and resilient in the face of change and crisis, while promoting environmental protection and reducing CO2 emissions.

But let us look at the three pillars in detail. The human-centric pillar directs attention towards the needs and well-being of employees.
This implies not only an in-depth consideration of these aspects, but also the customisation of products and services in order to respond in a targeted manner to consumer demands. Resilience is essential to cope with dynamics of change and crisis.

Businesses must demonstrate the ability to readily adapt to emerging challenges while ensuring business continuity.

The use of advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing, play a decisive role in enhancing efficiency and operational flexibility, while cyber security is an essential pillar. It is integrated into business resilience, ensuring the protection of information systems and the management of digital threats.

Proactive protection against cyber attacks and efficient management of vulnerabilities are essential components to ensure continuity of operations, and the safeguarding of sensitive information.

Finally, sustainability involves not only the adoption of eco-friendly production practices, but also a transition to a circular model based on renewable sources. Reduction, reuse and recycling become guiding principles for a sustainable and responsible approach.

Digital Transformation

Transition 5.0 is driven by the synergy of two important areas of change: the digital transition and the ecological transition.

The digital transition represents a substantial revolution which permeates the entire business environment. This transformation process implies a strategic migration from traditional operating models to those based on advanced digital technologies. Enabling technologies, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud computing and blockchain, are being integrated into production processes to improve efficiency and adaptability. The IoT enables real-time data collection from manufacturing devices, facilitating more effective and predictive resource management.

Cloud computing emerges as a key element in reducing dependence on local infrastructure, promoting flexibility in managing computational resources. This approach allows companies to scale operations in response to market needs, avoiding costly investments in physical infrastructure.

Blockchain, with its security and transparency, finds application in supply chain management, providing reliable traceability of materials and products throughout the production process.

The economic impacts of the digital transition in manufacturing are significant. Reduced operating costs through automation, process optimisation and predictive data management contribute to improved overall profitability. Digital transformation in manufacturing is not only about technology, but also about redefining business models. Cybersecurity becomes a priority, as the rise of digital technologies exposes companies to increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

Reducing the environmental impact

The ecological transition requires a paradigm shift in the production practices of companies. This evolutionary phase is not limited to the simple adoption of advanced digital technologies, but embraces a circular model based on renewable sources, valuing recycling, reuse and regeneration of resources.

Within manufacturing companies, this process requires an integrated and sustainable approach. Reducing environmental impact becomes a primary objective.vThe adoption of advanced technologies, such as smart sensors and data analysis, enables accurate monitoring of emissions and use of resources during the production cycle. This visibility allows companies to identify inefficiencies, and implement targeted practices to minimise environmental impact. Adopting a ‘by design’ approach means considering environmental impacts from the product design stage. This includes choosing sustainable materials, designing products with an extended life cycle, and facilitating recycling at the end of their useful life.

Supply chain management plays a crucial role in the ecological transition.
Companies are called upon to select suppliers committed to sustainable practices, ensuring traceability and ethical sourcing of materials.
Energy efficiency is another pillar of the ecological transition for manufacturing companies.

New challenges and opportunities for Italian companies

Transition 5.0 provides significant opportunities for Italian companies, enabling them to innovate products and services to make them more personalised, secure, accessible and sustainable.

However, addressing this transition requires commitment, significant investments, a strategic vision, and brings with it inevitable challenges.

Among the opportunities offered by Transition 5.0, the ability to adapt to new emerging dynamics, and to embrace human-centric, resilient and sustainable practices is predominant. The focus on people enables companies to put not only the production of goods, but also the well-being and needs of workers at the centre of their strategies. This approach not only improves employee satisfaction, but can also increase team efficiency and creativity. It also includes the adoption of policies encouraging continuous training and the active involvement of employees in the ongoing transformation.

Resilience becomes a crucial opportunity, enabling manufacturing companies to successfully cope with sudden changes and unforeseen crises. This brings with it the need to identify new processes and instruments to monitor the system, and to be able to reconfigure it when events occur.

Sustainability creates opportunities for manufacturing companies to stand out in the market through eco-friendly practices and products. The adoption of a circular model and the transition towards renewable sources not only meet the growing expectations of environmentally conscious consumers, but can also open up new markets and business partnerships.

The digitisation of production processes offers an opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce waste and optimise resource management. The integration of technologies such as IoT allows real-time monitoring of production activities, facilitating the early identification of areas for improvement. Redefining business models is another major challenge.

Adopting more sustainable practices could require significant initial investments and involve a complete revision of business strategies.

Source: Controllo e Misura by Publitec

Read also: Industry 5.0: opportunities and social impacts
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