Industry 4.0 refers to the next industrial revolution in which machines and production processes are networked to create so-called "Smart Factories". Cloud-based platforms connect all the industrial machinery to optimise monitoring and maintaining them. During production, machines communicate with each other and autonomously decide when and which machine is to be used in the next stage of production. However, people will continue to play an important role in the resulting cyber-physical systems. In the long term, Industry 4.0, promises to return production from Asian mass market factories to Europe in so-called "Speed Factories", where automated batch production at mass market prices will be possible.
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