The 4th Industrial Revolution

Hartmann_Maschinenhalle_1868_(01)If you went to the same kind of school we went to, you learned about one Industrial Revolution. It took place in the 18th century, involved steam engines and servomotors, and resulted in higher standards of living for some and some pretty grim workweeks for others.

It was a time of great excitement and ideas that spread around the world, a period of true and exhilarating change in human history, and it led to changes not only in technology but in culture as well.

Sounds somewhat familiar, doesn’t it?

So perhaps it is not surprising that some people think of the current time of intense technological change as another Industrial Revolution. The Internet of Things — physical objects that use internet technology — is expected to revolutionize factories any day now.

But what about Industrial Revolutions 2 and 3?

The second Industrial Revolution took place, according to this theory, in the 19th century, powered by electricity and the assembly line. The third began in the 1960s with the rise of electronics, the semiconductor, and early computers.

Historians don’t agree on this, by the way. Some feel that the path from servomotor to Google Glass is one steady evolution, not a revolution. For these theorists, the Industrial Revolution began in the 1700s and just hasn’t stopped yet.

What do you think? We can see both sides. Certainly, today’s servomotors work on the same principle as the first servos of the 1800s, even though ours are powered by electricity rather than steam. Many of the servos and related drives and controls that we work on are from the 20th century rather than the 21st, and they’re still doing their jobs. That suggests an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary path.

But we’re ready to be amazed.

In the meantime, call us when your legacy Indramat motion control needs a hand. We offer phone support, factory repair, and emergency units on the shelf and ready to be flown right to you.

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