The first industrial revolution, which is often referred to as “THE” Industrial Revolution, is actually just the first of four revolutions so far.

  • The First Revolution moved from manual to mechanical by harnessing steam and water power, replacing raw muscle.
  • The Second Revolution took advantage of electricity and the assembly line to generate mass production.
  • The Third Revolution took off using electronics and software, the most iconic example of these two coming together being the computer—and the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) in the industrial setting. This gave rise to an era of high-level automation.
  • The Fourth Revolution is the revolution happening right now, according to this study. The physical world, the digital world, and the virtual world are colliding together, creating smart products, procedures and processes, and smart factories.
This current revolution ( Industry 4.0 ) is being brought on primarily by Cyber-physical Systems and the Internet of Things to create a highly intelligent, integrated, and automated manufacturing ecosystem that spans far beyond the traditional “factory floor.”

This means Industry 4.0 is not merely a matter of connecting machines and products through the Internet. It’s a paradigm shift in how we organize, manage, and approach business.

The concepts inspired by Industry 4.0 boil down to collecting and harnessing a tremendous amount of data to make better decisions, telling business leaders what to do and when to do it.

The goal of most Industry 4.0 initiatives, therefore, are to identify opportunities for automating operations and use data analytics to drive better agility, increase efficiency, improve quality, and reduce a company’s time-to-market.

jeff winter

About the Author :

Jeff Winter

Mr. Jeff Winter
Industry Executive, Manufacturing


Jeff Winter is an Industry 4.0 & Digital Transformation Enthusiast | Business Strategist | Avid Storyteller | Tech Geek | Public Speaker

Jeff Winter is an Industry Executive for Manufacturing with Microsoft where he acts as an industry advisor helping manufacturers across the US digitally transform at scale. With over 15 years of experience working for different industrial automation product and solution providers, Jeff has a unique ability to simplify and communicate complex concepts to a wide range of audiences, educating and inspiring people from the shop floor up to the executive board room.  As part of his experience, Jeff is also very active in the community of Industry 4.0. 

He currently is a part of the International Board of Directors for MESA (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association), the leadership committee for the Smart Manufacturing & IIoT Division of ISA (International Society of Automation), a U.S. registered expert for IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) as a member of TC 65, and part of Purdue University’s Smart Manufacturing Advisory Board.

He can be contacted at :

Email : [email protected]

LinkedIn :

Also read his earlier article :

Jeff WinterJeff Winter