by Han-Li Tremblay, Associate Practice Lead – Strategy, at AVALON CSC

Industry 4.0 stands out for technological advancement, we talk a lot about automation, robotics, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence. However, the human can sometimes have been forgotten in favor of profitability.

To be part of the industry 5.0, the concepts of Industry 4.0 must first be implemented and stabilized. We start from the stage where the supply chain is digitized as much as possible, that data is used for decision-making, and that non-value-added or monotonous tasks are done in a robotic or automated way.    

Industry 5.0 brings us back to human and environmental priorities. It is in the continuity of industry 4.0 by giving it a sense and a social responsibility. People must be at the centre of the supply chain at both the strategic and operational levels. Some companies are already doing so, and Industry 5.0 will have virtually no impact on them, while others will have to review their priorities. The manufacturing mindset moves from; we need to automate more, to reduce the need for labour and thus make more profit, to; we need to work with automation so that automation leads us to be more resilient and responsive to consumers, which will generate more profit.   

The notion of resilience is now a necessity that some companies have sometimes neglected. It is fair to say that COVID has played an important role in this shift of mindset that has led us to realize how supply chain disruptions are having a huge impact on our operations.  

As the technology is used, we realize that it is not as flexible as we would have liked.  The needs of consumers are changing very quickly, and a person’s intelligence, flexibility and creativity cannot be substituted by any kind of robotics. That’s why the concept of co-bots becomes very important. Collaboration between robots and humans to increase efficiency. Industry 5.0 puts into perspective the limitations of technology without the intelligence and knowledge of a human to improve it and achieve even more spectacular results.    

The environment is the second element at the heart of Industry 5.0. Global warming, carbon dioxide emissions, the shortage of natural resources are issues that everyone knows about and Industry 5.0 pushes companies to have a common vision and make consistent decisions despite sometimes being more expensive. How to reduce your ecological footprint must be at the center of research and development and new product design. Reverse logistics or otherwise called circular production must be put forward.

Making a product and setting up a supply chain that recovers the product at the end of its life to make it a source of raw material is one of the solutions to environmental problems. Especially since the shortage of raw materials seems to be increasing for some products, the fact of controlling production and return is a solution that mitigates two issues at once.

A second element that needs further thought is the use of renewable energy. How are you able to put solar, wind, hydro, etc., in the forefront?    

In conclusion, being part of Industry 5.0 is accessible to all. It is a state of mind, a value and an enterprise mission focused on the well-being of people and the environment. This shift, which inevitably comes with technology, is in my opinion a solution to several problems that we are currently experiencing such as, labour shortages, shortages of raw materials, the fragility of the supply chain and the environment. 

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