Industry 5.0?  But?

Industry 5.0? But? More like a marketing gimmick than a new paradigm!

“Industry 5.0 therefore appears more like a marketing gimmick than a new paradigm.” (Photo: 123RF)

Text by Bernard Boire, M.Sc.A., FIC, Digital Strategist, Director of Strategic Management and Industry 4.0, Efficient Plant and Lecturer at Polytechnique Montréal

READERS’ MAIL. Every consultant, expert, manager, teacher who wants to be at the top feels obliged to include the topic “Industry 5.0” in his vocabulary. But what exactly is Industry 5.0? That’s the answer given simply and clearly by PME MTL’s partner content “Industry 5.0: the connection between people and technology”, broadcast on 13 December.

After several years of vague and indeterminate circumstantial evidence, a consensus was established to define 5.0 as “an improved version of Industry 4.0, this time putting employees and sustainable development at the center of this digital transformation”. Although this definition is clear, it only reinforces the question of whether it is really important to start a new “fashion”, a new so-called paradigm.

Let’s take a look at two elements designed to differentiate 5.0:

1. More space for employees

The article defines 4.0 as the integration of advanced management (e.g. MES, AI, etc.) and production technologies (e.g. 3D, AR, etc.). However, for those who have been familiar with 4.0 for a long time, this technocentric vision is very reductionist. For example, the digital maturity model of Acatech (a German research group) dating back a decade has always included four aspects of 4.0: technological resources (the ones we talk about all the time), information management (e.g. cyber security), digital skills of employees and companies and management culture (transparency, delegation, innovation, openness internally and externally). In a subsequent survey of more than a hundred companies, the organization found that the vast majority had advanced in the technological aspect (but less so in the others) and that those that had the most success progressed in parallel and at about the same speed in all four parts. Technology integration and change management is also a big challenge of 4.0, just like 3.0. Therefore, I find it unconvincing to claim that this is one of the two “differentiators” of 5.0.

2. Integrate sustainable development

It seems necessary to add this current concern (no doubt an important one). Other than that the text mentioned above (and pretty much any other I’ve read I’d add) doesn’t really define what specifically 5.0 adds to help meet this challenge other than advocating more efficient use of resources… Which was also a goal of 1.0, 2.0 by the way and 3.0. Again we look for the difference.

Overall, 5.0 as defined is so little different that the text concludes that it “should not be of concern to companies that have not yet begun the transition to Industry 4.0. “5.0 is a natural evolution of 4.0. Companies will simply need to integrate the two approaches.” Therefore, Industry 5.0 appears more like a marketing gimmick than a new paradigm.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *