Industry 5.0: Towards a Human Centric industry, sustainable and resilient European industry
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation recently published a paper on how Industry should be Human Centric. In this document, Industry 5.0 is defined as a relatively new concept, which provides a basis for further developing a collaborative and co-creative vision of the European industry of the future.
Industry 5.0 will be defined by a refounded and expanded purpose, going beyond the production of goods and services for profit. This broader purpose is made up of three key elements: a human-centred approach, sustainability and resilience.
Human centric industry (or Connected Employee)
Rather than taking emerging technology as a starting point and examining its potential to increase efficiency, a human-centric approach to industry places fundamental human needs and interests at the centre of the production process.
Instead of asking what we can do with new technology, we ask what technology can do for us. Instead of asking the industry worker to adapt his or her skills to the needs of rapidly evolving technology, we want to use technology to adapt the production process to the needs of the worker.
At Zerintia Technologies we have been working for years on the Connected Employee paradigm, which, in its definition, is very close to the 'Human Centric' concept of the European Commission: technology applied to Industry allows integrating and orchestrating the physical, logical and human elements of the industrial company by providing employees and managers with the necessary information to do their job better, thanks to Wearables, IoT and Augmented Reality technologies.
Sustainability and resilience
For industry to respect planetary boundaries, it must be sustainable. It needs to develop circular processes that reuse and recycle natural resources, reduce waste and environmental impact.
Resilience, on the other hand, refers to the need to develop a greater degree of robustness in industrial production, better arming it against disruption and ensuring that it can provide and support critical infrastructure in times of crisis.
An important prerequisite for Industry 5.0 is that technology serves people, not the other way around. In an industrial context, it means that the technology used in manufacturing adapts to the needs and diversity of the industry's workers, rather than having to continually adapt the worker to a constantly changing technology.