Industry 4.0, is a term introduced by the German government in 2011. It refers to the 4th Industrial Revolution where disruptive digital technologies (such as the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence) have an impact on industrial production. Over the last few years, the term Industry 4.0 has become an often-quoted buzzword, used to describe digitalization in any phase of the value chain of an enterprise.
An educational module on Industry 4.0 for higher education students
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Rezekne Academy of Technologies (Rezekne, Latvia) decided to introduce an experimental module on Industry 4.0 into the Mechatronic curriculum. The leader of the mechatronics course was persuaded that the course curriculum should be revised and integrated to provide students with new notions and competences to tackle the changes brought about by the 4th industrial revolution (this finding also emerged as an essential theme from the European Union Erasmus+ Project NewMetro, where Rezekne Academy of Technologies is Partner).
Content for the learning module on Industry 4.0 was decided by professors and researchers with a wide range of backgrounds such as machine control, computer science, and process optimization.
From the first lessons, it was evident that the learning program should be periodically modified and integrated.
Another issue was that students participating in the Industry 4.0 module had different backgrounds in computer science and had varying levels of familiarity with computer programming.
Conclusions of the experience:
The training experience carried out in support of this learning module at the Rezekne Academy of Technologies has been extremely useful. It highlighted:
- Need to introduce a module on artificial intelligence
- Need to develop a knowledge of intelligent problem-solving, appropriate to the context of industrial production
- Need to deal with the integration of processes and industrial production issues
- Need to focus attention on concrete cases of the industrial output, preparing exercises that allow students to become familiar with the main problems in the field, and the techniques for finding solutions.
Source: TEACHING INDUSTRY 4.0, Gilberto Marzano and Andris Martinov, Rezekne Academy of Technologies, Rezekne, Latvia, Spoleczna Akademia Nauk, Łódź, Poland