Essay Sample on Fourth Industrial Revolution at HP

Paper Type:  Report
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1719 Words
Date:  2022-11-21


The report is designed to review of the literature of "Industry 4.0" by identifying the origin of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its development today. The review will decisively assess the impact of Industry 4.0 on the supply chain operations within the Hewlett-Packard (HP) company. The key areas will involve the company overview by looking at the HP Company's sector, size, products, services and customers. The report also looks at the replicate Szozda's case study in the context of HP and how Industry 4.0 may have changed or influenced the company.

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Company Overview

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is an information technology company that operates in the technology sector. The company was developed in 1939 by two Engineering graduates; William R. Hewlett and David Packard at Stanford University (Rouse, 2018). HP is situated in Palo Alto, California and it has branches across the world. Today, the company has more than 49 thousand employees (Forbes, 2018). In 2014, it split into Hewlett-Packard and HP Inc. enterprises where HP inc. focuses on PC and printers while Hewlett-Packard focuses on selling enterprise products and services (Rouse, 2018). The company operates in different business segments such as the printing segment, the enterprise group segment, the enterprise services segment, the software segment and the corporate financial and investment segment (Forbes, 2018). The enterprise services segment offer technology consulting, support services, and application services. The enterprise group segment provides storage, HP CLoudsystem, networking and other technology services. The personal systems segment provides personal computers and other computer accessories. The printing segment provides media, printer hardware, scanning devices, and supplies. Finally, the software segment offer enterprise information management and security solutions and the corporate investment segment provide financial management services, WebOS businesses and HP labs. Thus, HP aims to create technologies, which make life better and easier for customers who use their services and products. It sells these hardware and software solutions and other computer based services and products to individuals, SMEs and large enterprises.

Literature Review

The use of innovative technologies has improved the quality of goods and services produced by organizations. This is because the industrial sector has evolved and undergone transformation towards the intelligence of production and complete digitization process to ensure high efficiency. As a result, most companies have implemented new technologies in order to automate their industrial processes. Such facets are the foundation of the fourth industrial revolution commonly referred to as the "Industry 4.0." The Industry 4.0was developed in 2013 in Germany ad spread rapidly in Europe (Chung and Kim, 2016). Its effect has led to a radical transformation of organizations looking to change their approaches and instead use new technologies such as new inputs, new materials, new machinery, and new production technology (Zhou, Liu, and Zhou, 2015). Thus the knowledge has become a key input for most organizations across the globe.

Industrial revolution as passed through three crucial stages due to the disruptive leap in a process of industrial process, which leads to critical changes in the economy and society.

Figure 1 shows the main phases of industrial revolution

The First Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution occurred between 1750 and 1850 and it was due to ability of humans to harness energy sources such as coal and steam (Li, Hou, and Wu, 2017). It was primarily driven by a succession of breakthroughs in engineering such as steam engine and the use of coal as a cheaper source of energy. This led to coal powered external combustion steam engines that produced cheap energy than ever before. As a result, many transformations in the manufacturing sector were experienced in transportation, metal works, and textile industry. Most of the famous inventions were developed in the first industrial revolution including the power loom, the cotton gin, the introduction of sheet glass, machine used to separate cotton fibers from their seeds, the development of machine tools and a machine used to weave tapestries and cloths, and the burning of coal to produce gaslight (Wollschlaeger, Sauter, and Jasperneite, 2017).

Before this period, goods were locally made by craftsmen and large companies started to produce more products after commercializing of coal powered steam engines (Almada-Lobo, 2016). A shift occurred from a rural agrarian culture to the development of large manufacturing factories. As result, the work force was replaced by industries, and cities economic powerhouse of most countries. This trend never slowed down and it led to the second industrial revolution, which was more influential that the first industrial revolution.

The Second Industrial Revolution

The Second Industrial Revolution was also regarded as the Technological Revolution during the First World War between 1870 and 1914 (Li, Hou, and Wu, 2017). This period was seen as major breakthroughs because of the development of new energy sources such as petroleum and electricity (Sommer, 2015). Other advanced developments in the production of steel and iron led to the production of standardized and bulk machines. The development of railway infrastructure and the steam turbine engine was developed in most countries leading to the revolution of naval vessels. More superior transport routes developed and markets opened up due to the reduction of price of machine-driven production and the increased speed of transportation. Therefore, the most empirical development during the second industrial revolution was petroleum and electricity. Electrification is regarded as the major developments in the 20th century since it gave an abundant and cheap energy source that powered homes and factories (Sommer, 2015)- and also laid the development of electronic devices used today.

Other major advancements during this period were communication that led to development of radio, telephone and telegraph, paper making that led to the spread of literature, news and knowledge, and the development of rubber production that led to the invention of airplanes, cars and bicycles (Xu, David, and Kim, 2018). Thus, the first industrial revolution began the concept of modern industrial economies while the second industrial revolution began the mastery of technology and modern cities. Globalization increased with the world being able to communicate and trade and the trend continued leading to unprecedented levels in the 20t century such as the Digital Revolution (Xu, David, and Kim, 2018).

The Third Industrial Revolution

The Third Industrial revolution or the Digital Revolution began in 1950s (Li, Hou, and Wu, 2017). It led to the shift from analogue and mechanical electronic technology to digital technology. The first use of computers and the use of satellite broadcasting and internet led to a digital architecture that allowed information to be shared across different devices using faster processing speed compared to human force. This is why the period is also referred to as the age of information (Hwang, 2016). The development of digital information was the main result of the mastery of electricity that combined the improvement of micro-processors such as computer chips. From HD television screens and smart phones to high-end computer chips and high-end photography equipment are considered the foundation of advanced electronics (Hwang, 2016). Thus the third industrial revolution led to the development of intelligent applications through all data being processed.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution began in 2011 in Germany (Szozda, 2017). It became a milestone in industry during the government project aimed to promote computerization of manufacturing process. The final report of the project had a list of recommendations on the project implementation, which led to the development of Industry 4.0. The concept of Industry 4.0 is based on the concept of a smart factory, which involve the flow of electronics during the production process (Szozda, 2017). This ensures that the production process devices communicate through the operation of the social media. Thus, machines and production materials operate on their own beyond the company or country boarders.

Industry 4.0 has three archetypes includes a fully automated company, mass personalization of production, and the e-factories (Szozda, 2017). A fully automated company is primarily focused on cost efficiency that is applied in mass products. The mass personalization of production is focused on meeting customers' needs by conducting products in small batches and allows products to be delivered to individual customers. The third archetype is the e-factories that are based on individualization and remote operations. Such firm functions in small scale and focus on low investment expenditure to remain competitive. Thus Industry 4.0 refers to industrial changes in both the procurement and distribution spaces. It integrates complex devices and physical machinery using networked software and sensors to identify, plan and control the business outcomes (Flynn, Huo, and Zhao, 2010). Industry 4.0 has helped in the management of all supply chain as it address all trends in socialization, network collaboration, modularization, mobility, transparency, autonomization, and digitalization. The most common technologies used in Industry 4.0 are the Internet Service, Smart Factory, Internet of Things, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), automated machine park, human-machine interactions, analytics and artificial intelligence, and data and connection.

How HP Company will Change

The elements of the fourth industrial revolution will influence areas of modern supply chain within the HP Company. HP is one of the most automated factories in the world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution already applies in the HP Company to help streamline the production processes by making organizational changes such as cost reduction, greater flexibility, reductions of time, and improvement of quality. These streamlines can only be implemented using the fourth industrial revolution such as the Internet Service, Smart Factory, Internet of Things, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), automated machine park, human-machine interactions, analytics and artificial intelligence, and data and connection.

Robots are used in different production stages particularly during the assembly. The RFID implemented system will be critical in tracing products and their components during each stage of manufacturing. The technology allows for the full automation of products and raw material in both warehouses and factory (Almada-Lobo, 2016). Employees are equipped with knowledge and tools to control and operate both the software and hardware system in real time. The implementation of a logistic support system would help employees obtain information in real time.

Implementing the machine management system may also optimize the operation of devices. This tool allows for the measurement and analysis of how the operation and functioning of all machines in the factory, which enable tracing of the operation of different devices, and checking for occurrence and flexibility failures (Wollschlaeger, Sauter, and Jasperneite, 2017). The tool also allows the system to repair itself in cases of errors, identify reasons for the errors and provide solutions that help repair the devices. In cases where the tool cannot identify an error, experts are needed to solve them online within the company.

The use of the machine park operation during the product...

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