Industrial Revolution

The 4 stages of the Industrial Revolution – Where are we now?

In release of our recent Back to Basics resources (which we hope you grabbed a free download!) we have decided to look further into the Industrial Revolution, how did we get to where we are now?  

In 2021 we are still thriving through Industry 4.0, but where did we begin? What even IS the Industrial Revolution? For many, these terms may be very familiar – for this blog we will be speaking to our very own Graduate Delivery Consultant – Mikhail Bawany to gain further insight… 

By starting off with our Back to Basics resources we briefly explained the terms from Industry 1-4; today we will be delving a little further with illustrations and all to keep things visual! Mikhail is a Supply Chain Management and Logistics Graduate who specialised in the Impact of Industry 4.0 on Supply Chain Management for his dissertation, so we thought he would be a great resource!

Industry 1.0-3.0: Summarised 

Where did it all begin? Exact dates are not known however many have come to an agreement with timescales:

Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution –  1.0

The introduction of Steam and Water Power – A huge jump from the manual labour of muscle power, Steam was used to create power, thus starting this huge Industrial Revolution. Not only Steam, but the Mechanization achieved multiple amounts of what only the hands could do, completely reinventing the industry and it’s capabilities. 


“It is related to mechanization and connected to the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial world.”

– Mikhail Bawany

The Second Industrial Revolution –  2.0

As time shifts, the world changes as we know. In the 19th Century we saw the discovery of Electricity and Assembly line production – further increasing production amounts and gaining back time.  

“It was characterized by the introduction of electricity and petroleum in mass production, by the intensive division of labour, and by the development of railway and steel industry.”

 Lele, 2019

The assembly line was taken for mass production in the Automotive Sector by Henry Ford in 1913; this huge advance changed the industry forever. 

The Third Industrial Revolution –  3.0

Moving into the 20th Century, technology advances were thriving from electricity discovery with the invention of the Television and more. Industry 3.0 started with the use of technology and partial automation, including robotics and computers. 


“Many believe Industry 3.0 is still continuing at the present days smoothly transforming into the new age of industrialization, the fourth industrial revolution.”

– Mikhail Bawany

The transition is key to defining the differences between i3 and i4, as technology continues to advance we move into the now – such as the invention of the Internet. These advances continue to update the Industry, moving it into another stage. 

Industry 4.0 – Where are we now? 

The fourth Industrial revolution is closely connected to the third, continuing with the use of robotics, automation and computers. However, starting in the 21st Century there have been technical advances which are important to mention which have played a part towards Industry 4 – creating a digital transformation of the Industry.  

“In the view of some thinkers the term ‘evolution is more appropriate than ‘revolution’ for the ongoing changes because the main elements already exist and only some further developments occur.”

(Bartodziej, 2017)” – Mikhail Bawany

So what makes Industry 4.0 different to Industry 3.0?

IOT  (The Internet of Things) is a key enabler to i4, but what does this mean exactly?  

The IOT refers to internet-connected objects through networks and the cloud, which are able to collect data without human interaction. IOT can refer to almost any object which can connect via internet and communicate, from devices to cars, to machines and robots. Having the connectivity of pretty much everything has endless possibilities, gaining insights and data like never before.  

Industry 4 is continually evolving with abilities to gain higher amounts of data, cloud based storage, automation and much more digital impact. With this, comes the term ‘Smart Factories’

You may have heard about Smart Factories, but this phrase is a key factor in i4: 

Smart Factory: production systemscomponents and people communicating via a network and production is nearly autonomous.

Source Link

With the IOT also comes CPS… 

CPS: Cyber Physical System. (Lot’s of technical jargon now… but don’t worry, we will simplify this!) 

CPS are technical internet connect systems from sensors, actuators and other smart components or as we commonly know as ‘Smart Objects’. When CPS and IOT are integrated, this is what creates the Smart Factory.

But why the Digital Transformation of the Industry? 

Overview of UK roads

As the times change and more innovations appear, of course our processes and the way we work will adapt and improve.

The main achievements of i4 include higher efficiency of processes, real-time insights, increased productivity and overall, a better way of working. As we continue through Industry 4 we see more traditional industrial practices use modern smart technology and we can continue to see more exciting innovations. The shift to digital is at a great pace, even more so post pandemic where businesses needed to digitalise to stay ahead. 

If you need more advice on your business in the Industrial Sectors and where you fit on a digital scale, Contact Us for more information and let’s see if we can help to Digitalise your Processes! 


to be notified of our next post which looks further into Industry 4.0 and some case studies – Follow us on our Socials and Chat to us!


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about Hana:

When Hana founded HanaTech her vision was clear: to support local businesses to improve their efficiency and competitiveness through increasing their use of technology. She is passionate about making technology simple, accessible and enabling, to offer a baseline from which to truly innovate, and supporting Traditional Factories to become Factories of the Future, one quick win at a time.

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At HanaTech we specialise in Digital Process Improvement in the West Midlands and beyond. We support local business within UK Manufacturing to become more successful at competing and surviving in a Digital World, transforming Traditional Factories towards Factories of the Future, One Quick Win at a Time…

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