The Impact of Industry 5.0 on How Industrial Enclosures Are Configured, Assembled, and Installed

January 30 2024

Product insight

The centerpiece of Industry 4.0 for manufacturers was putting smart technology at the center of manufacturing and supply chain logistics to help create a more data-driven, connected ecosystem that fostered increased visibility, efficiency, and productivity. This movement pushed manufacturers to embrace a complete digitalization of the design, configuration, and assembly process, resulting in a more connected automation ecosystem.

Industry 5.0 is poised to have a similarly significant impact on the landscape of modern manufacturing, particularly in how the digital revolution realized with Industry 4.0 can help create more productive collaborations between smart automation systems and humans.

While Industry 5.0 is still taking shape in the U.S., it won’t be long before this next leap in manufacturing will affect how companies design, build, and deploy their industrial automation systems. To help you stay ahead of the curve, let’s briefly define Industry 5.0, and then look at how it will impact how industrial enclosures are configured, assembled, and installed.

What is Industry 5.0?

At the core of Industry 5.0 is the desire to augment this digital transformation with meaningful collaboration and partnership between smart automation systems and humans. Industry 5.0 is also built on the notion that the marriage between technology and human intervention should strive for more than increased process efficiency or productivity — the goal should be leveraging this partnership to leave a lasting, positive impact on society and the world. 

The core principles of Industry 5.0 include:

  • A human-centric industry, which makes human and societal needs the focus of modern manufacturing. This principle asks not what smart automation platforms can do productively and efficiently, but what these technologies can do to help empower human creativity and problem solving.
  • A sustainable industry, which looks to put insight-driven industrial automation solutions to work in service of reducing waste and creating more sustainable manufacturing processes. In fact, Industry 5.0 is about more than merely mitigating the environmental impact of manufacturing — it’s about innovating new processes that could actually lay the foundation for helping to reverse damage to the environment.
  • A resilient industry, which is one that is able to anticipate supply chain disruptions or production bottlenecks. This is particularly important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing global supply chain difficulties. This focus on flexibility and agility aims to create a relationship between Big Data and human intuition that can react and learn from global events in order to prevent future production breakdowns.

How will Industry 5.0 affect the way industrial automation systems are built?

A big component of Industry 5.0 will be the integration of collaborative robots (cobots) alongside skilled workers to bolster both productivity and creativity in manufacturing programs. Industry 5.0 will also place greater emphasis on the people who manufacture products as opposed to the machines.

Whereas the ceiling for autonomous robots is facilitating relatively simple repetitive tasks, cobots can execute much more precise, custom machining under the direction of humans and based on real-time requests from customers. This will help automation architects configure industrial enclosures with extremely high levels of customization and to more precise specifications.

With more connected data management systems, designers can collect, store, and analyze enclosure configuration and deployment environment data to produce and share schematics quickly and easily, which in turn will help accelerate speed-to-market.

The ability to leverage more customized industrial automation systems faster and with increased visibility will also help automation architects design with a greater degree of flexibility to overcome any number of market challenges, including supply chain and material sourcing difficulties, labor shortages, increased freight costs, or even environmental disasters.

In fact, more advanced AI and machine learning platforms will help designers better anticipate customer needs before the design phase begins to better support the production of custom automation solutions. This can be extremely valuable in the automotive industry where the construction of a national network of reliable electric vehicle (EV) charging stations requires custom industrial enclosures that optimize performance in a wide range of outdoor applications.

From a prototyping perspective, Industry 5.0 will help automation architects design higher quality automation systems with increased lifespans to help generate a more robust ROI. For example, more insightful, detailed digital twins and simulations will help designers optimize the prototyping process by accounting for potential complications or liabilities in the design or configuration before the enclosure is manufactured.

For example, a machine learning platform can spot a potential liability with the design of a custom enclosure based on customer input, and this allows a panel builder to engineer an individualized workaround before the enclosure is produced.

When it comes to installation, Industry 5.0 will also streamline workflows for enclosure assemblers and installers by providing more predictive insights into deployment variables like environmental conditions, compatibility with accessories, or the need for specialized tooling. This will help assemblers and installers stay ahead of the potential for downtime, and it will also help save time, money, and resources.

Just like its predecessor, Industry 5.0 is positioned to help the manufacturing industry reimagine how industrial automation systems are designed and deployed. Rittal’s approach to helping manufacturers create a more connected ecosystem can help you better prepare for what the future of manufacturing will look like.

Learn more about what we mean when we talk about a more connected ecosystem