Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a new manufacturing paradigm, which, thanks to the incorporation of a set of emerging technologies that connect people, devices and machines, has transformed the production model as we know it today. Industry 4.0 looks to integrate the whole value chain, bringing together the virtual and physical worlds to ensure the greater availability of real-time information, as well as improved decision-making processes.
Industry 4.0 has given rise to what are known as “smart factories”; factories that have evolved to become more flexible, enabling them to adapt much more quickly to changes in demand. These factories will be more people-focused, offer greater resource efficiency, as well as being more environmentally and socially responsible.

The term “Industry 4.0” was coined by the German government, referring to the 4th Industrial Revolution. The first industrial revolution took place in the 18th century with the introduction of the steam engine and the mechanisation of production; a process that was spurred on by the increased availability of a more powerful and flexible energy source for the machinery. The second industrial revolution occurred in the 19th century with the advancement of electricity and mass production (Henry Ford). And the third revolution emerged in the 1970s, centred on electronics, automation and the introduction of ICT (Information and Communications Technology).


Industry 4.0 opportunities in Galicia: studies

If they are to remain competitive and prosper, Galician companies must move towards more efficient and innovative productive models, exactly like those proposed by Industry 4.0. When we began this study, we were looking to discover the extent to which our strategic productive sectors were aware of the existing challenges, and whether they were actually ready to tackle these challenges. The objectives of our initial study, which we developed between 2016 and 2018 were as follows:

  • To discover the current technological level of the different productive sectors
  • To identify opportunities for improvement in the industrial sector
  • To adapt public policies to the needs of the companies and sectors

This study, which ended in March 2018, not only offered the opportunity for the sectors to work on these objectives, but it also served to promote the existence of these emerging technologies, including the 4.0 concept. Besides proposing specific opportunities for each sector, the study also outlined intersectoral transversal opportunities that could be implemented to facilitate cross-learning.

The study was launched by the Galician Institute of Economic Development (IGAPE) and the Intersectoral Technological Alliance of Galicia (ATIGA), formed by: AIMEN, ANFACO-CECOPESCA, CTAG, EnergyLab, Gradiant and ITG
  • More than 350 companies were interviewed, as well as different experts, clusters and sectoral associations 
  • 10 strategic sectors were considered (Agri-Food and Bio, Wood/Forestry, Automotives, Textile/Fashion, Aeronautics, Metalworking, ICT, Marine, Renewable Energy and Natural Stone)
  • 4 business areas were analysed: quality / production / products and services and people
  • 10 emerging technologies were analysed (Automation and Advanced Robotics, “Big Data, Cloud Computing and Data Analytics”, Cyber-physical Systems and IoT, Additive Manufacturing, Energy and Waste Management, “Human Machine Interface” (HMI), Advanced Logistics, Smart Materials, Modelling, Simulation and Virtualisation of Processes, and Safety and Security)
  • The work team was formed by more than 40 people

The main documents related to this study have been grouped into 3 categories: the executive summary, the technological state of art (by technology), and the sectoral diagnosis (with the associated opportunities for each case).
At the beginning of 2020, both IGAPE and ATIGA and their technological centres decided that they wanted to build on the initial study. Their reasons were twofold, firstly they wanted to update the information on the emerging technologies and any changes (such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G, and so on), and secondly, they wanted to find out how the Galician companies had evolved, both in terms of the initial study, and in terms of the best international practices.

This 2nd study on Opportunities for the Industry 4.0 in Galicia will focus more on the sectors, by highlighting what is being done in the leading regions on both the European and world stage.

We are just finishing our state-of-the-art studies, and we will soon begin to interview companies, clusters and associations.

If you want to find out more, why not check out our blog by clicking on this link where you will find interesting articles about the different emerging technologies that have been addressed in this study, as well as general articles about Industry 4.0 and technology. By following us on twitter and linkedin you will be able to keep up to date on all of our news and other related information. You don’t want to miss out!


Documentos disponibles


Descarga de documentos

Síntesis del resumen ejecutivo
Resumen ejecutivo

Descarga de documentos

Contexto y claves metodológicas
Automatización y robótica
Big Data, Cloud Computing y Data Analytics
Sistemas Ciberfísicos e IoT
Fabricación Aditiva
Gestión de la Energía y los Residuos
Safety & security
Modelización, simulación y virtualización de procesos
Materiales inteligentes
Logística Avanzada

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Alimentación y Bio
Energías renovables
Madera / Forestal
Piedra natural
Textil / Moda