Every era of manufacturing has built on and been characterised by advances in technology. The first industrial revolution arose with the steam-powered factory in the later 1700s. About a century later, electricity ushered in the second industrial revolution with mass production and assembly lines.
We are currently straddling two eras: the third industrial revolution, marked by digital communications and automation, and the fourth industrial revolution, which utilises data and machine learning to lower costs and boost revenue (Marr, 2018). As with prior revolutions, economic growth and prosperity spring from this fourth wave of manufacturing.
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