Background on Industry 4.0 its origin, concept and building blocks


Industry 4.0 (I4.0) evolved from a German government initiative and associated working group. At the heart of industry 4.0 there are 4 principles :

  • Interconnection via the Internet of Things(IoT)
  • Industrial internet of Things(IIoT)
  • Information availability across the production process facilitating analysis and action
  • Automation and facilitation of decision making and provision of Cyber Physical Systems(CPS) to complete tasks best suited to machines rather than people(ideally autonomously)


  • 物联网(IoT)
  • 工业物联网(IIoT)
  • 生产环节与生产设施,生产分析,与实际运营之间的信息实时互通
  • 从辅助人完成任务,转变为辅助机器完成任务。具备自动与简易化的决策链与数字化实体生产运营系统(CPS),以最适应机器的方式,完成生产任务,比人工更精准。这就是超自动化(Gartner “2020年十大战略技术趋势”报告中也有提及)

From these principles a range of constantly evolving and changing technologies are available for organisations wishing to benefit from the Industry 4.0 revolution. They share some common characteristics and are typically grouped together as:

  • Data and analytics technologies (BigData) – collection and interpretation of data from a range of sources with the desired aim of making consistent, correct, proactive decisions. Includes the concept of cognitive computing.
  • Smart factory/production technologies including use where appropriate of robotics devices. The objective of these technologies is to drive seamless, environmentally responsible self-optimising processes and systems that realise best in class production performance.
  • Cyber physical systems (CPS)–integrations of computation, networking and physical processes e.g. robotics systems, manufacturing control systems. These cyber-physical systems also build and maintain a ‘Digital twin’ of the physical world.
  • The internet of things (IoT-consumer)/Industrial internet of things (IIoT)i.e. the mobile, virtual and persistent connection of all devices to the internet and each other.
  • Interoperability – development of standards, processes and systems toallow all participant stakeholders and organisations to share information effectively.


  • 大数据分析 – 收集并解释各种来源的数据信息,确保目标一致的、准确的、前瞻的决策,包括认知计算的技术
  • 智能工厂(生产系统)- 包括适当使用机器人技术。目的是实现无缝、环保、可自主优化系统与流程,能够最大限度保证生产成果
  • 数字化物理生产运营系统(CPS)- 整合了计算单元、网络、以及物理生产流程(比如机器人系统,生产控制系统等)。这些CPS也是建立并维护“数字孪生(Digital Twin)”的基础
  • IoT(大众消费市场)与工业物联网IIoT, 比如移动互联网,各种终端设备、生产机器之间虚拟但是稳固安全的互联互通(通过互联网)
  • 互操作性 – 开发可以让所有利益相关人、企业、组织都能参与并互操作的标准、协议、流程与系统。(小编按:其实就是为制造企业从私有工业物联网,转型产业物联网平台做准备,美国工业物联网几家发起公司就准备形成产业物联网平台) 

The current pallet of Industry 4.0 technologies includes but is not limited to mobile devices, advanced human machine interfaces, 3D printing, drones, Smart sensors/PLM technology, traditional DCS systems, Digital Twin solutions, blockchain offerings, Big data analytics and advanced algorithms (e.g. failure prediction and preventative maintenance automated scheduling), Augmented reality/ wearables, improved ERP and CRM offerings. SD-WAN technologies for managing the complexity and rapid changing characteristics of IoT/IIoT networking requirements.

At the business level Industry 4.0 concepts will deliver business value by driving digitalisation and integration of value chains, driving production costs down, facilitating digitization of product and service offerings and finally developing digital business models that improve customer value. The bottom-line result will be connected customers, empowered employees, efficient production, improved products with improved operability and bottom-line profit.


This article explains how Industry 4.0 related capabilities can be applied tospecific energy industry use cases.


Use case:Industry 4.0 realisation facilitated by InfoQuick Technologies – Traditional upstream oil and gas


Business Drivers


                                                                                                                              Figure 1 Oil and gas business drivers




Business model

Upstream Oil and gas industry activities are defined by the following high-level processes (Oil and gas lifecycle):

  • Exploration – acquire a production permit and prove the hydrocarbon bearing of the prospect.
  • Appraisal – evaluate the economic suitability of the field.
  • Development planning– develop an integrated plan that will deliver business value in comparison to other options.
  • Execution - develop the field and design and build the capital infrastructure including wells.
  • Production – produce the hydrocarbons efficiently over the life of the field. Where the value is delivered.
  • Abandonment,decommissioning and restoration – close off the permit.



  • 勘探 – 需要生产许可,并确保足够多的原油(原气)含量以支撑商业运作
  • 评估 – 评估某油田(气田)的经济价值
  • 制定计划 – 制定一个相对最优的整体计划,实现商业价值
  • 执行 – 建设开采井以及其他固定设施,开采油田(气田)
  • 生产 – 在油田/气田生命周期内,高效生产原油/原气,这是价值之源
  • 油田/气田的弃置、环境恢复 – 关闭许可