Industry 5.0: A Sustainable Approach

Did you know that manufacturers can provide mass customisation of products at low costs and short production cycles using collaborative robots and responsive supply chains?

An engineer programming a robot
Programming robots, i-Scoop

Target audience: Decision makers (CXOs/Directors) of IT consulting, automation, renewable energy, manufacturing & allied firms, Investors (Venture Capitalists, Private Equities, Investment Bankers), management consultants, business strategists, innovators, and curious people.

Reading time: 5-10 min.


The ‘Industry 5.0’ revolution is an extension of Industry 4.0 – framework for technology usage to improve industrial processes. Key aspects of Industry 5.0 are ‘sustainable’, ‘human centric’, and ‘resilient’. The emphasis of this industrial revolution is to empower the workers’ creative skills, use advanced technologies to enhance their lives, and respect the limits of our planet. These aspects facilitate a unique user experience – mass customisation – tailor made products and/or services are offered at moderate prices.



Around 1760, the First Industrial Revolution evolved – use of steam power and mechanisation of production. Mechanised spinning mills powered by steam engines achieved about eight times the volume in a similar period (textile industry). Steamships and steam-powered locomotives enabled a faster movement of humans and goods – achieved long distances in few hours.

Around 1840, the Second Industrial Revolution started – use of electrical technology for high volume production and invention of sophisticated machines for manufacturing. Henry Ford discovered the assembly line production which is widely used today for mass production of cars. This manufacturing process was adapted from the slaughterhouses of Chicago. In these slaughterhouses, dead animals were hung from conveyer belts (mostly pigs), while each butcher performed only part of the entire butchering task at any given workstation. This system helped bring efficiency to the entire production process, while each worker developed and mastered a small set of valuable skills.

Around 1970, the Third Industrial Revolution emerged – use of electronics, and IT (Information Technology) to automate production. The use of partial automation (robots) in manufacturing with the help of memory-programmable controls & computers, and digitisation of systems were important milestones of this era.

In 2011, the Fourth Industrial Revolution advanced – use of advanced digital technologies to seamlessly integrate with physical machines (fully automated production). These digital technologies are Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive computing including Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, 3d printing, cloud computing, and other related technologies. The use of data driven decisions to perform predictive failure analysis, and to facilitate artificial intelligence decisions are significant advancements of this ongoing period.

In 2015, the Fifth Industrial Revolution was unfolded. Industry 5.0 is an incremental advancement of Industry 4.0, the three pillars of Industry 5.0 being Economy (zero waste across the value chain), Ecology (reduce exploitation of natural resources), and Social (efficient cooperation between machines and humans). Use of advanced digital technologies would allow machines to perform fully automated production and interact with humans via ‘cobots’ or collaborative robots. These ‘cobots’ would enable humans to provide creative inputs and other value-added tasks (mass customisation), while they perform the repetitive and physically challenging tasks.


Industry 5.0 vs. Industry 4.0:

In the EU, Industry 5.0 is high on their long-term goals, and it is viewed as a compliment to Industry 4.0. While in Japan, the Industrial Revolution 5.0 is promoted as Society 5.0.

The main challenge with Industry 4.0 was “overwhelming technology infusion into the manufacturing processes.” This could be a crucial reason why many manufacturers avoid Industry 4.0 investments.

Industry 5.0 has clear goals –

  • Workers engage in creative tasks (hyper customisation).
  • Machines work in conjunction with workers (cobots).
  • Respect for our planet’s limitations (distributed & on-demand production, intelligent supply chains).

Advancement towards Industry 5.0 involves a cultural transformation (within organisations) in coordination with implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies.

Frost & Sullivan

Current & Future Trends:

The Industry 5.0 Market can be segmented into Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial IoTs (IIoTs), 4D Printing, Safety and Motion Control Devices (industrial robots, human-machine interfaces/HMIs, sensors, motion controllers), Augmented Reality, and Smart Manufacturing segments.

As per Global News Wire, the Global Internet of Things (IoT) Market was valued at $310 billion in 2020. This value is projected to be $1,842 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 24.5% over this forecast period (2021 – 2028). The largest region is North America (2021), and the fastest growing region is Asia Pacific (2021 – 2028). Most important enterprises include General Electronics, Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Web Services, International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, Google Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., and others.

As per Mordor Intelligence, the Global 4D Printing Market was valued at $62.02 million in 2020. This value is expected to reach $488.02 million by 2026, at a CAGR of 41.96% over this forecast period (2021 – 2026). The largest region is North America (2021), and the fastest growing region is Asia Pacific (2021 – 2026). Major companies include Autodesk Inc., Stratasys Ltd, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, CT CoreTechnologie Group, EnvisionTEC, Inc., and others.

As per Mordor Intelligence, the Global Safety and Motion Control Devices Market was valued at $14.85 billion in 2020. This value is expected to reach $21.99 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 5.65% over this forecast period (2021 – 2026). The largest region is North America (2021), and the fastest growing region is Asia Pacific (2021 – 2026). Important businesses include Rockwell Automation Inc., ABB Ltd, Schneider Electric SE, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, General Electric Co., and others.

As per Grand View Research, the Global Augmented Reality Market was valued at $25.33 billion in 2021. This value is expected to reach $597.54 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 40.9% over this forecast period (2022 – 2030). The largest region is North America (33.9%, 2021), and the fastest growing region is Asia Pacific (2021 – 2026). Leading companies include Microsoft Corporation, Google LLC, Sony Corporation, Blippar Limited, Infinity Augmented Reality Limited, Niantic, Inc., and others.

As per Grand View Research, the Global Smart Manufacturing Market was valued at $254.24 billion in 2022. This value is expected to reach $787.54 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 14.9% over this forecast period (2023 – 2030). The largest region is Asia Pacific (36.7%, 2022). The fastest growing region is Asia Pacific (2022 – 2030), mainly driven by unexplored opportunities in India and China and an ardent desire to achieve full automation in smart manufacturing. Top firms include ABB Ltd., Siemens, General Electric, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Schneider Electric, Honeywell International, Inc., Emerson Electric Co., Fanuc UK Limited, and others.

Research Nester
Mordor Intelligence
Mordor Intelligence
Mordor Intelligence
Mordor Intelligence
Grand View Research
Grand View Research
Grand View Research
Grand View Research
Grand View Research


For manufacturing organisations to survive in this disruptive era, they should invest in technologies that would help them lower production and supply chain costs to provide superior products. Industry 4.0 and 5.0 technologies would go hand in hand to offer unique solutions to meet the specific needs of most firms. Today, sustainable approaches are a top priority for any manufacturing company – reduce waste in the form of raw materials, work in process, finished goods, energy consumed, and recycle used products.

  • Cost optimisation: Monitoring inventory along the upstream value chain and matching them to customer’s unique requirements in the downstream value chain would enable manufacturers to build tailormade products desired by consumers and reduce waste (on-demand manufacturing). This would be possible using IIoTs, IoTs & cobots to collect data, cloud computing to sort & store data, and AI technologies to provide meaningful insights.
  • Energy consumption: Saint-Gobain, a glass and materials manufacturer uses Schneider Electric’s services (cloud-based energy management service) to monitor and reduce energy consumption.
  • Resource management: Smart glasses (augmented reality based) can convey instructions and standard operating procedures to operators to increase their efficiency. Raw materials can be tracked across supplier networks, and trucks through IoTs to provide real-time data, enable just-in-time delivery, optimise work schedules, and minimise on-hand inventory.
  • Quality management: An aerospace company uses digital tagging, that is, parts are automatically scanned for any minute differences in surface texture. This exercise minimises any chance of counterfeiting and ensures regulatory compliance.
AI exposure in the US for major occupational sectors, Intechopen
Customised bag, Platforme


As we advance with innovative technologies like Industry 5.0, a couple of challenges emerge. Each organisation’s management team should address them appropriately on a priority basis. These opportunities for growth are:

  • Job security: As manufacturers invest in cobots and automation, many jobs would be permanently replaced by these machines. The existing workers would most likely be split into high-skilled or low-skilled workers, eliminating the middle-skill employees. A practical solution would be to automate key areas of an organisation where the cost of failures or failure to regulatory compliance may result in huge losses or reputation damage. The workers affected by such advancements should be accommodated/cross-trained to work in other divisions (boost employee morale).
  • Prohibitive costs: Today, the cost of creating an automation ecosystem with numerous sensors, cobots, data collection and analysis systems are unaffordable for many SMEs. This may result in unfair advantages to larger firms over product quality, customisation, and other major differentiators. In such cases, SMEs of a given region/sector can together approach Industry 5.0 integrators to upgrade important parts of their operations (common to each player). This tactic would help them obtain a better service at a lower price (group discounts).
Impact of Industry 4.0 on Worldwide Employability by 2030, Intechopen
Collaborative robot (cobot), Platforme
Factory 5.0, SAP


To conclude, Industry 5.0 would be an enhancement to Industry 4.0. For instance, Industry 4.0 was a huge generational leap in the use of technology to support and improve manufacturing. On the other hand, Industry 5.0 brings clarity – a human centric approach to enrich workers’ lives (provide them creative opportunities), protect the environment (optimise resource utilisation), and to be robust (positively respond to disruptive technologies). Therefore, implementation of Industry 5.0 in incremental steps can provide clarity (long term process efficiency) and reduce ambiguity (lack of awareness of innovative technologies) faced by many manufacturers.