The plastics industry continues to evolve. While industry 4.0 was the digital future for production, industry 5.0 focuses on human-machine interaction. Experts say that this new phase of the industry is well on its way to becoming the norm.

Using Machine Learning to Empower Humans

The human-machine interaction in industry 5.0 comes down to how humans can use machine learning, AI, the IoT, and another tech to empower themselves.

The key for this new phase of the plastics industry is that we can’t rely on just humans or just machines. People must be there to create the right processes and embrace the technology. Those people then use the processes to improve their productivity.

We already saw some of this in industry 4.0, which includes AI, sensors, and robots. But industry 5.0 takes it to the next level. Some see industry 4.0 as incorporating technology, sometimes at the expense of humans, while industry 5.0 highlights the importance of humans. Think of 4.0 as highlighting efficiency and automation and 5.0 as adding a human touch to it.

The Goal of Industry 5.0 is to Support Humans

It’s crucial to understand that the latest iteration of the industry is designed to assist humans, not replace them. Robots have already taken over many automated tasks and repetitive motions. But even those seemingly automated tasks occasionally require judgments. Robots don’t currently have the critical thinking skills that many workplaces need.

Combining technology and humans allows for the efficiency of automation with the benefits of the human brain.

It Improves Efficiency

The main goal is to use technology to improve efficiency. For example, robots can take care of the most physically demanding work so humans can focus on other tasks.

There are still checks and balances in place to monitor the robots. Rogers Corporation, for example, records its robots’ actions with a camera to confirm visual data and let humans review it if necessary.

Companies Must Recruit Talent Connected to Technology

Because of the shifting nature of the plastics industry, companies must either give their current employees training to connect with technology or recruit talent that is already connected.

How to Reach Industry 5.0 in the Plastics Industry

There are many challenges for companies looking to get to industry 5.0, let alone earlier iterations of the industry. Many manufacturers are still at industry 2.0 or 3.0. But experts have some advice to help companies advance and incorporate modern technology.

Set Small, Attainable Goals

Experts suggest setting goals that are small and attainable. Those goals should provide opportunities for your team to learn and gain success as well as build momentum.

The Bottom Line

Experts agree that industry 5.0 is on its way and has already begun spreading. This phase is about finding the best balance between machine learning or technology and humans. The two should work in harmony to improve efficiency and productivity. Finding people who can bridge this gap is critical at this time.

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