The mission of Industry 4.0 AI Laboratory (i4AI Lab) is to develop an Industry 4.0 Innovation and Intelligent Design Platform, sustain it at Dongguan University of Technology and apply it to local, national and international industrial practice to benefit economic development. The vision is to set an international research agenda in AI for design and manufacture in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” for societal wellbeing and humanity.
Industry 4.0 (i4) stands for the fourth, and the first a-priori engineered, ‘Industrial (R)evolution’, which aims at upgrading the entire manufacturing value chain, and transforming the factory floor to a ‘mass innovation center’. All trends of i4 have in common the integration of several features as a response to challenges of computerized decision making and big data, which are proliferated via the Internet and cloud computing and has led to a global race in intelligent design, innovation, and creativity. Even though, i4 research and development (R&D) so far is mostly spearheaded by manufacturers, such as Siemens, and thus lacks an academic perspective and an ‘intelligent design’ tool commensurate with such a race. Clearly, ‘market informatics’ should be used to close the loop of i4 in customized smart manufacturing and smart products through life. Industry 4.0 AI Laboratory focuses on critical insight into transforming the conventional computeraided design (CAD) to computer-automated design (CAutoD) and its enabling tool artificial and computational intelligence, which aims to facilitate i4 with smarter and faster responses, lower costs, better fitting to customer needs and wants, and an alternative towards on-demand production. The Laboratory will utilize artificial evolution and virtual reality to achieve manufacture-ready digital prototypes of increased innovation and creativity for enhanced competitiveness.