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What is Industry 5.0 and What Does it Mean for FM?

What is Industry 5.0 and What Does it Mean for FM?
09 March 2022 | Updated 04 August 2022

Felipe Ávila da Costa from Infraspeak shares his insights on how Industry 5.0 is shaping the way we create safe and comfortable environments for people.

Felipe Ávila da Costa is the CEO and Co-Founder of Infraspeak, a global tech company that is transforming the world of FM through data, intelligence, and automation. Felipe is also a Co-Founder of Founders Founders, a community-driven scale-up incubator.

Previously, Felipe was responsible for the Technological Center and the Startup Acceleration Program of UPTEC (University of Porto Science and Technology Park), where he supported the start, early development, and growth of more than 250 startups and innovation centres. Deeply involved in the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem and featured as one of the "40 business leaders of the Future" by FAE, Felipe is an experienced mentor and speaker.

You can catch Felipe on the Intelligence for Maintenance Tour 2022 – Click here for details.


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Industry 4.0


Humanity is permanently searching for ways to achieve new heights of social and economic development. That’s pretty much the main goal since the beginning of our time. The first profound disruption towards a more advanced civilisation was the invention of agriculture. It prevented people from moving from one place to another in search of food, allowing them to settle, build permanent structures and, eventually, found cities. That’s what we call a significant change in the world. 

Since then, humanity has undergone successive transformations. The Industrial Revolution in the 18th century introduced new ways of working and living that fundamentally transformed society. The three revolutions that followed allowed humanity to gradually build society as we know it today. We started with communication and transport technology and mass production. A hundred years later, we developed computers and automation and finally, in the 2000s, we saw the emergence of cyber-physical systems and data analytics.

What do all these revolutions have in common? They forced people and businesses to adapt in order to keep up. "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, (...) it is the one that adapts best to change." Does this ring a bell? Well, Darwin wrote it in 1859 in “Origin of the Species” and applies here too.

Today, we’re on the brink of the 5th industrial revolution. Technologies that were considered “disruptive” in the 2010s (like cloud computing, NFC or IoT) are well established in our day-to-day. We’re more connected, buildings are more automated, and there’s less downtime than ever before. Digitalisation, technological advances and globalisation allowed us not to wait 100 years to reach Industry 5.0 — we are already living it.


"Here’s the hard truth — most jobs that are automatable will most likely be automated and people will have the responsibility of doing what machines cannot. In fact, one popular estimate says that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will end up working in completely new jobs that don't yet exist."

But What is Industry 5.0 and What Will it Bring Us?


While Industry 4.0 was all about mass production and maximum efficiency, the goal with Industry 5.0 is to achieve mass customisation, deliver excellent customer experience, and see the return of manpower to factories, while also promoting sustainability for businesses, buildings and, ultimately, the planet. Humans and machines will be paired like co-workers to increase efficiency, avoid waste, improve logistics, and create high-quality custom products.

In short, Industry 5.0 — and, by extension, Maintenance 5.0 — is based on two main pillars:  Human-centricity and Sustainability.

Regarding the former, it’s important to highlight the increasingly demanding relationship between humans and technology. If maintenance and facility managers have already been struggling with the lack of skilled personnel, Maintenance 5.0 will only exacerbate the problem. It will require significant reskilling and upskilling of workers so that they can work side by side with cutting edge technology. Apart from continuous training and taking time off work to acquire new skills, managers also need to make sure every technology they decide to invest in is flexible, customised to each operation, and intuitive. 

Here’s the hard truth — most jobs that are automatable will most likely be automated and people will have the responsibility of doing what machines cannot. In fact, one popular estimate says that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will end up working in completely new jobs that don't yet exist.

But perhaps the most important aspect of Maintenance 5.0 when it comes to human-centricity is the focus on the end-user. Facility managers should leverage cutting-edge technology to guarantee the well-being and quality of life of users, both through increased reliability of buildings and equipment, and through customisable products and experiences. 

And when it comes to quality of life, we can’t fail to address and act on the second pillar: Sustainability. 


Sustainability in the Age of Maintenance 5.0


Sustainability is one of the hot topics of the century, and its relevance in the age of Maintenance 5.0 only tends to increase. Governments impose stricter regulations, customers or end-users seek environmentally responsible businesses, and the planet is in urgent need of action regarding resource scarcity.

On the other hand, increasing demands and service quality expectations can lead to the use of more and more resources.  Therefore, it is the facility managers’ responsibility to come up with strategies and invest in technology to be more efficient, spend fewer resources and energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

In order to have sustainable facilities in the 5.0 era, we need to move towards systems that allow us to collect valuable data and transform it into concrete actions that enable greater process automation and optimisation, and, ultimately, greater efficiency and sustainability.

Naturally, this calls for a new process of digital transformation, and it’s safe to say that those who try to avoid it will suffer the inevitable consequences. In other words, those who don't adapt, die. 

Statistics show that only a fourth of today's companies will survive the next 15 years and digital transformation is pointed out as one of the main reasons for this mortality rate. Of companies that choose to undergo digital transformation, 80 per cent end up failing.

On the other hand, we know that 70 per cent of today's companies already intend to invest in IoT, and that AI and IoT-enabled HVAC equipment saves up to 20 per cent energy consumption. 

So, why stay stuck in your old ways and risk falling, instead of taking action and investing in the future? This is where solutions like Infraspeak come in. Our Intelligent Maintenance Management Platform (IMMP) is helping facility managers undergo this digital transformation successfully, and whatever the future may bring, we will continue to make sure that new technologies have a place in our ever-evolving platform. 

Maintenance 5.0 is here, and it’s bringing humans back to the forefront, allowing us to use technology for the greater good, improve the way we interact with it, and achieve a greater work-life balance. Maintenance and FM will share responsibilities in creating safe and comfortable environments for people.

And in case you’re wondering how we got here… well, it was through the same combination that got us to every revolution: humanity’s endless search for better quality of life and the dream of constantly crossing new borders. Welcome to the Intelligent Maintenance Revolution.

Picture: a photograph of Felipe

Article written by Felipe Ávila da Costa | Published 09 March 2022


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