Industry 4.0”, The New Version of Industry Was Discussed At ITU
Oct 18, 2016

Processes of production are developing at an accelerated rate, and relations of production are being transformed in accordance with the new conditions of our world, where knowledge production plays a central role and. With the intertwining of the product, labour force, and production spaces, manufacturers are expected to produce better quality products at lower costs and in less time. Population growth and diversification of needs have inevitably driven the industry to transition to a new stage. This in mind, in order to discuss the 4th Industrial Revolution, also called as “Industry 4.0”, ITU hosted the 16th Production Research Symposium between the dates 12-14 October 2016, in Süleyman Demirel Cultural Center, Ayazaga Campus. In addition to ITU Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca, among the speakers who spoke in the opening ceremony of the symposium were Prof. Ayhan Toraman, Honorary Chair of the symposium; and Co-chairs Prof. Ferhan Çebi of the Department of Management Engineering at ITU and Prof. Güneş Gençyılmaz of the Society for Production Research (SPR), which is the institution organizing the conference.

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Çebi: “All we have heretofore known about production will change” 

The first speaker was Assoc. Prof. Ferhan Çebi, who is also the Co-president of the Society for Production Research. Çebi first made a couple of comments on the conference theme. Describing the three phases of world’s industrial development, Çebi explained that the First Industrial Revolution was spearheaded by the steam power; the Second Revolution was triggered by electrical energy; and the Third Revolution was enabled through computer technologies. Stating that Industry 4.0 was seen as the next industrial revolution by many and would be realized through “digitalization of production”, which will change everything we’ve heretofore known about production, Çebi expressed his belief that discussing such a concept at ITU, Turkey’s leading institution in the field of engineering, was of paramount importance.

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Following Prof. Çebi’s speech, Prof. Güneş Gençyılmaz, also Co-president of SPR, started his speech, briefly talking about the history of the Production Research Symposium. Stating that the first symposium was also held in Istanbul Technical University, in 1997, Prof. Gençyılmaz expressed his happiness at ITU’s hosting the symposium for the third time.

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ITU Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca: “ITU is one of the top candidates to become a 3rd Generation University”

Prof. Karaca stated that universities will be the locomotive of the 4th Industrial Revolution and it is those controlling the knowledge, rather than production, who are capable of shaping the world systems. Emphasizing that developed countries are known for their highly efficient knowledge production, Prof. Karaca mentioned universities such as Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and alike as exemplary higher education institutions that act in accordance with the mission of 3rd generation university and produce knowledge for public good. Prof. Karaca expressed his opinion that, with its 243-year history and qualified alumni coupled with the advantage of being situated in a world city like Istanbul, ITU is much closer than all other Turkish universities to becoming a 3rd generation university. Karaca continued: “Our country has to transition to knowledge economy as soon as possible. Today’s desired production tendency no longer involves mass scale production plants or high-cost production confined to a fixed space. On the contrary, ventures such as Uber and WhatsApp, which are not confined to material spaces and which can reach masses in a practical way, are shaping our era. We have to understand and explore these developments very well if we want to be front in the race towards the 4th Industrial Revolution, dubbed Industry 4.0”.


Prof. Robert W. Grubbström, visiting professor at the Institute of Technology, Linköping University, Sweden, gave an illuminating keynote speech on transformation methodologies in production-inventory challenges. The symposium constituted a fertile platform for discussing innovative and modern approaches, strategies, and experiences in production management in the context of Industry 4.0.