Industrial Digitalization – The Fourth Industrial Revolution!?

Tomas Lagerberg, ABB Sweden

Digitalization has already to a large extent revolutionized our daily life. Just think about how we listen to music today, or do bank business, or shop, or learn new stuff etc. The smartphone has quickly become an important part of our life. For young people even the center of gravity, the thing that their life is spinning around! This digital revolution really started when Apple announced their first iPhone back in 2007, i.e. less than 10 years ago. This has in turn accelerated development of mobile communication, computer graphics, CPU chips, sensors, cloud storage, embedded systems etc. When people talk about the fourth industrial revolution they are talking about that digitalization now really are starting to impact and transform also industrial sectors. Companies that want to survive in the future must embrace new technology and use it to increase their competitiveness in a global market. This is valid for technology providers as well as industrial users.

In this talk I will talk about the important technologies that are driving this fourth industrial revolution, as well as how it might affect industrial companies. Some questions that might be answered during my presentations are “what does computer gaming have to do with industrial automation?”, “where do humans fit into the future digital industries?”, “what are those things that increasingly are being connected to internet?” and “what is the significance of the fact that Gangnam Style has more than 2.5 billion YouTube viewings?”


  • Tomas Lagerberg, born 1959 in Sandviken Sweden. Married with three children (1988, 1990, 1996).
  • Graduated from Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1983 as MSc in Electrical Engineering – specializing in Computer Systems
  • Joined ABB (at the time called Asea) in 1983 as Executive Trainee
  • Spent 20 years working with control systems at ABB in various positions such as R&D, project management, global strategy, global marketing manager, global product manager, global product group manager etc
  • Since 2004 managing automation research at the ABB Corporate Research center in Sweden. Running a department of around 60 scientists in areas such as wireless communication, software, user experience, control, mechanics, mechatronics, analytics and internet of things. Since 2016 also global technology manager for Food & Beverage in ABB
  • Currently member of several national boards and review committees within the process automation area