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30% of businesses are doing nothing to embrace Industry 4.0 technologies

At the forefront of the first industrial revolution, the UK used to lead the way in engineering and manufacturing. But as we enter the fourth revolution, Industry 4.0, underpinned by digital technology, the UK is falling behind. This revolution is disrupting nearly every industry, in every country according to the Government’s ‘Made Smarter’ report. If we do not embrace technologies which allow stronger product designs, greater interactive user experiences, more productive factories and workplaces and even the ability to identify these opportunities, what chance do we have with keeping up with the rest of the world?

The future of UK manufacturing is uncertain enough due to the ongoing Brexit discussions and businesses must be actively innovating to mitigate any threats and maximise any emerging opportunities. With countries such as China, the USA and Japan leading the way in implementing emerging technologies, combined with governmental strategies in place to support them, the UK needs to react!

Worryingly, only 64% of manufacturers say they understand the concept of Industry 4.0, but even more worryingly is that 30% of businesses are not doing anything to embrace it. More needs to be done to educate not only manufacturers, but also businesses and customers along the supply chain of the technology and capabilities that are available. There is good news though; 44% of businesses recognise how innovating can increase productivity and drive growth, with 43% of firms moving beyond a conception phase and looking to invest.

It is hard to argue with the benefits that Industry 4.0 technology. Although feared to reduce the number of human jobs in manufacturing, labour efficiency alone can be increased by as much as 35% when accessing Industry 4.0 technologies. The use of these technologies not only transform the way we design, create and market, but also increase the rate at which we do so.

NAAME, New Anglia’s recognised sector group for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering will be addressing these issues at the upcoming Evolution 2019 conference. With last year’s namesake conference attracting over 145 attendees representing over 80 businesses, NAAME will be bringing together industry leaders with local champions to explore how we can begin to innovate and developing our business’ offering. 92% of businesses plan to increase their innovation efforts, according to EEF, and we must create an environment to drive discussion and identify strategies to do so.

The topics which will be focused upon include design and adaption, discussing how we can create greater product designs and how these benefit our supply chain. User experience, exploring how to generate a more effective user experience and how this can impact sales. Digital shop floors, seeing how we can integrate emerging technologies to become more productive and facilitate innovation. Finally, identifying opportunities, looking into how we can find and access opportunities and further our businesses, whether that be through mass customisation or creating a product as a service mentality; creating a strategy and action plan to implement these changes.

Simon Coward, CEO of NAAME and Managing Director of Hethel Innovation, said “We’re lucky to be operating in a region full of innovators and real disruptors. It’s time we showcase our capabilities and show how this region is embracing Industry 4.0.

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Author: admin