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Manufacturers ‘must act on industry 4.0’

Jun 06
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Manufacturers ‘must act on industry 4.0’

If they want to gain real business value from the ‘industry 4.0’ phenomenon, manufacturers must “turn ambition into action”, according to KPMG.
Industry 4.0 is the name given to the current trend of increasing automation and data exchange in manufacturing, based on technologies such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). It is closely linked with the concept of the ‘smart factory’.
A recent report from KPMG indicated that most manufacturers acknowledge the significance of this trend and are investing in next-generation capabilities, but relatively few have reached the level of scale and integration required to generate genuine value for the enterprise.
Most businesses are still in the phase of conducting pilots and trialling different solutions.
According to the benchmarking exercises included in the study, many manufacturing organisations continue to show only a low-to-medium level of maturity in some key areas, such as demand-driven supply chains, machine-to-machine communication and digital twinning.
There has been stronger progress in fields like cloud computing, robotics, big data, cybersecurity and IoT.
Earlier this year, KPMG released its Rethink Manufacturing report, which showed that more than half (56 per cent) of UK manufacturers see industry 4.0 as a huge opportunity to revitalise the industry across the country.
However, Stephen Cooper, head of industry manufacturing at KPMG UK, said companies are “far less sure about how it will affect their business and whether they have a coherent strategy and the right talent and skills to capitalise on it”.
Alec McCullie, associate director and UK lead for industry 4.0 at the firm, said the real value of this concept “comes not from the component technologies or capabilities, but rather through smarter processes that integrate automation, data, analytics, manufacturing and products in a way that delivers unique competitive advantages and unlocks new business and operating models”.
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