Smart Manufacturing is called different things: Manufacturing USA (U.S.), Industrie 4.0 (Germany), China 2025 (China), or Industrie du Futur (France). The UK, Sweden, Japan, Korea and India all have country-specific efforts as well.
What do they have in common? They are all:
- Creating a vision for Smart Manufacturing
- Utilizing the power of digitalization to help manufacturers reduce capex, improve time to market, reduce inventory and improve productivity
- Extending existing standards to realize the vision
The last point is an important distinction: These initiatives are not creating new standards. They are classifying how best to use existing standards.
So that means the groundwork for Smart Manufacturing, Industrie 4.0 and other initiatives is being done in standard developing organizations like IEC, ISO, ISA, IEEE and the OPC Foundation. That’s where the influence starts and leadership takes hold.
This is particularly important as thought leaders prepare for the G20 Digital Economy (or Group of Twenty) in March. This international forum for governments from 20 major economies is host to high-level discussions of policy issues pertaining to, among other things, global economic growth.
On the agenda is digital technology.
Countries and companies around the world are eager to adopt digitalization strategies because it levels the playing field for smaller companies that now can reap the same benefits as bigger companies, and remain globally competitive and relevant.