Industry 4.0 and the 4th Industrial Revolution have been amongst the biggest buzzwords in industry for many years now. Now is the time to put plans in place to help organisations embrace and adopt this digital transformation of their traditional manufacturing and production methodologies.
The merging of the physical and the virtual world in industry is creating new cyber-physical production systems (CPPSs), where a multitude of smart machines communicate with each other in real time, sharing production data, machine performance, potential systems errors, current stock level, order inventories, and so forth.
Such smart manufacturing is a growing requirement for industries to remain competitive across global markets, while also enabling us to meet increasing demands for a whole range of goods amongst a growing world population, from pharmaceutical products, food and beverages to the demand for natural resources.
While across the world, digitalisation is some way off from realising even a moderate level of its potential in industry – with even highly industrialised economies such as the USA estimated to have reached between just 15-20% of its potential – enterprises that have digitised their production are setting the benchmark for new standards of productivity, quality, reliability and agility.
Conversely, organisations that delay this production journey stand the risk of ultimately being left behind. As the industry collective, we need to do all that we can to ensure steps are taken to secure our manufacturing base for the future.