Internet of Business's comprehensive guide to where Industry 4.0 will lead manufacturers in the year ahead. Most manufacturers believe they are leading their markets in Industry 4.0 technologies, despite evidence to the contrary. There is a huge gap between the many companies that are exploring digital manufacturing strategies – via technologies such as automation, robotics, AI, and the Internet of Things – and those that are implementing them successfully. With Brexit looming, many manufacturers and solutions providers fear what this will mean for the wider European industrial community, which depends on the free movement of people and confident investment. The UK Budget recently sought to soften this blow by reinforcing the UK's commitment to a strong environment for international scientific collaboration. As part of this investment in R&D, the government will increase the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund by £1.1 billion, supporting technologies of the future. This includes up to £121 million for the Made Smarter initiative to support the transformation of manufacturing through digitally enabled technologies, such as the Internet of Things and virtual reality.
The era of digital transformation is upon us – from exciting new technologies in digital manufacturing to powerful new opportunities to create meaningful connections with customers through the Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation is changing all aspects of the manufacturing business. And, it has the potential to disrupt every part of the enterprise. But let's take a moment to pause. How do you describe the digital transformation in a manufacturing organization? At its core, digital transformation refers to the use of technology to improve business results.
The era of digital transformation is upon us – from exciting new technologies in digital manufacturing to powerful new opportunities to create meaningful connections with customers through the Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation is changing all aspects of the manufacturing business. And, it has the potential to disrupt every part of the enterprise.
Sensors and their data are now ubiquitous in the industrial setting, providing real-time information on processes, efficiency and safety. Yet too few organizations are able to fully capture, manage and analyze those torrents of data -- let alone translate that information into real insights or bottom-line business value. To prosper in the emerging digital economy, industrial firms must embrace and master the internet of things (IoT). But what exactly is IoT? Ask a dozen manufacturing or industrial specialists to describe it, and you will likely get at least a dozen definitions.
Consumer-goods companies have begun to capture value by applying digital tools to manufacturing. Here's a look at how they're doing this today--and how they might do so tomorrow. Consumer-goods companies have been at the forefront of digital innovation in commercial areas such as marketing and sales. Supply chain and operations have been less of a focus for their digital efforts, but recently, leading consumer-goods companies have started to explore the use of digital solutions in manufacturing processes. This is a natural development; Industry 4.0--the digitization of the entire manufacturing value chain--is slowly becoming a reality.1 1.For more on Industry 4.0, see Matthias Breunig, Richard Kelly, Robert Mathis, and Dominik Wee, "Getting the most out of Industry 4.0," April 2016.