Business

Manufacturing Industry has Been Slow to Adopt New Technology

Artificial Intelligence, advanced robotics, and IoT or The Internet of Things are all newer technologies under Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is the latest of the first three industrial revolutions that transformed modern society. With each of these advancements — the steam engine, the age of science and mass production, and the advancement of digital technology … Continued

Artificial Intelligence, advanced robotics, and IoT or The Internet of Things are all newer technologies under Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is the latest of the first three industrial revolutions that transformed modern society. With each of these advancements — the steam engine, the age of science and mass production, and the advancement of digital technology — the world has forever changed.

But not for every sector; for instance, the U.S. manufacturing industry has been slow to adopt to Industry 4.0 for various reasons.

Still, relatively new, Industry 4.0 has been implemented by varied manufacturing companies as well as other U.S. businesses, but at a slow pace.

Experts suggest if the U.S. manufacturing sector hopes to be at the forefront it needs to embrace Industry 4.0 and newer technologies.

Getting Ahead

For example, one way to get on board with Industry 4.0 is for manufacturing companies to start by familiarizing themselves with Industry 4.0, according to Industry Week.

Sounds like common sense, but are U.S. manufacturers ready to take a leap of faith and abandon their current practices for more advanced ones? Maybe not.

A report, entitled, “Sprinting to Value in Industry 4.0,” conducted by the Boston Consulting Group breaks down how some manufacturers feel about Industry 4.0 — nearly 90 percent aren’t sold.

 “Nearly 90% of manufacturing leaders surveyed by BCG regarded adopting Industry 4.0 technologies to improve productivity, but only about one in four see opportunities to use these advances to build new revenue streams,” the report mentions.

But truly, to succeed in the future, the U.S. manufacturing sector will need to raise the bar rather quickly if it doesn’t want to be left behind. 

To find out how manufacturers and other companies feel about Industry 4.0 BCG surveyed 380 U.S.-based respondents in different industries.

The survey found conflicting info, here is some of the data:

1. Industry 4.0 is a priority, but not the be-all-end-all. Overall, 53% said adopting Industry 4.0 is a prime concern. Cost-sensitive industries — such as semiconductors, electronics, and oil and gas— want to move forward while 80% said Industry 4.0 is important.

2. Value is expected from productivity and cost improvements, but not as much from revenue growth. Among the respondents, 89% see the chance to use Industry 4.0 to better manufacturing productivity. They expect to capture the greatest value from reducing manufacturing costs (47%) and improving product quality (43%) and operations (42%). But fewer see the chance to see increased revenue (28%) or develop a new revenue model (13%).

3. Implementation is underway, but at an uneven pace in the technologies sector. Those surveyed said the top levels of implementation are cybersecurity (65%), big data and analytics (54%), and cloud computing (53%). They reported the lowest levels of implementation are for additive manufacturing (34%), advanced robotics (32%), and augmented reality (28%).

Still a Ways to Go

Although few and far between in the manufacturing industry are jumping on the bandwagon to change their ways they will need to implement Industry 4.0 sooner rather than later. If not, they might not be able to compete with the rest of the world’s manufacturing industry.

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