With Good Friday right around the corner, March ends on a holiday high. Let’s look back at the most interesting Industry 4.0 stories from this first quarter of the year, from supply woes to automotive innovations.
As Industry 4.0 solutions have taken over the market, employees of manufacturing companies have started getting anxious about job security. The number of articles that proclaim ‘Robots/Automation will destroy our jobs!’, boosted by publishers such as The Guardian, BBC, and Wired, number in the millions (2 million results on Google and counting!).
While it is true that innovation will bring many changes to the work landscape and many roles will need to be up-skilled to stay relevant, it is also important to keep in mind that Industry 4.0 solutions will affect every role differently.
As China rose through the years as a manufacturing powerhouse, the country became synonymous with exports. ‘China used to be the world’s factory’, proclaimed Forbes, as the country overtook the United States as the world’s biggest producer of manufactured goods from 2011 onwards. In 2015, it produced ‘80% of the world’s air-conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes’, as per The Economist. In 2016, its total Manufacturing Value-Added (MVA) was a whopping 3.25 trillion, as mentioned in our previous article on ‘Made in China 2025’.
However, along with that meteoric rise in manufacturing production came an opposing dive in China’s reputation for product quality. As early as 2007, consumers and manufacturers alike were complaining of ‘quality fade’ when it came to Chinese products, explained by Forbes as ‘the deliberate and secret habit of widening profit margins through a reduction in the quality of materials’. Basically, by reducing the quality from batch to batch, factory owners were able to cut costs and increase margins, but with many potential risks.
Surpassing the United States in 2010, China’s manufacturing sector is now the largest in the world, with a total global Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) of USD 3.25 trillion in 2016, according to the World Bank.
China's government has committed to convert from a "high growth" to a "high quality growth" nation cemented in the 13th Five-Year-Plan. So how does this ambitious goal translate into the transformation of China's diverse manufacturing industry? Following our previous article on China's digitalization, let's have a look at the nation's digital upgrade plan for manufacturing - the "Made in China 2025" initiative.
The shortest month of the year might be ending, but that doesn’t mean that February was any less exciting. After all, Tesla and Elon Musk did send an actual car into space this month! Our top 4 Industry 4.0 news, below.
"With Cloud CPQ Express, Manufacturing Sales is a Piece of Cake (Almost)"
The everchanging landscape of Industry 4.0 means that new phrases and terms appear more often than screws on a BOM. Besides the main terms like Cloud Computing, Interoperability or Machine Learning, new phrases such as ‘Servitization’, ‘Edge Computing’, and ‘Digital Twins’ have emerged recently, making it hard to keep up. We’ve collated them, and below, you’ll see the top 6 terms we think all manufacturers should understand.
…And January is over! This first month of 2018 consisted of forecasts and predictions for manufacturing in the years ahead, and while those are important for planning and data collection, never forget to stay up to date with news. For your ease and convenience, we’ve summarised four key pieces of news that we think will be pertinent for any manufacturer’s Industry 4.0 journey.
The term Industry 4.0 (or Industrie 4.0, if you’re looking for the original), has been around since the Hannover Messe in 2011, but many manufacturers are still trying to wrap their minds around what it means for them. After all, hasn’t computing, programs, and automation been par for the course in production for years? How would this new wave of digitalisation differ?
We’re not in the business of looking back; as a software company focusing on Configure-Price-Quote solutions, our business thrives on looking forward, especially in the realm of Industry 4.0. We’re always working on the next release or a new way to serve our customers better. At the same time, with IoT, AR, and more innovations popping up each day, we can’t help but take notice. As we move into 2018, let’s look back at 3 pieces of news in December that caught our attention.