Like many sectors, the current pandemic has had a huge impact on the manufacturing industry. Cuts in demand and a reduction in raw materials have meant that many manufacturing firms are looking for ways to find efficiencies within current processes.
One key trend that has seemingly been impacted by this is the technologies surrounding Industry 4.0. Pre-pandemic this was certainly the buzzword on everyone’s lips with all the advantages of implementing the associated technology clear to everyone. Many manufacturers were weighing up what technology to bring on board and in what time scale.
During the first few months of 2020 however, everything was turned upside down. Suddenly, there were new priorities in terms of budgets and technology. Implementing technology that allowed the business to continue running when workforces were split between home and the office/warehouse became the priority. It is therefore unsurprising that Industry 4.0 got left behind and put on the back-burner by many firms.
However, Tom Moore, Director at Acronyms believes that far from the back-burner, manufacturers should be looking to implement Industry 4.0 technology to help them through this period, helping with efficiencies, new working conditions and coping with the new COVID world we live in.
“Industry 4.0, unlike many technology buzzwords, was gaining real momentum and beginning to make a real difference to companies pre-COVID,” said Moore. “Understandably priorities changed in the first few months of the pandemic and resulting lockdown.
“However, there seems to be a trend in the sector where manufacturers are now disregarding Industry 4.0 entirely, seeing it as an expense rather than a benefit; essentially a significant step backwards from where we had got to at the beginning of the year.
“Undoubtedly, things have changed significantly for all of us over the past few months, but the manufacturing sector shouldn’t be throwing away the opportunity that Industry 4.0 can provide.
“The very nature of the solutions associated with Industry 4.0 seem to us to be a perfect fit for the challenges facing the sector. Connectivity, advanced engineering, data, analytics and intelligence and human-machine interaction, can all help manufacturing firms find real efficiencies, discover vulnerabilities in their processes and supply chain and provide customers with an all-round better service.
“Some manufacturing firms are turning to technology consultancies to help them discover the true potential of Industry 4.0 solutions and how they can make a real difference to firms getting through the current situation and come out of the other side in a much better position,” concluded Moore