In the latest Plastics & Rubber Weekly, there is an interesting and concerning article on an anticipated fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0, and how the EEF believe that the UK could be left behind. If this happens then could this be the end of manufacturing in the UK?
Manufacturing in the UK has been under pressure and under the spotlight for many years and despite warnings from the industry there still doesn’t appear to be a political will or strategy to develop this vital sector of our economy. Technological changes have already altered the face of manufacturing forever and the prediction is that Industry 4.0 will further change manufacturing ‘beyond recognition’.
For any manufacturer the key to long term success is product and process development. However, a skills shortage still exists, especially in the engineering manufacturing sector, and that needs to be addressed. Or will the next industrial revolution mean the end of manufacturing as we know it. Will welding and fabricating metal be a thing of the past as new technologies take over? Will there be a lesser demand for men and women to physically make products?
This is a changing manufacturing landscape and even though a cohesive and well-planned Government plan is needed, ultimately it will be left to the companies who show innovation not only in product and process development, but also in marketing. At Bunting, we are embracing online marketing (eg regular blogs), communicating our message through a wide variety of marketing channels and have even produced short videos of manufacturing processes to engage a wide age-range of audiences.
So how prepared do you feel for Industry 4.0 Revolution?