Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Ignorance 4.0? UK manufacturing and engineering competitiveness at risk from lack of knowledge

16-Apr-2018
Gordon Kirk (pictured)
Event Director, Subcon
Ignorance 4.0? UK manufacturing and engineering competitiveness at risk from lack of knowledge
Widespread ignorance of Industry 4.0 threatens to derail the competitiveness of UK manufacturing and engineering, according to figures released today by The Engineer in association with Subcon, the defining event in the manufacturing supply chain calendar.

When asked if they understood what industry 4.0 is, more than one in three (37%) UK manufacturing and engineering professionals said no, with a further 19% unsure. Even amongst those that answered positively, only 23% were definite that they had a handle on the concept with a further 22% positive but not sure.

However, the survey did reveal that even without high levels of confidence in their understanding of Industry 4.0, UK manufacturers and engineering businesses were investing in the technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution.

Looking at the past 12 months:
  • Nearly half (46%) have invested in simulation and CAD modelling technologies 
  • 36% have invested in automation and robotics 
  • 28% have invested in 3D printing 
  • 23% have invested in cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things. 

Looking ahead to the next year:
  • Automation and robotics leads the charge with 34% of respondents planning investment 
  • 27% plan on investing in simulation and modelling in the next year 
  • 24% plan on investing in 3D printing. 

“Looking at these figures, it is clear that UK engineering and manufacturing businesses understand the benefits of new technology, even if they don’t quite get the buzzwords,’ said Gordon Kirk, event director, Subcon. “This investment is being driven by the competitive issues of new product development and improving design and production processes.”

“The question that follows is whether or not these investments are delivering everything they could do. The educational programme at Subcon will help these businesses put their investment in context. This year we have a 36-session conference programme based over two theatres and Industry 4.0 and the development of digital manufacturing technologies forms a key part of the subject matter. We anticipate a lot of conversations around these technologies as businesses need to find out how to put their investments to work in creating competitive advantage.”

The Time to Modernize Your Artwork Management is Now
2 days ago
It’s time to bin receipts: ParcelHero calls for an end to wasteful paper receipts
3 days ago
Ocado sales jump thanks to 'automation done right'
5 days ago
Preparing your employees for Industry 4.0
5 days ago
How Do Product and Shipping Labels Affect Brand Visibility?
6 days ago
How will Brexit affect the events industry?
6 days ago
100 days to Christmas - ParcelCompare says it’s never too early to start planning those presents and orders
6 days ago
It’s time to blow up your business model and switch to DTC
1 week ago
How retailers can survive the death of the high street
1 week ago
ClickSoftware Announces Recent Customer Wins, Product Updates and Industry Accolades
1 week ago
Deloitte increases its focus on AI & Marketing Technology through new acquisition
1 week ago
How Centralized Labeling Helps QA Departments
1 week ago
How IoT is Changing the Waste Water Industry
1 week ago
M&A can put quality compliance at risk
1 week ago
Chinese traders must pay fair postal charges or more British retailers will collapse
2 weeks ago
Enhance real-time visibility across your operation with a proof of delivery system
2 weeks ago
Snapfulfil publishes top five tips for winning at warehousing
2 weeks ago
Government’s no-deal Brexit advice papers ‘are the equivalent of “duck and cover” nuclear warnings’
1 month ago
Brexit and Stockpiling: What’s the answer?
1 month ago
Peak? Which peak?
1 month ago
Empowering Your Supply Chain Workforce: 3 Tips for Manufacturing Directors
1 month ago
64 per cent of manufacturers rate their shop-floor IT capabilities as just average, weak or non-existent
1 month ago
The supply chain lessons of the modern grocer
1 month ago
Time to mitigate the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit?
1 month ago
App Insights: How can artificial intelligence innovate supply chain management?
1 month ago
Managing Technological Change Without any Supply Chain Disruption
1 month ago
Moody’s Blues for House of Fraser; but Website Failings are Just as Damaging
1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence: What’s Now And Next In IoT-driven Supply Chain Innovation
1 month ago
Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effect
1 month ago
How Enterprise Labeling Helps You Conquer Regulatory Challenges
1 month ago
3 Tips for Empowering Millennial Warehouse Workers
1 month ago
More robots means easier delivery - but what about the infrastructure?
1 month ago
Safety in the warehouse: Five key risk areas for 360-degree protection
1 month ago
Automotive resilience, not just airbags and crash tests, but IT too
1 month ago
New High Street panel is facing a race against a terminal diagnosis
1 month ago
Delivering the supply chain revolution
2 months ago
A market of one: the potential of the personalized supply chain
2 months ago
5 EIS rules you are probably not aware of
2 months ago
TMS: an enterprise priority
2 months ago
Labeling Solutions for Global Expansion
2 months ago
Prime Day will be a $1.6bn loss-leader creating millions more Prime members, says e-commerce expert
2 months ago
Say what? The new possibilities of voice and machine driven retail
2 months ago
‘Peak faith’ in the cloud only 12-18 months away with slump to follow, warns 6point6 Cloud Gateway
2 months ago
As you were for UK manufacturing sector, but new business growth at three month high
2 months ago
Back to IoT basics: Automating outcomes to improve customer experience
2 months ago
Investigation of the "Fast Fashion" impact
2 months ago
Redefining Rental for Materials Handling Equipment
3 months ago
With the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP Creates “A Completely Different Kind of Flexibility”
3 months ago
The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
3 months ago