As we edge closer to the Made in Expos 2020 in Yorkshire and the Midlands, there is no better time to discuss how manufacturers can embrace industry 4.0 to future proof their businesses.
The Made Expos showcase ’the best of the best’ of what Yorkshire and the Midlands have to offer when it comes to manufacturing and engineering capabilities. Within any business, there is a continuous need to find innovative and efficient design and production processes. Business owners embracing Industry 4.0 are looking at Digitalisation and Automation to future proof their business and get ahead of the competition. However, how can more traditional manufacturers embrace Industry 4.0 and where do they start?
Back in 2019, Andrew Peters, Managing director at Siemens Digital Industries held a seminar at the MIM Expo 2019. He focused on how companies can benefit from digitalising their processes, especially when it comes to productivity and profitability - the core of any business.
Digitalisation – for example through collaborative robotics (cobots), process simulation and cloud analytics driving process improvement – is already becoming commonplace in workplaces and it is helping to increase productivity levels. Manufacturers can learn more by liaising with automation companies to get an idea of industry 4 can help their business process. Whether you are based in the Midlands or Yorkshire, our members' directory on the homepage of the websites can assist you in finding these companies.
However, it is widely noticed by digital and automation companies, such as Siemens, that there is a lack of awareness when it comes what automation is out there and what it is capable of. This is also recognised through statistics, according to Smart Machines and Factories, the UK has only 71 industrial robots per 10,000 people. This makes the UK 22nd in the world, behind countries Slovenia and Slovakia.
Still, the UK is 9th in the world for manufacturing output with an estimated £8 billion worth of investment due to be released within the next 24 months. If more UK based companies automated their businesses and introduced digital processes, would manufacturing output and productivity be higher? And how can industry leaders educate other manufacturers on Industry 4.0 and automation?
When it comes to the misinformation of industry 4.0, particularly focusing on cobots, some may argue this may be an additional caveat as to why the UK is behind the rest of the world, alongside their being a lack of awareness. As discussed at the Made in Group Advisory Board on Industry 4.0 back in 2019, this could potentially be solved through more industry leaders sharing case studies on the successful implementation of cobots and robots. As well as sharing news that encourages companies, especially SMEs, to work with specialist system integrators.
Talking at the latest Advisory Board, John D’Angelillo, Managing Director at Bauromat focused on how cobots improve productivity and the common misconceptions can be viewed as fear-mongering. Bauromat UK Limited is a Telford-based robotic & automation systems integrator that provides automation solutions for a variety of manufacturing processes. He said:
“What is important is the correct implementation of automation. One thing we do at Bauromat is look at what the company is looking for and ensure that the equipment is adopted for the right solution.”
You can learn more about Industry 4.0 and the positive effects of automation by attending the Made in the Midlands Expo on 1st July 2020, where an industry-leading keynote speaker will discuss industry 4.0, digitalisation and automation.Back