Industry 4.0 Report

15 June 2016

Industry 4.0 could be a game changer for UK manufacturing over the short and medium term and is a key part of the industrial landscape of a number of competitor economies. However, it seems to be less well known and developed in the UK, and we wanted to find out the extent of knowledge and use of Industry 4.0 in UK manufacturing. Therefore, in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), we asked UK manufacturers to share their thoughts in our Industry 4.0 survey.

The survey results found that only 8% of UK manufacturers have a significant understanding of Industry 4.0 processes, despite 59% recognising that the fourth industrial revolution will have a big impact on the sector. Increased productivity, better data analysis, increased competitiveness and lower manufacturing costs were highlighted as the top ways in which Industry 4.0 will affect UK manufacturing.

A quarter say they have no plans to invest in this area in the next two years, with 44% saying this was due to a lack of understanding. Of those that are increasing investment levels, 16% of companies expected to spend over £500,000 before 2018, while 7% plan to invest more than £5m. 64% said that production would be a priority when investing in automation systems and Industry 4.0 related technology, with 45% and 25% respectively saying research and development and logistics were key areas of focus.

We urge UK manufacturers to do their own assessment and ask themselves how ready are they to take on the challenges and opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution.

We are grateful to all of those who shared their opinions – we hope you find this report interesting and thought provoking for your business.