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Report highlights the impact of automation, robotics and big data on the UK’s manufacturing sector

Hennik Research’s Annual Manufacturing Report, has revealed that British manufacturers are overwhelmingly optimistic about the future of their industry. According to the report Industry 4.0, is transforming the manufacturing landscape through technologies like automation, sensors and 3D printing that when combined are leading to higher efficiency, reduced costs and faster speed to market.

Good news as the UK desperately needs to raise productivity which seriously lags our main competitors.

Commenting Nitin Rakesh, CEO and President of the ‘digital modernisation’ firm Syntel said: “The digital age has disrupted many different aspects of manufacturing, from research and development, to marketing and sales. Businesses cannot afford to put production on hold in order to modernise, but they must transform their manufacturing processes in order to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.”

According to the report, 83% of companies have already implemented some form of automation in their production process over the past five years. What about those companies which have not? Most said that financial considerations were the main inhibitor with over 50% fearing that ROI will be too slow to materialise. Meanwhile, 31% said that they were unable to accommodate the investment in their current budget, and were worried about ongoing costs.

So what is driving companies to invest in automation? According to the report 78% of companies said that investment was driven by the need for increased efficiency, 60% by cycle time and 58% by quality.

The report concludes that the digital revolution has reached the factory floor, with investments in IoT-enabled machinery and connected devices helping manufacturers to optimise their capabilities.

Industry 4.0 is helping to unleash a wave of innovation and the depth of new product being developed can be summed up in the latest issue of Products in Focus.

Neil Tyler

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