Industry 4.0 push advanced manufacturing – Analysis

Industry 4.0 to push for advanced manufacturing – Analysis

4:56 AM, 21st August 2017
Industry 4.0 to push for advanced manufacturing – Analysis
Digitalisation enables organisations to execute business strategy through the implementation of digital technologies. (File photo)

By 2025, digital transformation could add between $310 billion and $550 billion of economic value to the global chemicals and advanced materials industry, according to an analysis by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and IT major, Accenture.

Industry 4.0 has arrived, blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds. As intelligent, interconnected systems seamlessly support activities along the entire value chain, Industry 4.0 is transforming manufacturing industries across the globe. The opportunities for digital transformation today are undeniable, and the time to act upon them is now.

Representing close to 20 percent of Singapore’s 2016 GDP, manufacturing is a key pillar of the nation’s economy. Today, the city-state is committed to leveraging Industry 4.0 as part of a national push into advanced manufacturing. More critically, Singapore recognises that successful Industry 4.0 adoption is not dependent on technology, but rather on the people who use it. As new technologies transform the workplace, there is an urgent need to take a closer look at the talent agenda.

This is especially critical given that 89 percent of C-suite decision-makers globally do not believe they have all the skills necessary for digital transformation. With this in mind, this white paper examines how Singapore’s manufacturing workforce must evolve to unleash its true potential, enrich its experience and pave the way for a sustainable digital transformation. This paper presents key emerging technical and soft skills and competencies, as well as the underlying changes to organisational culture needed to support their acquisition.

For the purpose of this white paper, key terms are defined as follows:

1) Digitalisation enables organisations to execute business strategy through the implementation of digital technologies. It creates new opportunities and revenue streams.

2) Industry 4.0 refers to the digitalisation of manufacturing. It implies heightened connectivity and intelligence in industry operations via the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cyber-physical systems.

3) Advanced Manufacturing refers to Singapore’s ambition to anchor high-value manufacturing in the local industry, and to transform the country’s existing base of manufacturers through the use of smart technologies.

“Digitalisation is not revolutionary, it is evolutionary.” - Lim Kok Kiang, assistant managing director, EDB

Industry 4.0 is expected to be pervasive by 2020.

Global Industry 4.0 developments have rallied companies to a tipping point in the transition from automated to intelligent plants. The next three years will see an increase in the adoption of solutions that include: robotics, big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), information and operational technology (IT/OT) convergence, and cyber and operational security.

Workforce and organisational requirements are changing to support this transition.

To keep pace with technological change, organisations are demanding increased digital literacy and a culture of change readiness across all levels. They highlight an increasing need for a workforce skilled in both core engineering and the application of digital technologies, as well as soft skills to deploy them effectively.

The demand for IIoT-ready talent will grow.

Organisations will initiate digital transformation by injecting talent and capabilities from solution providers in the short term while building those capabilities internally over the longer term.

In view of the above findings, this paper provides key stakeholder groups with the following recommendations and actionable agenda:

1) A joint industry-government deep dive into identifying the emerging digital skills required. The industry should collaborate closely with government agencies to comprehensively map out the technical skills and corresponding knowledge required across job roles to facilitate Industry 4.0 adoption.

2) Educational institutions and training providers to develop additional programmes and initiatives to nurture cross-trained industrial engineers and technicians with digital skills.

As the need for cross-trained engineers with digital skills grows, government agencies, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), Research Institutions (RIs), and solution providers must collaborate and find new ways to deliver cross-functional learning. Examples include assigning research projects with cross-disciplinary requirements and setting up learning factories outfitted with fully-integrated Industry 4.0-enabled systems.

3) Inclusive planning and clear communication by unions, as well as trade associations and chambers (TACs) to prepare the workforce for digital transition.

Unions and TACs must leverage common platforms for collaboration to understand digital developments and support the continued employability of the workforce.

4) Organisations to implement programmatic interventions from shop floor to top floor.

At the organisational level, the development of a ‘digital DNA’ conducive to Industry 4.0 adoption depends on initiatives at the leadership, ecosystem, and individual levels. A digital capability development programme by Accenture-4.0 Applied Now -addresses these perspectives holistically in an applied learning environment.

© Chemical Today News 

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