We Asked 100 Manufacturers Their Thoughts on Industry 4.0. Here’s What We Learned.

  • September 1, 2021
  • Magic Software

Industry 4.0 means different things to different people. As data-led automation solutions start to drive manufacturing on a never-seen-before scale and before all the mayhem of COVID-19 broke loose, we asked a hundred manufacturing professionals about how the fourth industrial revolution has been affecting their business. There are certainly some common perceptions and misconceptions regarding Industry 4.0, what Industry 4.0 really is, and how manufacturers of all sizes can get started making the switch.

We ran a survey on the Magic website and here are our main takeaways.

Getting insight from the manufacturing industry 

  • Half of the manufacturers are not worried about adoption, while the other half less confident

It’s interesting to note that the highest percentage said that technology adoption is not going to be an issue. 

Over half (53%) of respondents answered that Industry 4.0 adoption will not be an issue for their factory and 31% went as far as to say that their employees are considered techies. “They have the newest phones and gadgets. They’re up for the challenge.” The second most popular answer was, “they will get up to speed with time”, with 22% of respondents.

However, the other half of the respondents are worried about the adoption, with 28% claiming that lengthy training is required and 18% not having any confidence in their employees’ capabilities to learn new technologies.

  • Despite the will to execute, many believe that data-driven manufacturing is still out of their reach 

61% of respondents have some budget for automation but are under the assumption that they need significant spend to transition to Industry 4.0. Most manufacturers still have no visibility into the production process, with 42% of respondents guesstimating material, operational and production costs most of the time. Only 8% claim  that they almost never have to guess as they have full visibility into all their processes. 

  • Budget constraints are the main reason not to implement Industry 4.0

61% of quiz participants list money as the top reason they have not implemented I4.0 yet. However, when probed, another 61% ALSO answered that they have, at a minimum, some budget for automation. 

16% of respondents are weighed down by the outdated machinery that was built in the pre-internet era, making the switch even more challenging.

As automation technologies mature, the cost of implementing smart factory solutions continues to drop and more manufacturers are likely to join them. 21% responded that they are already well on their way to I4.0.  

Based on our quiz results, we are likely to see more manufacturers moving ahead with Industry 4.0 implementation shortly. 

  • Legacy systems are slowing down Industry 4.0 implementation

Not surprisingly, 73% find having legacy systems to be a drain on their time, and manually importing the data to be exhausting. They would wish for real-time visibility and a way to implement Industry 4.0 tech without breaking the bank. 

Despite challenges, Industry 4.0 is well underway across the manufacturing industry

Industry 4.0 is where manufacturing is headed. The vast majority of manufacturers are interested in implementing changes in line with Industry 4.0, if they haven’t started doing so already. 

The main concerns are the financial investments involved in the implementation and compatibility with legacy systems. This means that awareness of cost effective and gradual implementation solutions to Industry 4.0 is not yet prevalent. Magic Software’s FactoryEye, for example, does precisely that. It enables manufacturers to tackle their most  burning issues first. It uses a phased approach to Industry 4.0 deployment by providing a clear roadmap of the steps needed to implement the smart utilization of the data. 

While half of the respondents are worried about the adoption of new technologies, over 50% of manufacturers are confident that with time and training, their staff could learn to adapt to I4.0. However, the pain of keeping running the old way is already becoming too big to make the switch worthwhile to most.

Cyber-Physical systems, additive manufacturing, Machine Learning, automation, and data visibility: manufacturers are already imagining the world where there exists an entirely connected network of OT and IT, sending real-time data directly to those who need it.

But how can manufacturers get there? Contact Magic Software to learn more

Request an Industry 4.0 Consultation

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