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Industry 4.0

4 important implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

"Adaption probably is the number 1 skill people need to possess in Industry 4.0"

We have spoken about the Fourth Industrial Revolution a lot. New technologies are appearing every day. Only think of artificial intelligence, 3D printing, Big Data, augmented reality, nanotechnology, autonomous transport, Internet of Things, machine learning and robotics. But what are the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? An overview.

#1 Manufacturing jobs change

It needs no explanation that the manufacturing industry is changing. And it is changing quickly. Dirty and simple jobs in factories disappear, while new positions seem to pop-up every day.

A robot needs maintenance, and who is going to take care of this? We need a robot-maintainer. Also, 3D-printers need to be programmed. There you go. Nanotechnology and artificial intelligence have to be explored further to be used in manufacturing. That means we need researchers who investigate the possibilities.

The possibilities are numerous and we can’t even image which jobs manufacturing offers in the future. At least one thing is clear: manufacturing jobs are definitely changing.

Recommended: 3 steps in becoming ready for the future of jobs

#2 People need other skills

Adaption. That probably is the number 1 skill people need to possess in Industry 4.0. As the industry is changing rapidly, we need to change fast as well. Continuously learning and gaining new knowledge is necessary for a career in manufacturing. Also, complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are three of the most important skills in 2020, as predicted by World Economic Forum.

These important skills are necessarily taught at school. To prepare children and adolescents for a job in manufacturing – or in any branche – schools need to focus on ‘learning to learn’, next to addressing new skills. In this way youngsters will be able to occupy jobs that do not exist yet.

Recommended: 10 skills workers need to master and universities need to address

#3 Manufacturers need a different strategy

As the manufacturing industry changes, the way companies produce is changing too. Whereas offshoring has been a good strategy for decades, new technologies make it more attractive to reshore production. Reshoring is just one strategy that manufacturers can follow to keep up with Industry 4.0.

In addition, hiring women and encouraging them to take a job in manufacturing, is a good strategy. Integrating Information Technology and increasing the cooperation between IT and Operation Technology, will help the supply chain to gain value. Using the power of Big Data is also a strategy that helps to become ready for the future of manufacturing. These are only a few strategies that manufacturers can adapt to remain competitive.

Recommended: 3 reasons why reshoring will save a country’s manufacturing industry

#4 Countries should adopt information technology

Network readiness is one of the important pillars of future competitiveness and well-being in manufacturing. As innovation is increasingly based on digital technologies, new business models need to be developed.

Network readiness, as stated in The Network Readiness Index 2016, refers to overall environment, readiness in terms of infrastructure, affordability and skills, and usage by individuals, businesses and the government. In order to become ready for the future of manufacturing, countries should consider all these factors and improve on them where necessary.

Recommended: Ready, set, go! Which countries are prepared for Industry 4.0?

Above are mentioned 4 important implication of Industry 4.0 for manufacturing. What do you think is important for manufacturers? How can countries keep up with all the developments? Leave a reply and let us know what you think.

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