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In the article, US Manufacturers, Too Slow to Adopt Industry 4.0: BCG Study, the author is investigating a Boston Consulting Group Study that has shown US Manufacturers are falling behind the digital revolution and not fully experiencing the benefits of Industry 4.0.  90% of manufacturing companies survey believed that Industry 4.0 technologies, including big data analytics, can improve productivity, but manufacturers overall are only adopting the digital processes one at a time or slowly.  The entirety of Industry 4.0 needs to be implemented over time to realize the strong productivity gains, and but it appears that manufacturers lack the understanding to start proper implementation.  Without a clear goal or starting point, the technology is not being adopted nearly as quickly as it should be, and thus savings are not being experienced as they should be.

The survey conducted by BCG included 380 US-based manufacturing executives and managers, and the main results were insightful.  Overall, 53% of respondents said transition to Industry 4.0 is a priority, and interestingly, that number jumps to 80% of respondents in cost sensitive industries such as oil and gas and semiconductors.  When it comes to productivity, almost all respondents believe Industry 4.0 practices can improve productivity (89%), but few believe it can increase revenue, only 28%.  Implementation of industry 4.0 is all over the map, with cybersecurity being on the top at 65% and additive manufacturing being one of the lowest at 34%.  Finally, lack of adoption seems to be a two-fold problem.  The biggest issue to beginning implementation, per the survey, is lack of strategy.  Also, 40% of respondents said changing culture was a roadblock to implementation.

BCG appears to understand the plight of manufacturers as they have launched what is called the Innovation Center for Operations (ICO).  The ICO includes model factories in the US and Europe where BCG’s clients can observe and understand Industry 4.0 processes.  The hope is that through the ICO initiative, manufacturers will gain the necessary insights to begin the digital transformation, and understand the strategic aspects.  It seems that the only manufacturers that will don’t benefit from Industry 4.0 will be the ones that intentionally ignore it or fail to take advantage of the learning opportunities available.


Do you believe it will take new talent being hired to fully implement industry 4.0?

Do you think part of the problem with implementing industry 4.0 is not being to quantify the savings?

Do you like the idea of BCG’s ICO?


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