Leading factories commit to sharing innovation

The World Economic Forum’s Lighthouse Network has expanded with the addition of 10 new factories.

Selected for their utilisation of Industry 4.0 technologies, the plants have all used innovative solutions to increase profits and streamline processes.

This announcement takes the number of lighthouse factories to 26, spread across continents and sectors. The World Economic Forum hopes that this network serves as a reference point for other enterprises that wish to develop systems such as artificial intelligence, big data, and 3D printing.

The added lighthouses include a Ford subsidiary in Turkey that has applied digital manufacturing and advanced automation to take a step further than lean. The implementation of these technologies increased output by 6 per cent and employee engagement by 45 per cent, while avoiding additional capital expenditure investment.

Another lighthouse factory is Nokia’s plant in Oulu, Finland, which combines a private wireless network with other Industry 4.0 solutions, and has seen productivity increase by 30 per cent and time to market reduced by 50 per cent.

In Korea, Posco has partnered with local academics, SMEs, and start-ups to implement artificial intelligence improvements to its steel manufacturing processes.

The result of these companies, and others, becoming part of the Lighthouse network is that their breakthroughs will be shared outside of the factory walls.

“The global Lighthouse Network offers an unrivalled opportunity not only to highlight the transformational efforts of the world’s most advanced manufacturers but also, more importantly, to create a shared learning journey that will help manufacturers around the world, across value chains and of all sizes to access and capitalise on the positive potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Francisco Betti, head of advanced manufacturing industry, World Economic Forum.

The full list of 10 lighthouses demonstrate how innovation is leading to company success.

“The 10 new lighthouses confirm that frontrunners in the Fourth Industrial Revolution draw a competitive advantage from either innovating their production system or by innovating their entire value chains and offering new products and services that were not possible before,” said Enno de Boer, partner and head of McKinsey & Company’s Global Manufacturing Practice, which assisted the Forum with this project.