Gap between Industry 4.0 leaders and majority of businesses “substantial”: report

In a report released on August 6, the Australian industry Group (Ai Group), outlined how Australian businesses are transitioning to or already within Industry 4.0.

In releasing the report, chief executive of Ai Group, Innes Willox, commented, “An overall finding is that there has been substantial progress in embracing Industry 4.0. But the gap between 4.0 leaders and the majority of businesses is substantial.”

The distance between the Industry 4.0 leaders and those who are still beginning their journey with the new technology is vast. According to ABS data, more than 60 per cent of businesses did not see any value in IoT.

“Despite expected cost efficiencies through adoption of connected devices, often called the Internet of Things (IoT), challenges remain for promoting the business value of IoT,” said Willox.

At the other end of the spectrum, companies that have an extensive history of manufacturing have committed to Industry 4.0 transformation projects that have led to 15 per cent savings in manufacturing time, and reaching a delivery in full, on time (DIFOT) target of 100 per cent.

“We have found that companies are punching above their weight, doing amazing things with new technology and leading the way for others,” said Willox.

One challenge for manufacturers adopting digital technologies that Ai Group identified is the threat of cyber attacks. Over 30 per cent of businesses surveyed experienced a cyber security incident, and 80 per cent have invested in cyber security measures.

Overall, Ai Group, noted that at this stage of technology adoption, manufacturers require information and support from governments.

“More broadly, information is needed on how to navigate the wave of digitalisation: maximising participation, minimising the pain of change and disruption, and preventing disenfranchisement.

“This need is not just for businesses but the full range of organisations and individuals. Governments can provide strong visionary leadership. Australia needs to achieve inclusive growth. Making the most of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is essential to that goal,” said Willox.