Factories will become more flexible, adaptive and skilled according to new research by London-headquartered professional services firm Arup.
The report, Rethinking The Factory, examines trends such as the uptake of collaborative robots, new materials (such as “self-healing” plastics) and new processes, and suggests that these would lead to design and innovation becoming faster and more open.
Factories would more closely resemble showrooms (as seen in Local Motors’ “micro-factory” concept) and focus more closely on “experiences”.
Arup’s Duncan White, citing the merging of cyber and physical worlds (sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0), said quickly adapting and incorporating new processes would become increasingly important. This needed to be understood by businesses and policy-makers.
“While developing sustainable and resilient practices will be essential, having access to a skilled pool of workers will prove to be equally important and challenging as these changes are made,” said White, Arup’s Science and Industry Leader.