Tearing down barriers to the 4th Industrial Revolution

Rosa Wilkinson, Director, High Value Manufacturing Catapult 

With Brexit uncertainties, our economic outlook has new challenges. Forecasts routinely project UK growth levels behind those of other advanced economies. Firms are nervous about the future trading environment and its impact on supply chains and order books. It is no surprise that this is beginning to impact business decisions. Some are holding back investment decisions - but not all. The wise recognise that in times of change and in the face of challenging trading conditions, they must act to stay ahead of the competition. The wisest invest today to avoid the spectre of dwindling order books tomorrow. They spot those elements of Industry 4.0 that will boost their business best whether through better products, faster production, better use of resources or improved fit to customer needs.

“Embrace new technologies to win global contracts” 

Industry 4.0 technologies – grounded in making better use of data within the business and supply chain - offer a key to delivering that vision. But even where firms see the need to change they can struggle to begin the transition. The folklore around failed investments in innovation presents a mighty high barrier.

The UK’s 7 High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult Centres work with companies to tear it down. By providing access to the specialist equipment and expertise needed to investigate new technologies and processes and to test their application, the HVM Catapult strips away some of the risks of innovation, deferring investment decisions until the company can see that an idea can be scaled up to deliver successfully on a commercial scale. The model works for firms of all shapes and sizes from FTSE-listed companies to small firms deep in the supply chain. We can be proud of our manufacturing heritage – by seizing the opportunities created by Industry 4.0 technologies, the firms we work with can be excited about their manufacturing future.

Seize Industry 4.0 technology with HVM Catapult to avoid spectre of dwindling order books