Placing People at the Centre of the Future of Manufacturing
6 Dec 2018110 KB
Manufacturing has evolved through three previous industrial revolutions. Mechanisation, the emergence of the combustion engine and the rise of ‘information technology’. Today, we are at the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Building on advancements of the third industrial revolution, the internet began the revolution by providing a way to hold and distribute vast amounts of data. This new digital era is one of connectivity – creating networks between humans, digital spheres and physical objects. By evolving how information is used and shared, and enabling it to be utilised automatically, we are unleashing a world of possibilities for how we manufacture, live and communicate. However, alongside these positive claims, is a worry by some that digitising manufacturing will lead to a rise in unemployment as people are ‘replaced by robots’. Conversely, research shows that increasingly, leaders of the manufacturing sector are subscribing to a vision where people are placed at the heart of digital change, where new technology enables sustainable, socially responsible, and efficient manufacturing, driven by workers.