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An interesting read on the 'Industrial Revolution 4.0'

We recently attended the Advanced Manufacturing Show in Liverpool to understand the buzz surrounding the UK’s manufacturing industry, Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the increased use of IoT.

The UK manufacturing industry contributes £6.7tn to the global economy, just let that sink in for a minute. Whilst we think of manufacturing as a sunset industry in the UK, it is actually flourishing and we are now seen as the 8th largest industrial nation in the world. It makes up 44% of UK exports, directly employs 2.6 million people and provides 14% of all UK business investment, in simple terms Manufacturing is a serious global player, and we are proud to be supporting its growth.

+ PWC has commented that as of Q4 2016 – 44% of manufacturing companies plan to invest in Information Technology

‘Industrial manufacturers must overhaul their IT systems, creating a completely new architecture that can serve as the backbone for internal and external technology initiatives’

The driving force behind the industry at the moment is the Industrial Revolution 4.0 -

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Machines that can work independently and are aware of their surroundings, coupled with advanced ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and IoT makes the smart factory a thing of today rather than an aspiration.

The companies on display in Liverpool ranged from start-ups to global enterprises, all showing how advanced the manufacturing industry really is. To say it was impressive would be an understatement, conversations had were around how the factories of the past are becoming ‘autonomous’, with new machines knowing when they need new parts. Some even now have the capabilities to order the parts themselves through IoT.

Having had several conversations with companies up and down the country, both large and small, the one subject no one was discussing was connectivity, the backbone of everything to the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the IoT. A connected factory is great, but a connected factory running on an old copper ADSL, or contended FTTC isn’t going to move the company forward. It's the same way an onsite phone system using an outdated PBX is preventing companies from showing their true value.

To enable 4.0 to happen and the IoT to function as intended, connectivity and phone systems are key, everything else branches out from there. Companies are spending £80k and more on ERP systems, but not looking outside their factory walls. This is like spending £100k on a car, then trying to run it on cooking oil - it just doesn’t make sense!

Leased lines and Cloud-based phone systems are a way of ensuring the money you are spending inside the factory is supported outside of the walls too. It is paramount to ensure your ERP is going to be able to do the job it was intended to do.

If IoT and Industrial Revolution 4.0 sound daunting, or if you would like to know more about the benefits that Origin Business can provide, we are more than happy to help you get more out of your ERP and connected factory.

Why not take the leap and call us today? We can arrange a straightforward discussion about the future of your business, maximising the benefits of 4.0 and IoT.