Are Manufacturers too Slow or is the Technology too slow?

I recently read a post titled “Are Manufacturers Too Slow in Adopting New Technology ” from Rockwell Automation. The article references a study released last month from BCG titled “Sprinting to Value in Industry 4.0“.

In the BCG Study, I noted the following findings:

  • “Industry 4.0 is a priority, but not an imperative.”
  • Rates of transformation vary across technologies
  • Companies are implementing at varying rates
  • Defining the strategy is the biggest challenge, followed closely by the organizational change management

In the blog post, Dave Vasko correctly points out that companies should be adopting these technologies at varying rates.  The benefit is not in the adoption of the technology, but the impact to operations and the bottom line.

Mister Vasko makes some terrific points about what the drivers are for technology adoption in an organization.  His points echo my opinion. However,  I think that there is also an excellent case for the role that the software vendors play in enabling the transformation.  In a recent post, I discussed 5 Technology Trends Missing in Industrial Automation.  I would argue that if we could somehow increase the availability or presence of these trends in our marketplace, the rates of adoption would go through the roof.

I am interested to hear if any others experience reflects that in the BCG study.  I have seen customers struggle to define the motives and strategy for implementing these concepts.  The ones that are proving most successful are the ones that have clearly defined the business drivers and the areas most in need of the newer technologies.

The transformation to Industry 4.0/Smart Manufacturing concepts for many users is going to be a slower migration.  As a solution provider, I am looking for ways to implement the goals of Smart Manufacturing using a mix of legacy and new technology.  

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