Apr 27, 2021

5 minutes with Infosys’ Rafi Billurcu on Industry 5.0

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Manufacturing Global speaks to Rafi Billurcu, Partner & Head of UK Manufacturing, Infosys Consulting, discussing what Industry 5.0 means for manufacturers
Manufacturing Global speaks to Rafi Billurcu, Partner & Head of UK Manufacturing, Infosys Consulting, discussing what Industry 5.0 means for manufacture...

How has COVID-19 affected the adoption of industry 4.0?

The development of Industry 4.0 slowed somewhat in specific verticals, due to the economic impact of the pandemic deterring some manufacturers from investing in new technologies. As the industry tries to get back to pre-COVID levels, however, we are seeing things speeding up again.

From big data analytics to connected devices, 5G in particular will provide the key building block to next-generation factories, providing the ultra-reliable low latency connectivity on which Industry 4.0 depends. Thanks to the speed and reliability of networks provided by 5G, manufacturers will be able to move closer to their vision of the smart factory, realising the full potential of disruptive technologies and digital. 

What is Industry 5.0? How does Industry 5.0 differ from Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 was about revolutionising the factories, converting them from manual and labour-intensive operations to smarter, more leaner operations enabled by digital technologies. While this was more focused around manufacturing based on Cyber-Physical Production Systems which integrate digital and physical processes, Industry 5.0 looks at how we expand this concept and apply digital technologies to disrupt industries. It’s not just about optimising the costs of operations, but also driving revenue for enterprises across B2C, B2B and B2B2C models. 

Industry 5.0 is all about harnessing the power of digital across the enterprise. We can’t just rely on certain small pockets of innovation. Rather, we must drive innovation at scale to gain competitive advantage. It is also about how the technology functions to reorganise a company’s efforts and budget, driving efficiencies in their system of records to fund their systems of innovation. 

What does industry 5.0 mean for manufacturers?

Acting on Industry 5.0 requires manufacturers to have already taken key steps to starting their digital transformation journeys. This includes establishing a digital vision for the enterprise, aligning this to drive the corporate strategy. Setting up the digital foundation is also key – digital processes must be at the core, along with a fully integrated and aligned operating model. Manufacturers must also adapt agile, and later SAFe agile principles of execution, in order to drive innovation at speed. 

What technology is involved in Industry 5.0 and how does it differ from industry 4.0?

The same technologies deployed in Industry 4.0 are involved in Industry 5.0, such as AR, VR and analytics. But while the technologies haven’t changed, the applications for these are becoming more widespread. 

How has COVID-19 affected the acceleration towards the adoption of Industry 5.0?

Multiple organisations had to stop their manufacturing operations for significant periods of time due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. This led to an accelerated implementation of robotic-enabled touchless operations, which can be executed whilst working remotely.

We can expect to see greater investment in this area as manufacturers look to future proof their operations against the prospect of another pandemic, or similar unforeseen events. The application of automation and other Industry 4.0 technologies such as AR, VR and analytics can ensure efficiencies are achieved with minimal impact, impacting both the top and bottom line of organisations.

For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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