UK manufacturers priorities cyber risks & digital post COVID
During its latest , PwC identifies how shifts in the world marketplace due to technology, rising cyber risks, evolving customer needs, and employee behaviours are transforming the ways in which manufacturers are operating.
“As the pandemic took hold, manufacturers faced unprecedented disruption revealing some weaknesses in end-to-end activities and an increasing prevalence in cyber attacks. When combined with the impact of Brexit, it’s clearly shown just how vital it is for UK manufacturers to embed agility and resilience into their business models - and that they need to act swiftly,” commented Cara Haffey, UK industrial manufacturing and automotive leader at PwC.
Key cybersecurity findings from the report
- Cybersecurity is an urgent priority for 63% of UK manufacturers, with one in five having experienced a cyber attack
- 43% of respondents are investing in application security, firewalls and antivirus precautions
- 38% of respondents will be focusing on their cyber response and recovery plans in the next 12 to 24 months
- 35% of UK manufacturers plan to upskill staff in cybersecurity
Other key findings
- Productivity and efficiency is a priority for the UK compared to other countries (Germany 65%, China 58%, Japan 57%, US 52%)
- UK manufacturers are prioritising the internet of things (78%), public and private cloud (65%), and robotic process automation (47%)
- Supply chain transparency and risk analysis is an immediate action point for UK manufacturers (45%), while vertical integration of the supply chain is a long term focus (33%)
- Demand forecasting is a top supply chain priority short and long term (48%), with track and trace solutions being another focus point (42%) alongside ESG strategies (13%)
“UK manufacturers have shown their capacity to react swiftly to new market environments and challenges and forge new inter-sector partnerships during this pandemic and it’s critical they continue to do this as they look to the future. It’s rare for manufacturers to have the capacity, downtime, or headroom to make such significant changes and it’s vital they don’t waste this opportunity,” added Haffey.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.