Time to Accelerate in the Race Toward Industry 4.0

Time to Accelerate in the Race Toward Industry 4.0

          
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Time to Accelerate in the Race Toward Industry 4.0

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    Mastering the Challenges

    To master the challenges of implementation, a company needs to define a tailored Industry 4.0 strategy. BCG’s ICO supports companies’ efforts by using model factories to facilitate a four-step approach.

    Understanding Pain Points and Assessing the Industry 4.0 Maturity Level. To understand where Industry 4.0 solutions can be deployed, we identify the key challenges to a company’s operations. At the same time, we use a health check to help the company assess its current state of Industry 4.0 progress. To better comprehend how the identified pain points can be addressed, company executives and staff participate in exploratory demonstrations of Industry 4.0 technologies at the ICO’s model factories. Recently, a European plant assessed its Industry 4.0 maturity level in more than 20 categories and found that it had to make specific improvements in two-thirds of those categories.

    Developing a Long List of Specific Opportunities. Drawing on BCG’s database of more than 150 examples of Industry 4.0 applications, companies can identify specific use cases for further examination, and expert deep-dive workshops at the ICO’s model factories can help companies detail those opportunities. The European plant referred to above identified about 70 relevant use cases. On the basis of discussions during workshops at the ICO’s model factories, the plant’s representatives prioritized these use cases for further detailed assessment.

    Assessing Impact and Selecting Priority Use Cases. At ICO’s model factories, additional workshops support companies as they quantify all related implementation costs and required investments for the long list of use cases. The assessment of expected financial and nonfinancial benefits helps companies select the priority use cases for implementation. In such a workshop, the European plant’s representatives prioritized more than a dozen use cases on the basis of attractiveness, using the time required for implementation to distinguish among short-, medium-, and long-term opportunities.

    Starting Implementation. We help companies identify technology suppliers, perform application engineering as required at the ICO’s model factories, and prepare for implementing a pilot program and a full rollout. Companies should also assess the qualifications gap of their workforce as related to the use cases and then determine the best ways to respond, hiring new talent as well as retraining the existing workforce.




    This study demonstrates that companies do recognize both the significant value of Industry 4.0 and the formidable challenges they must overcome to implement the new technologies. To build and sustain a lead in the race to full implementation, companies need to broaden and deepen their practical knowledge about digital technologies and the related use cases. This knowledge will provide the basis for developing and implementing the right digital manufacturing strategies. The early adopters have set a fast pace for implementation and are building capabilities that will enable them to increase their lead. To maintain their competitiveness, all companies will need to accelerate their efforts along the Industry 4.0 journey.