Featured Product
This Week in Quality Digest Live
Innovation Features
Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest
Retailers that don’t use technology to streamline operations will lose business
Karla Jo Helms
How innovators can mitigate the status quo pushback
Sachin Waiker
A study of motorcycle makers shows how focusing on one market for too long can reduce companies’ ability to survive
Adam Zewe
A designer could use this method to 3D print interactive input devices, like a joystick, switch, or handheld controller
Gleb Tsipursky
Videoconferences are ill-suited for traditional brainstorming. Try this method instead.

More Features

Innovation News
Eiger Fleet to enable more control and automation of distributed manufacturing
The tabletop diagnostic yields results in an hour and can be programmed to detect variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
First Responder UAS Triple Challenge focuses on using optical sensors and data analysis to improve image detection and location
More than half of respondents expect to meet Industry 4.0 goals within two years
Both quality professionals and their business leaders agree that openness and communication is essential to moving forward
Voxel8 patented technology will provide printed lattice structures to be used as inserts in midsoles
Purpose-built for cannabis analysis
True 3D holographic displays are practical with only moderate computational requirements
Inspect nozzle welds using phased array ultrasound testing techniques including ray-tracing, scanner simulation, coverage maps

More News

Quality Digest

Innovation

Molex Releases Results of Global Survey on ‘State of Industry 4.0’

More than half of respondents expect to meet Industry 4.0 goals within two years

Published: Monday, August 2, 2021 - 12:00

(Molex: Lisle, IL) -- Molex, a global electronics leader and connectivity innovator, announces the results of a global survey of Industry 4.0 manufacturing stakeholders driving advancements in robotics, complex machines, and device or control systems. The findings reflect steady progress in the development of Industry 4.0 initiatives across the industrial automation ecosystem, including smart automation, connectivity, and analytics that add efficiency and intelligence throughout the manufacturing life cycle.

“It’s gratifying to see widespread Industry 4.0 progress, as the fourth industrial revolution is pivotal to fulfilling the promises of digital manufacturing,” says John Newkirk, vice president and general manager, Industrial Solutions, Molex. “Ensuring success requires a pragmatic approach, organizational alignment, and secure connectivity solutions that drive operational efficiency while boosting manufacturing flexibility and reducing costs.”

Molex commissioned third-party research firm, Dimensional Research, to conduct The State of Industry 4.0 Survey in June 2021, polling 216 qualified participants in a variety of roles, such as R&D, engineering, production manufacturing, strategy, innovation, and supply chain management. The primary research goal was to capture data on practical real-life Industry 4.0 experiences and opinions. Overall, the survey respondents validated continued growth, potential customer benefits, and expected business outcomes emerging from the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and smart manufacturing.

Key findings include:
• 51 percent of those polled report having a well-defined Industry 4.0 corporate priority with executive sponsorship; 49 percent have already achieved success while 21 percent are still in the investment stage
• More than half of the respondents expect to meet their Industry 4.0 goals within two years while a third believe it will take three to five years to reach that milestone
• 58 percent say that digital transformation investments have accelerated Industry 4.0 efforts
• 44 percent of those polled find organizational and cultural adoption barriers hardest to overcome

Driving impactful outcomes and benefits

According to the survey, the most impactful business outcomes encompass the ability to build better products (69%), reduce overall manufacturing costs (58%), increase revenues (53%), offer products at lower prices (35%) and decrease time to market of new solutions (35%). For machine builders, robot manufacturers, and systems integrators, the opportunity to expand factory-floor automation and intelligence is expected to drive significant customer gains.

Among the most anticipated customer benefits are increased efficiency of robots, machines, and other manufacturing assets (58%); greater flexibility on manufacturing lines (50%); the use of advanced analytics or digital twins to self-optimize operations (50%); virtual design and simulation of new production facilities before making capital expenditures (42%); elevated labor productivity (41%); and unlocked access to real-time data across facilities (26%). Overall, a significant majority of survey respondents (87%) are excited about the transformative power of Industry 4.0 over the next decade.

Among the capabilities considered most beneficial to their organizations’ Industry 4.0 efforts, respondents cited machines embedded with ample intelligence to control their own processes while interacting externally (53%), remote access to all production lines and machines (47%), and versatile connectivity solutions that include internet (40%).

Overcoming persistent challenges

Despite overwhelming optimism for the fourth industrial revolution, persistent cultural, business model, and technology challenges thwart implementation. Nearly half of those polled identified problems with leadership that doesn’t advocate for change, making it more difficult to reap full value from investments. Other cultural issues impeding success include problems finding staff with data and analytics skills (35%); organizational structures that limit information and systems sharing (32%); underfunded, insufficiently staffed pilot projects (30%); and lack of expertise in connected technologies (28%).

Most of the respondents also face major business model challenges, spurred by a range of complex and costly requirements, such as difficult funding decisions (45%), upfront investments that complicate return on investment (42%), and lack of clarity on which use cases pose the greatest payoffs (40%). A litany of technology hurdles exist, including separate information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) network infrastructures (43%), restrictive communications protocols (39%), limited remote access (36%), cloud infrastructure and data solutions not aligned with manufacturing needs (34%), and inadequate security capabilities (32%). Ultimately, 85 percent of the survey participants were in strong agreement that a change in how leadership thinks is critical to empowering Industry 4.0 initiatives to thrive.

About Molex

Molex is a global electronics leader committed to making our world a better, more-connected place. With presence in more than 40 countries, Molex enables transformative technology innovation in the automotive, data center, industrial automation, healthcare, 5G, cloud and consumer device industries. Through trusted customer and industry relationships, unrivaled engineering expertise, and product quality and reliability, Molex realizes the infinite potential of Creating Connections for Life. For more information, visit www.molex.com.

Discuss

About The Author

Quality Digest’s picture

Quality Digest

For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.