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Industry 4.0 investment on the rise

A new business survey has revealed that UK manufacturers are boosting investments in Industry 4.0 technology, with one Knowsley-based firm developing an ‘Internet of Things’ enabled CNC system.

A new business survey has revealed that UK manufacturers are boosting investments in Industry 4.0 technology, with one Knowsley-based firm developing an ‘Internet of Things’ enabled CNC system.

A survey of manufacturers by EEF shows that around two thirds of companies are now familiar with the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) - or Industry 4.0 - up from 42 per cent just two years ago.

The number of companies moving beyond initial concept stage to real investments in digital technology has now reached 43 per cent, with over one third of these prioritising improved labour efficiency.

The survey also reveals that being innovative with technology is seen by manufacturers as the number one factor to help boost productivity.

One local company that is embracing technology is Knowsley-based component manufacturer Beverston Engineering, which is boosting its capabilities with a new CNC system that will increase efficiency and reduce waste and downtime.

The Internet of Things enabled system will automatically monitor, collect, exchange and analyse data during machining to improve component accuracy and enable Beverston Engineering and its customers to make smarter, faster decisions.

The system was developed with the support of Liverpool John Moores University through the Liverpool City Region’s LCR 4.0 initiative.

Rod Wah, Managing Director at Beverston Engineering, said:

“Before approaching LCR 4.0, we had never heard of Industry 4.0. However, it became increasingly clear that these technologies represent a paradigm shift within this market, and we quickly realised that we needed to adopt them.”

Despite increasing interest in Industry 4.0 overall, EEF’s survey also shows that 57 per cent of companies are still not investing.

Lack of skills within companies is seen as the biggest barrier to implementation, according to the respondents, with another key barrier being a lack of understanding of how technologies can help.

The Business Growth Hub’s specialist manufacturing services can support companies with the digital transition by helping decision-makers to understand what solutions are technologically feasible and how to utilise them effectively.

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