The new research polled manufacturing decision makers in the UK, US, Germany and France. Almost a third (32 per cent) of those surveyed said they don’t believe the majority of their workforce are skilled in using automation and robotics in the manufacturing environment, reflecting the potential consequences of not prioritising training programmes.
However, 71 per cent are at least fairly confident that their business has embraced Industry 4.0 concepts such as automation, artificial intelligence and real-time data, while 72 per cent believe their current solutions allow workers to be at the centre of the production process. This suggests a level of misplaced confidence among business leaders, Visual Components said in a statement announcing the findings.
The need to better utilise technology in the manufacturing environment was highlighted by mistakes being made on the factory floor – as many as 24 per cent of decision makers cited low flexibility for different jobs with a robot, poor layout design (20 per cent) and a wrong focus point (16 per cent) as some of the key errors made.
Although Industry 5.0 practices are already being adopted in the industry, only 18 per cent of decision makers said they have a very good understanding of the concept, while only 29 per cent have made significant or good progress in their digital transformation roadmaps.
Decision makers do believe however that automation and robotics is the most important to build or redesign the factories of the future (29 per cent), highlighting the importance of eradicating errors and increasing efficiency as new robots are incorporated.
“Many manufacturing organisations are failing to invest in the right technology and associated training to support employees,” said Mikko Urho, CEO at Visual Components.
“Simulation software can for example reduce the likelihood of mistakes when implementing robotics and/or automation, and will help build understanding of Industry 5.0 concepts as the factories of the future are designed and the Industry 4.0 era comes to an end.”
Although 85 per cent of manufacturing organisations currently said they use simulation software or have plans to do so in future, only 18 per cent stated that it is easy to use for all employees, further highlighting the importance of integrating effective training.