• Can you give an overview of your conference topic/session? Why is this an important topic to discuss?

Although Industry 4.0 is starting to become a fairly well read topic, in the increasingly changing world of digitalisation many business leaders are struggling to understand what it means for them and where to start making relevant investments to maintain global competitiveness.

  • What can attendees expect to learn and discover from your session?

Although Industry 4.0 eludes to a 4th Industrial Revolution, in most cases it will actually be an Evolution. My presentation is intended to take some of the mystery out of the term Industry 4.0 and support businesses in establishing value to their businesses of the various underlying technologies and where to start.

  • What do you think is the biggest issue being faced / discussed in your industry at the moment?

One of the biggest issues we face in industry at the moment is keeping up with digitalisation which in turn affects competitiveness. Awareness of best practice, what technologies are relevant and who can support the change are all critical factors in becoming a Digital Factory. Equally we need to ensure the Engineers of the Future are taught the relevant skills, unfortunately technology is accelerating at a faster rate than education curriculums!

  • What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2016?

How important supply chains are to large manufacturers, to maximise the impact of digitalisation, supply chain engagement is an absolute necessity.

  • What do you think the biggest challenge for the industry will be in 2017?

Making Industry 4.0 relevant! Tagging Industry 4.0 onto anything and everything just to make a sale is going to devalue the vision for Manufacturers and particularly SMEs – where failure to optimise time and investment can make or break a business.

  • What innovative measures should the industry adopt in the next few years to ensure market sustainability and growth?

This will vary depending on a number of factors:

  • Existing level of Digitalisation
  • Consumer expectations & global competition
  • Sector, although it applies to all sectors, some will taking longer than others.

Virtualisation is playing a massive part in accelerating innovation cycles, bringing products to the market a lot faster than ever before.

Managing data securely and converting it into business influencing actions will see new business models appear across all sectors.

  • Why do you think events like Industry 4.0 Summit are important for the industry?

Generates an awareness of best practice and how to apply evolving technologies including the impact on managing people & change culture. It’s not just about using technology for the sake of it, there must be a value/ROI, supporting both short term or long term strategies.