THE GLOBAL MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRIALISATION SUMMIT

KNOWLEDGE HUB

Placing People at the Centre of the Future of Manufacturing

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Manufacturing has evolved through three previous industrial revolutions. Mechanisation, the emergence of the combustion engine and the rise of ‘information technology’. Today, we are at the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Building on advancements of the third industrial revolution, the internet began the revolution by providing a way to hold and distribute vast amounts of data. This new digital era is one of connectivity – creating networks between humans, digital spheres and physical objects. By evolving how information is used and shared, and enabling it to be utilised automatically, we are unleashing a world of possibilities for how we manufacture, live and communicate. However, alongside these positive claims, is a worry by some that digitising manufacturing will lead to a rise in unemployment as people are ‘replaced by robots’. Conversely,  research shows that increasingly, leaders of the manufacturing sector are subscribing to a vision where people are placed at the heart of digital change, where new technology enables sustainable, socially responsible, and efficient manufacturing, driven by workers.

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