Helping manufacturers understand 4th industrial revolution (4IR)

Manufacturers’ organisation EEF and Oracle have published a free new fact-card to help manufacturers identify opportunities through a clearer understanding of the coming fourth industrial revolution (4IR), otherwise known as Industry 4.0. According to the EEF, 4IR will be crucial for UK manufacturing.


Knowledge and understanding are key

Lee Hopley, their Chief Economist says manufacturers are aware that 4IR will be a game-changer, and the speed of change is such that UK manufacturers will need help and support to adjust and capitalise on its opportunities. Knowledge and understanding will be key, which is why we are collaborating with Oracle and have created this free fact-card to help get our sector up-to-speed and to encourage companies to share ideas and best practice.


4IR is being driven by connectivity, big data and other rapid advances in product and process technology. Eight in ten manufacturers say that this next industrial transformation will be a business reality within the next ten years, making it vital that manufacturers are up-to-speed.



The fact-card is designed to encourage manufacturers to think about how they can successfully incorporate new technology into their business strategy to drive growth and productivity. It demystifies how 4IR technologies can improve efficiency and be used in products, the manufacturing process and across supply chains.


But while UK manufacturers are gearing up for the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) they are aware of the need to invest. According to new research, over eight in ten say that they will need to invest in staff skills in order to adopt new advances in technology. At the same time, over six in ten recognise that they will need to invest in management skills as they set about boosting their company’s knowledge and understanding at a strategic level.


 Investing in production

Firms are already investing in multi-purpose production lines, capital equipment with embedded sensors and controls and cloud solutions. And within the next five years almost two in ten manufacturers will have invested in the 3D simulation of manufacturing processes augmented reality and fully autonomous robots.


Mark Newton, VP of Applications at Oracle UK, says: “British manufacturing has consistently demonstrated its versatility and ability to adapt. But with this next industrial revolution driven by rapid advances in technology, the pace of change is about to become even faster and the range of opportunities even wider.


“It’s critical that the sector understands the seismic shift ahead and that manufacturers have the right knowledge and tools to capitalise fully. Success in this global race will secure Britain’s position as a world-leading manufacturing and technology hub. There is everything to play for, which is why we are delighted to be working with EEF on supporting manufacturers on the 4IR journey.”


To find out more about UK manufacturing and 4IR, visit:

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