Although the buzzword “Industry 4.0” has been on everyone’s lips for years, the actual implementation in European companies is still at the very beginning. This is the result of a survey conducted by TeamViewer. […]
Less than a quarter (23%) of companies have started the digital transformation of their production, more than half of the companies have not yet developed a corresponding strategy or roadmap. Most decision-makers in industry understand the term “Industry 4.0” as a multidimensional approach to the digitization of their companies. For three quarters of the respondents, the term also includes, on the one hand, the use of technology and data to digitize the production process with a focus on machines. On the other hand, “Industry 4.0” also includes the use of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to support the manual processes of employees. More than 70 percent of the respondents stated that in their view, this transformation will lead to better working conditions, more safety at work and a changed corporate culture.
According to the survey, the most important technologies and megatrends of the future that will drive the digitization of production in the companies of the respondents are: cybersecurity (27%), digital platforms (25%), the Internet of Things (IoT) (25%) and cloud services (24%). In contrast, chatbots (12%) and blockchain (12%) play a rather subordinate role.
Most of the decision-makers surveyed expect an increase in efficiency through the use of innovative technologies in production (82%). In addition, the following benefits are expected: improving the quality and level of services (81%), reducing costs (81%) and improving security, e.g. the health and safety of employees, building security and information security (80%).
On the other hand, the perceived time and cost expenditure (32%) is currently the biggest hurdle in the digitization of production in companies. In addition, concerns about IT security (28%) and data security (25%) play an important role, as well as incompatibility between existing machines and new technologies (26%). Concerns such as a lack of staff (16%), a lack of acceptance among employees (16%) or a lack of priority in management (15%) are seen by fewer companies as an obstacle to the digital transformation of production.
Great potential for IoT, AR and AI
A particular focus of the survey was on the potential of IoT, augmented reality solutions (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) for digitization in production. According to business decision-makers, IoT has the greatest potential (78%), followed by AI (72%) and AR (70%). Among the IoT-based solutions, the following areas are in the foreground for the respondents: automation of order processing (37%), machine-to-machine communication (33%), predictive analysis (32%) and remote control of machines (31%). For AI, decision-makers see the greatest potential in quality assurance (38%), assembly, maintenance and repair (36%) and the optimization of the production process (36%).
In addition, decision-makers identify possible AI applications in monitoring production quality and yield management (35%), error prediction and predictive maintenance (31%), monitoring safety and compliance measures (31%) as well as demand forecasting and production planning (31%).
Jan Junker, Executive Vice President Solution Sales & Delivery at TeamViewer: “The survey shows two things that our customers also confirm: On the one hand, the path to Industry 4.0 is a challenge for many companies, especially for those who use large and expensive systems in their production. On the other hand, there are enormous opportunities in the digitization of production, which the majority of companies want to use for themselves. Together with our customers, we are constantly expanding the possibilities of embedded devices, AR and AI and supporting them in making their companies fit for the future.”