Confusion Endures Among CPGs Around Industry 4.0

March 8, 2018
Though many consumer packaged goods companies see the benefit of the holistic approach to manufacturing that the Industrial Internet can deliver, more education and information are needed.

Despite the hype as a new manufacturing trend, there is still considerable confusion surrounding Industry 4.0. Challenges to successful implementation of Industry 4.0 are many and varied, including issues surrounding interoperability, human-machine interface (HMI), controls, sensors and more, according to interviews with 50 top consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and machinery builders. The findings come from a new report from PMMI Business Intelligence, Vision 2025, which focuses on a variety of CPG challenges, including workforce, e-commerce and consumer trends.

There is considerable skepticism around Industry 4.0, according to the study. OEMs are wary of adding Industry 4.0 benefits to machines if CPGs don’t want them and won’t pay for them. CPGs, meanwhile, expressed concern that the Industry 4.0 initiative is sometimes driven by analysts who do not have a thorough knowledge of manufacturing operations.

Data integrity, remote access and cloud computing raise many questions about cybersecurity as well.

Nonetheless, most of those interviewed agree that, if implemented correctly, Industry 4.0 can not only “connect the dots” to discover weak spots in the manufacturing process and get to root causes of failures, but it might provide additional benefits not immediately apparent.

CPGs stressed that input into an Industry 4.0 initiative should come from the bottom up, starting at the plant floor level with operators and others closest to the manufacturing operation.

For more insights, download the free 20-page report from PMMI Business Intelligence, Vision 2025.

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