In view of recent events
Tim McLean, Lean Author, Consultant and Entrepreneur, TXM Lean Solutions
Automation and “Industry 4.0” is not the right focus for most manufacturers, especially SMEs. I think it risks saddling them with capital costs, higher overheads for little return.
Instead shorter supply chains, market disruption, more demanding customers and greater competition mean manufacturers need to focus on being more agile and on creating more engaged and empowered workplaces that can respond quickly to change.
The emphasis of Industry 4.0 seems to be on improving the means of production, but for most businesses it is WHAT you produce and understanding WHO you produce it for is more important than HOW you make it.