Can Manufacturers Reach Their Greatest Potential in the Factory of the Future?

Manufacturing has changed with evolving consumer demand and the rise of robotics, IoT and artificial intelligence.

When I talk to people about Industry 4.0 – that being, at its simplest level, applying smart technology to the business of manufacturing – many people bring up the loss of jobs as though robots are calling the shots in conference rooms around the world. “People always fear change,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said. He then pointed out that people feared electricity and coal and gas-powered engines, underscoring that the unknown is perhaps the most frightening thing of all.

As a technologist and user of technology, I see this digital story unfolding differently.

I feel a runner’s high when technology eases a burden or enables people or an organization to hit their goals. When it comes to manufacturing, let’s explore ways the smart factory might use digitization to enable people to reach their greatest…