A&D manufacturers exploring Industry 4.0 to drive digital transformation

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IFS have released research which shows a large proportion of aerospace and defence (A&D) manufacturing decision-makers are actively considering integrating Industry 4.0 technologies to spearhead their digital transformation efforts.

The statistics provide key industry insight into how organisations intend to develop their business operations using 4.0 initiatives—including 3D printing, virtual reality and digital twinning.

The data has been extracted from a recent IFS webinar, which zeroed in on the impact of Industry 4.0 for A&D manufacturers. Over 140 A&D decision-makers were asked to respond to a number of polling questions to gauge views on Industry 4.0 adoption and readiness in the A&D manufacturing sector.

Eighty-eight per cent were researching or actively involved in Industry 4.0 projects, while only 12% have not made Industry 4.0 an enterprise-wide priority, choosing to look to invest in specific, focused technology.

Interestingly, of the 88% of positive respondents, only 20% of participants are actively looking to leverage 4.0 technology, identifying it as an enterprise-wide priority.

The majority – 68% – are still researching how these technology advances can help achieve their digital transformation goals.

While the interest in 4.0 techniques is clear, the A&D market is obviously still at the beginning of the adoption journey and bridging the ‘chasm’ from interest to adoption will ultimately depend on how much early adopters prosper from deploying the latest solutions.

James Elliott, Principal Business Architect, Aerospace & Defence, IFS, said: “Early adopters are making significant investments in breakthrough technologies such as 3D printing, virtual reality and digital twinning and are beginning to gain competitive advantage. A&D manufacturers should not wait too long before making investments. The emergence of Industry 4.0 technologies implemented on a flexible enterprise software platform will be essential in future-proofing the industry in 2020 and beyond, offering previously inaccessible financial, operational and security benefits for A&D manufacturers.”

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