Manufacturing aided by Industry 4.0 can support growth of the UAE’s non-oil economy
The national economy is fast diversifying with the real GDP1 for the UAE’s non-oil sector projected to grow by an average of 4.1% during 2019–2023. This rapid evolution can be attributed to the government’s efforts2 that are helping recognize the industrial sector as a strategic driver of the sustainability of the country’s economy. But how do we as part of the industry support the wider sector in achieving greater returns?
At Bosch, we imagine an industrial future in which manufacturers can easily adapt to changing trends, meet the demands of shorter lead times, produce customized products as required by consumers, and deliver, fast. Gains made from digitization, most recently 5G implementation, will bolster the current contribution of the industrial sector. The manufacturing sector3 is reported to have contributed AED122 billion to UAE’s non-oil GDP in 2018 and this is only bound to grow. According to data from Oxford Economics4, the UAE’s industrial sector – including extraction, manufacturing, utilities and construction is forecast to grow by another third over the next decade.
These positive indicators and conducive reforms that attract innovation and investments will in return support an ecosystem that is poised to adopt Industry 4.0 and scale new heights through greater Internet of Things (IoT) application. Imagine the efficiency and financial gains that made in Industry 4.0 enabled assembly line. That said, this assembly line has to integrate with as much of the existing infrastructure as possible to reduce capital investments required. The IoT Gateway5 from Bosch makes the oldest machines compatible with Industry 4.0. Such an assembly line leverages smart software monitoring that is focused on achieving volume production by moving large payloads quickly and with precision. Within this system, robotics support streamlining shop floor processes and decrease production times.
The manufacturing sector is the next major integrator of robotics, using three robots for every 10,000 employees. Companies will manufacture 30 percent faster and 25 percent more efficiently in a connected industrial world with heightened transparency across all processes in real time with the more efficient use of resources while making manufacturing processes even more environmentally friendly. Digitalization6 in manufacturing and logistics will enable human workers to move to higher quality jobs. With the right set of skills, this transition will be easy and deliver results in the shortest timeline.
The skill gap will only widen if adoption of the technology is further delayed. Training that builds an understanding of how Industry 4.0 must be ingrained within the company culture of any organization looking to stay competitive within manufacturing and introduced in schools. With the machines, equipment, communication paths evolving steadily, so must we, looking at how humans and these elements will work together to meet the demands of modern industry.
These Industry 4.0 solutions will enable an entire value creation process, connecting suppliers and manufacturers due to its onus on digitization and connectivity. In a highly competitive landscape, increased cost pressures and heightened quality standards will continue to shape industrial technology. The secret to successfully implementing and gaining from a smart factory is to keep the elements fit for the future and flexible enough to respond to a rapidly shifting global marketplace. As Industry 4.07 moves from potential to reality, it’s clear that no single company or organization can do it alone. Open standards and collaboration will remain crucial. The Factory of the Future is not an end in itself, but a continuous process of embracing new technology and innovations - a step by step evolution. That way, facilities of all sizes and ages can move towards digitalization in their own time, capitalizing on every change.