This is an article by our guest Editor Helen Duval

Adopting new technology is taking businesses forward and at a rapid pace. The innovations brought about by the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 is now making a substantial impact on British manufacturing. By combining a variety of technologies such as cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI), manufacturers can embrace the best technology has to offer. There are greater opportunities and clear advantages in relation to performance and efficiency.

As AI takes leaps forward mimicking human intelligence with computer software now capable of learning from its own experience, we are entering a new AI age. Automation has much potential in relation to processing and analysis, giving manufacturers clear advantages which when combined with AI will give exceptional insights into processing behaviours and how problems can be eradicated down the production line.

For example, AI can help to increase volume and keep production costs low which will be of great benefit when developing new products for different markets. With the constantly fluctuating situation regarding Brexit it will create excellent opportunities as businesses can understand the challenges they will face in the run up and purchase the right products to keep them ahead in fiercely competitive sectors.

With the advent of AI integration, companies will come to rely more and more upon machines to increase productivity, new systems will be created that will help to minimise costs and help businesses to gain ground.

This is particularly relevant for large manufacturers, which, through research, development and in-vestment, could already be familiar with what technology can do for them. Digital technology will be the next viable step that transforms a business and its manufacturing processes to yield greater profit margins and a leading market position.

Managing Brexit is also about recruiting and retaining the right staff to drive success. To fully implement the benefits of Industry 4.0, UK manufacturers must have a strategy of upskilling existing employees to deliver digital transformation.

In relation to business and Brexit, until there is clarification it is hard to evaluate longer term strategy plans but for certain, investment in AI, automation and reviewing practices will be essential.

Staff training and their ability to adopt new skills will create a better informed workforce which can help to take a business further forward as it makes its transition towards more artificially intelligent manufacturing solutions. Auditing staff and evaluating ways to maximise their potential as the Industry 4.0 revolution dawns will be key to implementing better business strategies for manufacturers.

Supporting employees through this transition, giving them support to work through any worries will keep a workforce engaged and committed, so that the business can make a more seamless transition to automated processes. Focusing on training schemes as well as working with colleges and universities to incentivise the next generation of engineers and industrialists has to be a winner all round.

Creating a team that is skilled in the art of designing and manufacturing products digitally will bring an excellent ROI and transform the production process at the same time. This will boost staff morale and help the workforce to cope with tomorrow’s marketplace.

Brexit is a massive business challenge but being able to handle the digital transformation will eventually provide a solid solution that will satisfy customers. Investing in technology will create better products for a global market.