9 Disruptive Trends and 12 Key Use Cases Transforming Smart Manufacturing

The "Industry 4.0 & Smart Manufacturing 2018-2023" report details the $310 billion market opportunity

9 Disruptive Trends and 12 Key Use Cases Transforming Smart Manufacturing

IoT Analytics, a leading provider of market insights & competitive intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, and Industry 4.0, today published a comprehensive 375-page market report titled Industry 4.0 & Smart Manufacturing 2018-2023.

The report, which was compiled over the course of 18+ months, is a holistic compendium that analyzes 350+ related product offerings, details 38 case studies, and describes a total of 79 trends. It serves as a strategic guideline and strong foundation for any company aiming to make sense of what is happening at the intersection of digitalization and the manufacturing sector today and in the coming 5 years.

The term Industry 4.0 (I4.0) has become a global term to describe the 4thindustrial revolution. Unlike the prior industrial revolutions, this revolution is not built around a single technology, but rather the combination of multiple technologies that forward-thinking manufacturers are implementing to realize key use cases that are improving efficiencies, creating new revenue streams, and reducing risks.

The market for Industry 4.0 products and services is expected to grow to $310B by 2023. These numbers are based on the state of I4.0 adoption across manufacturing verticals and the analysis of two distinct technological subsets of the I4.0 market: the connected industry building blocks and other I4.0 supporting technologies.

Industry 4.0 & Smart Manufacturing Market Size

The connected industry building blocks subset of the I4.0 market is further broken down into the 6 building blocks (hardware, connectivity, cloud platform & analytics, applications, cybersecurity, system integration), and 7 regions (North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East & Africa, Oceania, South America, Other).

The I4.0 supporting technologies subset of the I4.0 market is further broken down into the 6 supporting technologies (additive manufacturing [3D printing], augmented and virtual reality [AR & VR], collaborative robots, connected machine vision, drones / UAVs, self-driving vehicles [SDVs]).

Every connected industry building block and supporting technology is explored in-depth, and an Excel database of 350+ companies categorized by I4.0 offering is included with the enterprise version of the report.

Key findings from the report include 9 disruptive trends that have the potential to fundamentally change existing industrial network architectures, business models, and technology stacks. Three of the nine disruptive trends relate to the traditional 5-layer automation pyramid. One such trend is for I/O and PLC hardware to bypass the traditional automation pyramid and instead connect to the cloud either directly or via industrial gateways.

The report also ranks and analyzes the 12 most popular I4.0 use cases, the largest of which is advanced digital product development.

Industry 4.0 & Smart Manufacturing Use Cases

Each use case is accompanied by at least 2 detailed case studies, for a total of 38 detailed case studies featuring 50+ end users and I4.0 suppliers.

Matthew Wopata, the main author of the report and IoT Analytics’ lead expert for Industrial IoT said: “Advanced digital product development emerged as the largest use case for I4.0 technologies as companies are using additive manufacturing, AR/VR, and digital twin technologies to reduce product development costs and time to market. Other large use cases such as data-driven quality control, predictive maintenance, and data-driven asset/plant performance optimization will continue to grow in popularity as manufacturers use I4.0 technologies to improve their operational KPIs, such as OEE. The leading vendors of I4.0 solutions are hyper-focused on customer pain points / use cases and ensure that the data-driven insights generated from I4.0 solutions lead to measurable improvements and tangible ROIs.”

The report also analyzes the I4.0 adoption strategies of 3 types of companies that are affected by I4.0: OEMs, factories, and industrial automation suppliers. The OEM adoption strategy analysis explores the relative maturity of IoT projects in 29 different industries.

The factory adoption strategy analysis, among other things, highlights the “smart factory” strategies of 5 different companies/institutions. Another part of the I4.0 adoption strategies section includes an analysis of 13 leading industrial automation suppliers, of which 5 of the largest suppliers are ranked based on their overall I4.0 readiness, which considers investments and product offerings in I4.0 technologies.

In developing the 388-page report, the analyst team studied over 350 companies that offer I4.0 products and services and attended 25+ leading IoT and I4.0 conferences (e.g., Hannover Messe, SPS IPC Drives, IoT Solutions World Congress, IOTHINGS, Bosch ConnectedWorld, Industry of Things World, Internet of Manufacturing, IoT Tech Expo, IoT World, Hitachi NEXT, PTC Liveworx, Siemens Analyst Day, etc.). Further insights for the report were gleaned from interviews of 100+ experts covering a variety of I4.0 technologies and industries.

Commenting on the findings, IoT Analytics Managing Director Knud Lasse Lueth said: “It is exciting to see that the 4th industrial revolution is well underway. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of confusion in the market regarding use cases, technologies and strategic priorities going forward. We have taken quite some time to provide a holistic view and identify the leading use cases, technologies, and trends. Whether it is the virtualization of PLCs, the evolving components of the smart factory of the future, or the developing IoT software landscape – it is fascinating to just see the sheer number of different developments that are happening right now.”


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