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Revolution in manufacturing, engineering, technology & IT industries

The NonExec specialises in mergers & acquisitions (M&A) within manufacturing, engineering, technology and IT industries. These industries are facing a revolution that will transform industry, work in general – and the value of companies.

Value is one of the key drivers for both our M&A clients and those we support with strategic advice. So what is driving the value revolution?

Industry 4.0 is the revolution on the horizon, for those not already familiar this will involve economies of connectivity, efficiency and scale through:

  • Adopting connected devices & digitally enabled devices
  • Machine learning & cognitive AI
  • Blockchain & supply
  • Automation of activity currently undertaken by humans…

Pivotal to this is is the Internet of Things (IoT). Currently major obstacles for the implementation of this is uniform standards as well as easy and safe cloud communication solutions. Industry will need to standardise communication features, allowing systems to be IoT-ready and enabling end-users to integrate into digital factories.

Leading industry publication Drives & Controls features recent articles giving examples of industry giants investing in and working together to try and solve the issue.

For example, Microsoft and the BMW Group have proprietary systems being used in factories today that create data silos and slow productivity, hindering production and profitability. They have launched an initiative aimed at speeding up innovation in the manufacturing sector and making it more cost-effective. The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) is designed to break down barriers caused by proprietary systems, and to create an open technology framework backed by a cross-industry community, see more here.

Another group founded by Beckhoff, Endress+Hauser, Hischer, ifm, Kuka and SAP, is committed to offering an open “ecosystem” and framework to achieve interoperability between equipment. These leading European suppliers of equipment and software for smart factories have formed The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance.

This is an alliance that wants to ensure that 80% of the machines in smart factories will speak the same language to enable rapid scaling of Industry 4.0. The open, standards-based offering is based on four modules, plus a service offering including; Device Connectivity, Edge (the central node governing factory functions), Operator Cloud and the Cloud Central, read more here.

Preparing machines and systems for IoTThe fact is, nearly half of all machine builders admit that they don’t have a clear strategy how to get their machines and factories ready for Industry 4.0.

Concerned about this, Eaton has published a White Paper entitled ‘Preparing machines and systems for connection to the Internet of Things (IoT)’. It describes, in plain words, the basic points of the Industry 4.0 architecture, such as horizontal and vertical integration, cyber-physical systems and smart devices – well worth a read.

If this topic has interested you we are hosting a Technology and Innovation event in conjunction with Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 28th June 2019 in Bournemouth.  We shall be taking the stage alongside senior leaders from Schneider Electric and RS Components.  If you would like to attend the event or receive slides post-event, please email us for more details now.

One of the speakers at the event, our MD Justin Levine, brings valuable inside knowledge of the manufacturing, engineering and technology industries. Prior to setting up TheNonExec Limited he had over twenty years experience within industrial automation having led several manufacturing, technology and distribution companies both in the UK and overseas. For specialist non-exec support for business owners – or if you are considering to sell, transfer, merge, buy or carve out a business call 01202 828266 or book an initial confidential meeting.

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