Intel Study Discovers Why So Many Factories are Still Operating in the 20th Century

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What’s New: Intel releases study, “Industry 4.0 demands the co-evolution of workers and manufacturing operations.” Research finds more than half of workers surveyed hunger for change and “intelligent” solutions for labor-intensive jobs, but many distrust new technology.

What does it take to realize the full potential of intelligent factories? How are companies, workers and manufacturing leaders equipped to handle the changes ahead of them? To better understand these issues, Intel embarked on research that surveyed workers and leaders to identify key issues that will accelerate adoption of smart technologies.

Why It’s Important: The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transforming how humans work, operate and interact with machines, especially in manufacturing. Manufacturing is becoming more digitally intense, and the promise of the “intelligent factories” – where analytics, artificial intelligence and IoT converge to drive intelligent decision-making and optimize productivity – is real. Read the report brief.

Key Research Takeaways:

  • Automating the mundane: 59 percent of participants wanted “intelligent” solutions to take on manual or labor-intensive jobs.
  • Bringing consumer tech to the factory: Participants envision consumer-like technologies in the factory, with 62 percent wanting smart machines that can partner with humans to complete tasks or can complete the tasks for them.
  • Culture and leadership a bigger obstacle than technology: Participants described distrust of new technology and resistance at the C-suite level to technology adoption, despite the fact that it would increase efficiency for their companies.
  • Fear of transition and the need for training: Participants saw themselves as potentially being at risk if they failed to learn new processes and navigate the transition successfully.
  • The skills gap: Workers were worried their factories will leave them behind because while the industry changes, they are not getting a chance to learn newer technologies.

More Context: The research, headed by Dr. Faith McCreary, a principal engineer, experience architect and researcher at Intel, in tandem with Dr. Irene Petrick, director of Industrial Innovation for Intel’s Industrial Solutions Division, interviewed more than 145 participants from 133 companies. Participants ranged from factory workers to CEOs across manufacturing facilities in a variety of industries. The research uncovered organizational and worker beliefs and concerns that are often overlooked or underplayed in the wide-sweeping technology changes occurring in manufacturing.

Learn More: Petrick presents further details about this study and how factories and manufacturing plants can better handle their transition to intelligent facilities at Hannover Messe, at 10 a.m. Friday, April 27, in Hall 8, Stand D17. Read “Industry 4.0 demands the co-evolution of workers and manufacturing operations.”

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  • Intel Study Manufacturing 1
    Intel releases “Industry 4.0 demands the co-evolution of workers and manufacturing operations,” which finds more than half of workers surveyed hunger for change and “intelligent” solutions for labor-intensive jobs, but many distrust new technology. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
  • Intel Study Manufacturing 3
    Intel releases “Industry 4.0 demands the co-evolution of workers and manufacturing operations,” which finds more than half of workers surveyed hunger for change and “intelligent” solutions for labor-intensive jobs, but many distrust new technology. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
  • Intel Study Manufacturing 2
    Intel releases “Industry 4.0 demands the co-evolution of workers and manufacturing operations,” which finds more than half of workers surveyed hunger for change and “intelligent” solutions for labor-intensive jobs, but many distrust new technology. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

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