Industry 4.0 is one of the major drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.
It includes cyber-physical systems, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and cloud computing. Industry 4.0 is gradually implemented, often with digitalization as the first important step. Digital technologies paves the way for new business models and value producing opportunities, and are attainable for most developing countries.
In the fourth industrial revolution, the line between the physical and virtual worlds is blurring further every day. Headlines on artificial intelligence, drone taxis in Dubai and 3D-printing are no longer surprising. Today, with a click of a button, you can control different devices or machineries far away from your place via an app.
The digital revolution is changing our lives, informing us how to build cities, travel and communicate. It’s also shifting the way we do business, creating new models and making the existing ones obsolete.
In our industrial world, the digital revolution is in full growing. Automation is meeting digitalisation, devices are being connected and gaining the ability to store, share and analyse data to drive value.
For the UAE, industrialisation presents great opportunity and has a future. There is already talk of increasing the share of the manufacturing sector in the country’s GDP to nearly 20 per cent by 2021, up from 14 per cent in 2014.
Being a relatively new player in global manufacturing and engineering has its advantages, the UAE can quickly embrace new technologies and build expertise at a very high speed compared to other countries.
Digitalisation technologies are a differentiator, and there are a lot of possibilities that the UAE may become a world leader in Industry 4.0, or the Industrial Internet of Things.
The future of manufacturing in the United Arab Emirates is in the developing the use of some advanced technologies which will enable the country to position itself with high-quality, medium cost, flexible manufacturing, with no longer need to expensive machinery, tooling and time-consuming lifecycle management, or the space they take up.
Software can build a virtual representation of the entire value chain for digital design, testing and production. Changes can be made at any stage, and instantly the effects will be seen, it can be done better and faster in the virtual world.
By using this intelligence, it is possible to shorten development time, build higher quality products and allow the flexibility to adapt to fast changing market requirements. Digital technologies will give UAE companies a competitive advantage on the world stage.
The UAE is already advanced in digital strategy and motivated towards industrialisation. This country already sees increased focus on supporting the regulation required to build a stronger, more sustainable sector and more needs to be done to further define investment strategies. Research and development is also a key factor, and nothing can emphasise enough the importance of partnerships to drive this.
Identifying relevant global players and building platforms to localise technology and expertise is crucial to sustainable industrialisation and knowledge transfer.
Partnerships, along with defining a business strategy for the digital era and skill development, are a key part of the transition to digitalised businesses.
The ongoing partnership with Strata and Etihad to develop the region’s first 3D-printed part for aircraft interiors is a great example of how collaboration between the right global and local partners can advance digital manufacturing in a short space of time.
Education and training are key factors that play an important role to develop industry in the UAE. There will be greater emphasis on digital skills, technology, innovation and skills for specific types of manufacturing. The skills are to be updated and upgraded throughout careers, building a highly competitive, local talent pool which drives jobs, prosperity.
The UAE has a long history of innovation, adaptability and an appetite for the new and exciting. There is great potential to drive sustainable economic and social growth, and using digitalisation it can become a leading global player in the industrial Internet of Things.