Manufacturing collaboration: The fundamentals of sharing

The majority of Australian start-ups and small manufacturing businesses are avoiding big data at the expense of climbing the value chain, according to industry champions.

The dawn of Industry 4.0 is still escaping a country used to going it alone – with several frontline professionals declaring a lack of trust in the Australian consciousness the root problem.

Over a two-day event at the Sydney Masonic Centre last month, the second annual Industrial Internet 4.0 summit heard speakers from all walks of manufacturing discuss the benefits, and obstacles, digital disruption presents a divided industry.

For some, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an opportunity to unite the value chain, an audience heard – despite a hesitance within the ranks to share and cultivate.

David Hart, CEO for Dematec Automation, considered the difficulty in persuading companies to take the plunge without first understanding the definition of “meaningful data”.

He notes real-time visibility as a benefit – so that “the manufacturer can see an issue and deal with it before it became a problem”, such as stoppages and production downtime.

“IIoT provides an opportunity for those SMEs to realise some benefits from automation digitisation, which they may not have traditionally been willing to invest in,” he said.

“All of this means it is essentially to lower the barrier to get the business going; to use digitisation techniques by starting with something small and to then build that up as your business begins to evolve.”

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