Who is Going to Build Our Digital Factories?

Who is Going to Build Our Digital Factories?

While a majority of manufacturers have implemented digital platforms, more than half (51%) lack the skills to operate these factories, according to a new study from Accenture.

Cracking the Code on the Digital Factory, a report based on a global study of 450 manufacturers, found that a growing skills gap is one of their biggest concerns – a situation that has worsened in recent years as manufacturers have transformed their operations using new technology, analytics and mobility capabilities. 

Fifty-five percent of manufacturers, up from 38% in 2013, reported a skills gap among skilled trades laborers, who need to operate increasingly advanced digital machinery and equipment, such as 3D printers or modeling and simulation tools on the plant floor.

Likewise, 60% of manufacturers, up from 31% in 2013, cited a shortage of maintenance workers skilled in the use of predictive maintenance analytics that leverage data from embedded sensors in a machine-to-machine environment.

“For manufacturers to realize the full potential value of digital factories, they need to redesign their workforce to include new manufacturing skills, such as analytical reasoning and data-driven decision support,” said Russ Rasmus, managing director, Accenture Strategy. “Developing a comprehensive talent strategy inclusive of new digital skills is an imperative for today’s manufacturers.”

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Material Handling & Logistics is an IndustryWeek companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.


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