World Economic Forum's Next Steps Under COVID-19's New Normal

June 5, 2020
Insights from the World Economic Forum’s Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs provide a list of next steps as manufacturers come back from COVID-19 pandemic.

Capturing unique perspectives from seven worldwide regions the World Economic Forum has identified as advanced manufacturing or major industrial hubs in its recent report: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production: Insights from the World Economic Forum’s Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs.  The report addresses the global impact of COVID-19, provides examples of manufacturing and government responses and offers best practices to get economies and citizens back to health as quickly and wisely as possible.

“The World Economic Forum established the global network of AMHUBs to help small- to mid-sized manufacturers keep pace with the rapidly transforming technological advances that could disrupt their industry,” Automation Alley Vice President and white paper contributing author Cynthia Hutchison said. “The aggregate of voices in the white paper not only reports on the manufacturing impact of COVID-19 from regional angles throughout the globe, but also shares lessons learned and best practices to mitigate repercussions and improve manufacturers’ ability to be better prepared and come out stronger.”

 Input from the AMHUB responders highlight key findings:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for the necessity of Industry 4.0 technologies in a global marketplace that will now require more agile and flexible production systems and supply chains.
  • Manufacturers who apply a digital-first mindset to a physical business will reap the benefits of implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.
  • The growing need for remote interaction may potentially accelerate adoption of 5G technology.
  • The latest advances in manufacturing technology show just how far manufacturing technology has come and that investments do pay off.  Ten years ago, disruption the magnitude of COVID-19 would have forced many to completely shut down.

"Although perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime event, COVID-19 is rewarding forward-looking manufacturers who invested in advanced manufacturing technologies by making them more resilient to the crisis. Technology vendors around the world are doing their part to support companies fighting COVID-19, offering free advice and consultation. This provides a great opportunity for all companies to reassess their technological gaps and put in place a digital transformation plan to come out of the crisis stronger and better prepared to face future disruptions."

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Technology Editor

As a highly experienced journalist, Peter Fretty regularly covers advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.

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