The Manufacturing sector is on an Industry 4.0 journey to digitalize and automate their facilities and operations. Nokia with the help of ABI Research, sought to gain insights into manufacturing views on 4G/5G networking, and conducted a survey of 602 management level respondents with the highest GDP% in manufacturing and three key vertical segments: Automotive (201 respondents), Consumer Goods (201), and Machinery (200).
The geographic spread of respondents was U.S. (161), Germany (100), Japan (100), China (40), India (40), Australia (40), U.K. (41), Canada (40), and France (40). As per the survey, 74% of the respondents intend to upgrade their communications and control networks in the next two years. And, above 90% are exploring the use of 4G and 5G in their operations. However, only 52% of respondents think that the latest generation of 4G and 5G will be important to meet their transformational goals.
About 88% are aware of private wireless (4G/5G) networking, with 84% considering deploying it in their operations. The priority buying areas are automation and machine upgrades (47%), IIoT initiatives (41%), and cloud infrastructure (37%). The recognized key business use cases of 4G/5G includes the need to digitalize and improve existing framework (63%), automation with robotics (51%), and attain new levels of employee productivity (42%).
They also examined the factors affecting buying decisions for new industrial systems across IT (information technology) and OT (operations technology). IT drivers center on reducing downtime (53%), improving operations efficiency (42%), and enhancing security (36%). While OT drivers crave to supplant aging infrastructure (43%), improve efficiency (40%), and increase capacity (38%).
The survey was completed before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, thus its arrival will surely impact these numbers. However, the wireless connection of the physical assets and employees is a critical step in this digitalization journey.