Research by the EEF revealed that most firms believe the next revolution (4IR) will happen faster than previous changes in manufacturing, with two out of five worried about how they will keep up.
The manufacturers’ organisation predicted that more high-skilled jobs will be created through “smarter” production methods and digital technologies.
Companies recognise they will have to adapt to meet customer expectations and remain competitive, said the EEF.
Andy Tuscher, the Yorkshire and Humber region director at the EEF, said: “4IR is happening and the UK’s success in this global industrial transformation will hinge on manufacturers’ strategies and ambitions.
“It goes far beyond simply investing in new technologies and techniques – this new era requires cultural shifts, new business models and the ability to adapt and innovate.
“This report is about sharing this insight with manufacturers but, more importantly, also providing practical examples so that 4IR stops being about theory and starts being about something that manufacturers can genuinely see how and why to apply.
“By helping to connect principle to practice, we aim to put our sector in the driving seat, building confidence and awareness so that UK manufacturers can be at the forefront of this new industrial wave.”
The report also identified a need for greater communication across supply chains, and industrial sectors, about the benefits of embracing 4IR.
To find out more about UK manufacturing and 4IR, visit: www.eef.org.uk/fourthindustrial.