Page Loading

HSSMI final report of results to Scottish Enterprise for: Industry 4.0 pilot study - executive summary


The purpose of the study was to assist Scottish Enterprise (SE) deepen their understanding of Industry 4.0 through the development and pilot of a diagnostic and roadmapping toolset with a cohort of seven Scottish manufacturers. Industry 4.0 involves “the integration of digital based technologies and platforms that connect up the product, people, plant, business and supply chain together”. It includes virtual reality and augmented reality immersive environments, big data analytics, automation & robotics, additive manufacturing, Internet of Things platforms, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. The overall objectives of the study were to: pilot a benchmarking tool from which learning can be gained to refine it for further roll-out; explore what support SE has available to assist companies implement Industry 4.0, and identify any gaps; and create Industry 4.0 pathways that set out sequential steps for each business participating in the research. The report summarises the findings of the Industry 4.0 pilot study and makes recommendations for SE.


The methodology consisted of stakeholder engagement, comparison with existing benchmarking and maturity tools, and a skills/competency review of SE’s in-house capability.


The project resulted in the delivery of a robust Industry 4.0 diagnostic toolset, successfully trialled with seven businesses from different sectors and of various sizes. The skills review highlighted that a combination of both hard technical skills and soft management/people skills are required to facilitate the identification and integration of relevant Industry 4.0 technologies for businesses in Scotland. The majority of the SE team’s skills lie with engagement, understanding and opportunity identification, and aftercare support. It was noted that the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service’s (SMAS’s) industrial practitioners and SE’s Digital specialists are well placed to lead the diagnostic and roadmapping sessions, with further support delivered by the Workplace innovation, Account Management, and Sustainability teams based on the specific needs of the companies. The review also identified a need for continuous professional development in technical skills linked to Industry 4.0, particularly hard technical skills, possessed by the SE teams to support businesses in the development and implementation of digital technologies.


The following recommendations were made to SE to facilitate the roll out of the manufacturing 4.0 service: SE should lead on rolling out a new manufacturing 4.0 service that adopts the methods outlined in this report; training should be provided to the wider SMAS and Digital teams to assist with the roll-out of the service; at the diagnostic stage of the service SMAS and Digital Specialists should both be involved, to ensure relevant skills are available across the industry themes; greater visibility should be given to how SE intervention and support can be applied and packaged to support the implementation of Industry 4.0 pathways; SE should consider extending its range of Expert Support products to include an Industry 4.0 Expert Support product; SE should engage with participant companies to develop case study material that can be shared and placed online to inspire other companies to engage in this activity; SE should explore the practicality of procuring an online or app based solution for facilitating the diagnostic and pathway sessions and to speed up the processing and analysis of results; and SE should share learning with other regions and use this as a platform to continuously improve its Industry 4.0 service.

Author High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute Ltd. (HSSMI)
Published Year 2018
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies