Industry 4.0 in the U.K. is a revolution in the making, with wide-scale implications for businesses, consumers, and workers. On the supply side, many industries are already seeing the introduction of technologies such as robotics and the Industrial Internet of Things that are disrupting longstanding industry value chains.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reportedly set to inject £455 billion ($604 billion U.S.) into the British manufacturing sector.
Property consultancy Bidwells has provided the infographic below, which looks at the implications, as well as the technologies and locations set to lead the Industry 4.0 in the U.K.
In smart factories, storage systems and production machinery are increasingly capable of carrying out complex tasks, exchanging information, and giving instructions to one another — without the need for human involvement.
Furthermore, developments in 3D printing have the potential to drastically reduce research and development costs.
Additive manufacturing could even eliminate the need for remote factories.
As these advances continue, experts predict that transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more efficient, and the cost of trade will diminish. They hope that Industry 4.0 in the U.K. will open new markets and drive economic growth.
Robotics remains as one of the fastest-growing technologies for Industry 4.0 in the U.K.
Many experts see robotics as the most crucial aspect of future digital technology, with the industry expected to grow to $29 billion by the end of 2018. By 2020, the value of collaborative robotics industry is expected to grow to $1 billion.
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The U.K. is also home to the strongest artificial intelligence and machine learning market in Europe, with over 200 small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), compared with 81 in Germany and 50 in Nordic countries.
The industry has the potential to bring £198.7 billion ($263.96 billion) to the British economy by 2027.
With a thriving ecosystem of researchers, developers, and investors, the U.K. has a comparative advantage in developing AI technologies and becoming the forefront of new technologies.