Why “Smart” Manufacturing Matters and How Countries Are Supporting It

April 12, 2018
The digitalization of manufacturing is changing how products are designed, fabricated, used, and serviced, just as it’s transforming the operations, processes, and energy footprint of factories and supply chains.

This report explains how digitalization is transforming manufacturing globally, detailing what smart manufacturing (or “Industry 4.0”) is and examining the productivity impacts it promises. It then examines the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) manufacturing support programs and policies of ten nations—Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and provides insights countries can leverage to support the digitalization of their manufacturers. Finally, the report examines how the development of common standards can facilitate technology adoption and proposes a typology that helps conceptualize different manufacturing production systems and strategies, showing how these need to be supported by varying digital toolsets.

Why “Smart” Manufacturing Matters and How Countries Are Supporting It