Amid warnings of recession, the factories show how the manufacturing sector can embrace Industry 4.0 to stay competitive - WEF

The World Economic Forum has announced the addition of 11 new factories and industrial sites to its Global Lighthouse Network, a community of over 100 manufacturers that are showing leadership in applying Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to drive impact in productivity, workforce engagement, sustainability, and supply chain resilience.
Amid warnings of a global recession, energy price hikes and disrupted supply chains, the factories offer examples of how the manufacturing sector can stay competitive.
“Manufacturing is the backbone of both social and economic development. With the right corporate strategies and industrial policies, it provides high-wage jobs, commercial innovation, and drives environmental sustainability – even in times of crisis,” said Francisco Betti, head of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains at the World Economic Forum.

Enno de Boer, senior partner, McKinsey & Company and Global Lead of its digital manufacturing work, explains: “It’s hard enough to digitise a single site. But then how do you scale from one site to many? Especially small sites, all different from each other, with old equipment and old ways of working.

”That’s what keeps so many companies from digitising successfully—they think it can’t be done at scale, so they don’t try. And they’re left vulnerable to the next big shock.”

Lessons in scalability

However, 2022 shows the emergence of scaling champions: in the new cohort of lighthouses, many companies such as Cipla, Danone and Sany Heavy Industry, are deploying large digital transformation programs at scale across 20 to 40 factories in parallel, with thousands of people involved, dedicated governance in place and deploying tenths of innovative yet standardised technology use cases, over time spans of just 18 to 24 months.
“The newly designated Lighthouses show that scaling can be done, with three must haves. First, clear strategy. Without that, you get stuck in pilot purgatory, never seeing which technologies matter for your business. Second, workforce capabilities. Without enough of the right skills, your transformation runs out of steam. Third, strong governance. Without a real execution engine, you won’t capture impact or keep improving.”, added de Boer.

The latest cohort of lighthouses includes four sites designated as Sustainability Lighthouses. This includes Arçelik in Ulmi, Romania: Arçelik Ulmi greenfield factory, powered by 100% green electricity, deployed sustainability use cases such as digital-twin for energy management and closed loop water management system integrated to advanced water treatment plant.

In an environment suffering from water stress, it resulted in a reduction of water consumption by 25% as well as a reduction of energy consumption by 17% and GHG emission by 22%, per unit manufactured