Industry 4.0

The latest buzz doing the rounds is Industry 4.0, a new era in man machine collaboration that will usher in a dynamically different work place.Small and Smart factories, Micro & Miniature platforms, Lean & Customised manufacturing seems to be the common theme. A combination of smart devices & sensors powered by the IoT, Big Data and Cloud computing is changing the way we will manufacture, move and consume goods and services in the near future.

This has a direct bearing on the talent hiring industry; how they should read this trend and what they should do to navigate in this new and dynamic landscape so that they stay relevant in sourcing the right talent for an Industry 4.0 workplace.

The clue comes from the way the new work place is getting structured; the frame work for the future factories will revolve around 5 core themes –

  1. Connected workplace (smart device, sensors, networking)
  2. Cloud infrastructure (remote access, data on demand)
  3. Cyber security (access, command & control)
  4. Collaborative manufacturing (remote & real time)
  5. Customisation and personalisation (lean production, low cost manufacturing)

 

Supporting this will be the cutting edge technology in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Smart machines, Sensors & Devices, Machine 2 Machine communication which will make up the backbone of the IIoT (Industry IoT).

What comes out clearly from all this is that the workforce of the future will be a different animal from the current lot. Spotting and hiring talent in this new manufacturing model will mean understanding the broad contours of the workplace where machines will be doing the heavy lifting. Driving this will be a smart workforce cued into managing conversations between machines, controlling them from remote sites and troubleshooting issues across geographies.

Industry 4.0 ready Recruitment managers need to prepare for the factory of the future which will be a fully integrated and globally connected work place with people managing the running of the shop-floor dynamics with smart machines, robots and hi-tech tools.

Talent will be slotted into 4 broad categories under the new Industry 4.0 landscape –

  1. R&D – The first set will be technocrats deep diving into the core of future technologies like nano particles, bio-medicals, micro implants, artificial mobility, embedded sensor devices and many other areas covering software, hardware and networking components of the factory eco-system. There will be increased industry-academia collaboration, and innovation and discoveries will drive the creation of the smart factory of the future. Talent will be sitting at the cutting edge of technology creating the future of man-machine collaboration and building self learning and self powered super machines.
  2. Smart machines – The second set of talent will sprout around building these smart machines which will consume less energy while delivering higher efficiencies. The design and creation of micro and miniature motors, assemblies, relay systems and other factory floor components that will help build the future factories which are nimble, fast and work on automated process with the IIoT as the backbone. Talent here will be a mix of computing and mechanical / electrical and structural mix with a keen eye on minimalist design using CAD / CAM, 3-D Printing and more.
  3. Smart Operators – The third set of talent will be the actual resources trained to handle these complex automated assembly lines which turn computing into a fine art of Just in Time production, remote diagnostics, continuous tracking & trouble shooting. This calls for a mix of old hand engineering that has brushed up on the new age technology to run the factories of the future.
  4. Systems Integrators / Maintenance – The last set of talent pool ensures the entire set up runs smoothly, it means that the upgrades are done, replacement of parts (software, hardware and middleware) is on time and maintenance is on schedule. This set of talent is compliant in hardware, software and engineering side of the landscape, they forward integrate with partners making the upgrades to the factory components and backward integrate with the factories to ensure a smooth supply of components, software and hardware upgrades.

The talent territory will come with a mix of software, hardware, AI, Robotics, Automation and more which will be managed by people who are capable and competent in handling issues related to not just the software or hardware but also in areas like energy efficiency, new age material science, nano technology and a sensor and cloud infrastructure.

The factory of the future will be staffed by people from across geographies and will be working with cross border teams with a mix of technocrats, ground staff and remote monitoring teams to ensure optimal production and distribution of goods across the world