March 31, 2022
By: Carol McGlogan, Electro-Federation Canada
Manufacturing is vital to the economy contributing over 10% of GDP and 68% of exports in Canada. The lifeblood of communities and drivers of innovation, manufacturing is critical for maintaining a nation’s innovative capacity.
There is a change underfoot in the manufacturing sector – and this transition is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution – a blurring of boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds (Industry 4.0). It’s a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, quantum computing and other technologies.
Industry 4.0 builds on the foundations laid by the first three industrial revolutions: the advent of the steam engine in the 18th century led to the first industrial evolution, allowing production to be mechanized. The second industrial revolution was characterized by electricity and other scientific advancements which led to mass production. The third industrial revolution saw the emergence of computers and digital technology which led to the increasing automation of manufacturing.
The electrical and automation industries enable Industry 4.0 and it is vital that those who serve this market have a strong grasp of the ecosystem, products, and buying processes associated with this latest revolution.
Understanding the ‘big picture’ as it relates to market segmentation, types of production processes and environments, the digital hierarchy in manufacturing and the drivers behind the adoption of automation, will empower individuals to recommend the right solutions to meet end users’ needs.
EFC is proud to support those who participate in Industry 4.0 by offering an ‘Industrial Automation Playbook’, an online training module which outlines the industrial automation market and its ecosystem by profiling the end users in this market and their drivers, the range of product categories, and what players are involved in the specification, design, installation, operation and maintenance of manufacturing systems and environments. The Playbook also details the critical role that distributors play in the process, while highlighting the success factors and support requirements that suppliers must provide their channel partners for mutual success.
The goal behind the Playbook is to encourage learners to make connections between the products/services they provide to the players that they interact with in the automation market. Part of the learning experience is to utilize the Playbook discussion guide to connect one’s learning to their company’s products/services and the markets they serve.
With over 25% of our industry retiring in the next ten years, there will be many newcomers required to fill the talent void. This Playbook is designed to accelerate the learning curve.
This Industrial Automation Playbook follows EFC’s successful Electrical Industry Playbook, which has been adopted by electrical industry participants as an onboarding tool for new employees.