As the Internet of Things proliferates, companies maneuver to adopt IoT technologies within their own businesses, including autonomous robots or “smart factory” sensors. Major industrial players in the United States and Germany are working on this and believe it to be tied to increased efficiency and revenue.
Digital Trends, via the Boston Consulting Group, examined worldwide trends in Industry 4.0, showing that German companies are laying down more groundwork for IoT projects than their counterparts in the United States and appear to have more faith in the new technology.
Along with IoT technology comes a need for people in the workplace who can use it: both groups (312 German companies and 315 from the U.S.) cite a lack of employees with hands-on experience in the IoT space as one of the barriers to implementation.
Nearly half (47 percent) of German companies polled said that they have developed their first IoT industry concepts, while only 29 percent of U.S. companies say the same. In general, Germany is ahead when it comes to IoT. In the U.S., 41 percent of companies polled said that they were not yet prepared, while just 18 percent of German companies were in the same category.
German companies also aim higher in their speculative plans for digital factory logistics or predictive maintenance. Sixty percent of German manufacturers (and 40 percent of U.S. manufacturers) are applying or planning to apply IoT oversight.
Possible reasons for Germany’s jump into Industry 4.0 include the need to offset high labor costs and a relatively rigid labor market. Manufacturing the automation and robotics technologies necessary for some IoT implementation also plays to Germany’s strengths. For instance, the level of robotic integration in German factories was 78 percent higher than that in the U.S.