Business Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Wednesday a broadband review to address the problem of low connectivity in UK manufacturing and improve its prospects in the 'Industry 4.0' paradigm. The review is intended to address the rising costs and unavailability of connectivity in UK manufacturing and pave the way for better and easier adoption of automation technology.
Around half of UK manufacturers currently use connectivity for ERP and cloud purposes. Automation software and technology depend on reliable and uninterrupted connectivity and broadband access.
Antony Bourne, Global Sales Director at IFS, highlighted the importance of this review as a stepping-stone for UK manufacturing:
“The broadband review promised by the government is a step in the right direction. With advances in automation technology soaring globally, UK manufacturers should not only be adapting but should lead the way. They have already reaped the benefits of automation software which makes businesses leaner, products more targeted and supply chains more visible and controlled.
“However, unaffordable and unreliable broadband access prevents UK manufacturers from realising the full benefits of automation.
“Only a fifth of companies believe that the UK is at the forefront of internet connectivity, according to a recent report by industry body EEF. It is good to see that government is trying to change that. The same report states that two in three companies are aiming to invest more in internet connected capital – it would be a shame if their internet connection prevented them from doing so.”