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WMG gives free access to tool for companies preparing for Industry 4 – enabling the next generation of manufacturing

Professor Jan Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy WMG, University of Warwick

WMG researchers, at the University of Warwick, have worked in conjunction with Crimson & Co and Pinsent Masons, to produce a free to access “Industry 4” readiness assessment tool. It is designed to provide a simple and intuitive way for companies to start to assess their readiness and future ambition to harness the potential of the new cyber-physical age

The term Industry 4 originates from the high-tech strategy of the German government, which soughtto re-define the role of manufacturing post the global economic crisis. It suggests that we are on the cusp of the 4th Industrial Revolution, a cyber physical age, which will be realised over the next 20 years.

WMG Professor Jan Godsell described it as:

“It is an age in which materials and machines are inter-connected within the internet of things (IoT), where everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. This will enable highly flexible, individualised and resource friendly mass production. It is driven by a requirement for shorter time to market, increased flexibility and greater asset efficiency. More fundamentally it will create new business models that will drive both evolutionary and revolutionary changes to the way in which we do business today. Businesses cannot afford to stand-still. “

This report and tool has been designed to enable companies to create an assessment of their Industry 4 readiness and benchmark that readiness across a group of 53 companies. It provides an evidence base for companies to start or broaden the conversation, by helping to identify the gaps between current performance and future ambition. One of those companies that have worked closely with WMG in the development of the tool is Tata Steel who have now applied it themselves and are delighted with the result.

Deirdre Fox Director Strategic Business Development at Tata Steel said:

"The Industry 4 concept has already had a profound impact on the actions we at Tata Steel have taken to shape, not only our own business, but our relationships with our customers and suppliers throughout the supply chain.”

“The WMG readiness assessment tool provides us with an approach to both explore the Industry 4 concept and challenge preconceptions surrounding it, empowering us to take a fresh look at future business strategy.”

Stephen Marshall, Advanced Forming Research Centre representative on the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, has conducted an assessment of 19 tools in this area, and he has identified the WMG tool as having the broadest scope. He said:

"In our recent High Value Manufacturing Catapult survey of 19 digital manufacturing readiness assessment tools, WMG’s Industry 4 Readiness Assessment Tool received the highest score for scope of all the self-assessment tools surveyed. It not only covered the relevant technologies but also including those aspects of a company’s business which will influence its ability to successfully adopt such technologies. By expanding the company’s understanding of the factors involved, this approach should help inform the planning process.

Cerys Wyn Davies, Partner at Pinsent Masons law firm, said:

"Industry 4.0 requires businesses to collaborate with others to get the most value from the projects they are involved in. In this respect, there is a need for businesses to explore new contracting models where the risks in projects are shared among the multiple parties and where the parties are incentivised to work towards the common goal. Traditional linear contracts are unsuitable for the industry 4.0 age."

The tool was launched this month at WMG and the the full report is available to download from this webpage:

For more details and information on how to access and us the tool please contact Professor Jan Godsell whose contact details follow below.

 For further information please contact:

Professor Jan Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy
WMG, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, Tel: 02476 573482


Lisa Barwick - Head of Marketing & Communications, WMG

Tel: 024 7652 4721 or 07824 540845


Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations, University of Warwick,
Tel UK 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile
Tel from overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell

PJD 23rd October 2017