Future of manufacturing

Imagine raw material that has embedded knowledge of the ‘process’ that needs to be applied to itself to turn it into a final product?

For example, a piece of metal or raw material will say, “I am the block that will be made into product X for customer Y.”

A recent interview by McKinsey & Company with Executives at Robert Bosch GmbH makes for a fascinating read.

Consider processes that govern themselves, where smart products can take corrective action to avoid damages and where individual parts are automatically replenished. Such technologies already exist and could drive what some German industry leaders call the fourth industrial revolution—following the steam engine, the conveyor belt, and the first phase of IT and automation technology.

What opportunities and challenges lie ahead for manufacturers—and what will it take to win?

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