Industry 4.0

Theme Lead: Professor Paulo Bartolo

Liasion: Dr Shaden Jaradat

Scope of Theme

Defining ‘Industry 4.0’ can be an elusive task. However, UoM is in the fortunate position to have a myriad of capabilities that propel or impact the 4th Industrial Revolution, as well as an unparalleled powerhouse of expertise spanning the full width spectrum of Industry 4.0 areas. This enabled us through numerous discussions with colleagues across the spectrum to identify Industry 4.0 as:

  • Complex social and technical transformation of the world
  • The use of digital tools and technologies, advanced materials, data and automation for sustainable and smart products, services, and organisations
  • Merging the virtual and physical worlds

Our Industry 4.0 capabilities are broadly aligned to five domains:

Domain 1 – Human-centric Manufacturing

Domain 2 – Manufacturing the Learning Health System

Domain 3 – Smart Sustainable Manufacturing

Domain 4 – Urban Manufacturing

Domain 5 – Digital Design and Make of Materials

Manchester: birthplace of the first industrial revolution, leader of the fourth

The UK’s industrial strategy has fully embraced the Made Smarter Review which concluded that the benefit of adopting digital tools and technologies in the UK over the next decade could exceed £455 billion, leading to growth in manufacturing of up to 3% per annum resulting in the UK becoming a world leader in Industry 4.0 by 2030. Subsequently, a range of government sponsored activities to target industrial challenges in automation, AI and smart/digital manufacturing are being consolidated under the umbrella of the Made Smarter programme which has developed both national and regional dimensions, with the North West being the regional testing ground.

Responding to such opportunities, the University of Manchester has launched its vision on the 4th industrial revolution (Industry 4.0 @ Manchester), drawing on the network of 800+ researchers within Digital Future to bring together colleagues who are at the forefront of Industry 4.0. It outlines the framework through which we propose to deliver a sustainable, joined-up Industry 4.0 strategy that capitalises on upcoming opportunities nationally, regionally and globally.

Download ‘Industry 4.0 @ UoM : Shaping the Future of the Digital World’ 

Industry 4.0 @ UoM News 

June 2019: ‘Innovation on the frontline: rebuilding bodies with ‘Bone Bricks’’ – article in On Materials, part of a series of publications from Policy@Manchester, showcasing the breadth of research and innovation at The University of Manchester. You can access the article via the following link (Page 31)

May 2019: - article in the New Manufacturing magazine. You can access the article via the following link (Page 38)

April 2019: Prof Paulo Bartolo contributed to an Industry 4.0 focussed article in fDi (a Financial Times publication) – ‘On the move: manufacturing’s return to the developed world’

April 2019: The University of Manchester was the Strategic Academic Partner in the Industry 4.0 Summit & Expo held in Manchester on 10 and 11 April 2019. Highlights from our involvement in the Summit include:

  • Prof Paulo Bartolo taking part in the panel of the opening session titled ‘Delivering Britain’s 4th Industrial Revolution’ alongside senior representatives from GAMBICA, Siemens, EEF, The Growth Company and ABB. You can watch a video of the session here.
  • A roundtable discussion about future Made Smarter opportunities in the Greater Manchester region, with MIDAS and representatives from the NW Pilot

We also organised and hosted the Industry 4.0 Academia Summit – Smart Sustainable Manufacturing (9 – 11 April), during which around 100 papers were presented in areas such as The Future of Manufacturing; Towards a Circular Economy; Design, Sustainability and Innovation; and Sustainable Healthcare for Ageing. The conference proceedings are due to be published in a book titled ‘Industry 4.0 – Shaping the Future of the Digital World’.

March 2019: the University of Manchester Research Institute (UMRI) approved a proposal for the Industry 4.0 Innovation Lab. Dr Richard Allmendinger, Lecturer in Decision Sciences at the Alliance- Manchester Business School, and the School’s Business Engagement Lead, says: "Innovation Labs provide an effective and robust platform to get a number of diverse sectors and industry representatives in one room to address real challenges in Industry 4.0 and co-develop research projects with multidisciplinary academics. The seed corn funding awarded to promising projects is a stepping stone to establish cross-disciplinary relationships that can be leveraged for various follow activities." Visit this webpage for regular updates about the University’s Innovation Labs.

March 2019: ‘Manchester was the epicentre of the 1st industrial revolution and can lead the 4th revolution’ – article in the Industry 4.0 Magazine

Sep 2018: ‘Bridging the gap between academia and industry’ – advertorial in The New Statesman Magazine’s Spotlight Supplement on Manufacturing by Prof Paulo Bartolo. You can access the article via the following link (Page 13).