Industry 4.0: An opportunity to shine for Canadian manufacturers

Canadian companies are uniquely positioned to seize the opportunities created by this revolution—yet they must move or risk being left behind for good.

Matthew Wetmore

Matthew Wetmore

National Managing Partner,
Industries and Regions,
Calgary, PwC Canada

Industry 4.0: An opportunity to shine for Canadian manufacturers

Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, has begun. Digital technology is transforming the industrial and manufacturing world in profound ways. Canadian companies are uniquely positioned to seize the opportunities created by this revolution—yet they must move quickly or risk being left behind for good.

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Industry 4.0: Total digitization

The Industry 4.0 revolution goes well beyond concepts like the industrial internet and the digital factory. Industry 4.0 companies are completely digitizing their physical assets and integrating themselves into digital ecosystems that include partners all along the value chain, from suppliers to customers.

The PwC 2016 Global industry 4.0 survey reveals, more and more industrial companies worldwide are making Industry 4.0 digital transformation the focus of their business strategy. Globally, these companies plan to double their average level of digitization within five years, from 33% to 72%—and they’re investing over US$900 billion per year to do it. The message from our study is clear: the time for talk is over; the time for action and investment is now.

No one factor is driving Industry 4.0, but the unstoppable need for profitable growth is powerful. Customers are demanding more—yet insisting on lower and lower prices. Digital technologies offer a means to meet these demands, as well as a route to new and potentially lucrative products and services. At the same time, industry heavyweights have already begun their digital transformation, adding pressure on others to keep pace. And Industry 4.0 offers companies that can’t hope to compete on cost—like Canadian firms—the means to achieve sustained success in years to come.

Blueprint for success

To move forward with Industry 4.0, digital capabilities are all-important. These take time and concentration; a step-by-step approach is important. But move with deliberate speed, so that you don’t lose the first-mover advantage to competitors.

Don’t buy the hype. Buy the reality. Industry 4.0 will be a huge boon to companies that fully understand what it means for how they do business. Change of this nature will transcend your company’s boundaries and lead to a complete transformation of your organization.

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What we mean by Industry 4.0

In this report, the term ‘Industry 4.0’ stands for the fourth industrial revolution. Other related terms include the ‘Industrial Internet’ or the ‘Digital Factory’, although neither takes a complete view.

While Industry 3.0 focused on the automation of single machines and processes, Industry 4.0 focuses on the end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and integration into digital ecosystems with value chain partners. Generating, analyzing and communicating data seamlessly underpins the gains promised by Industry 4.0, which networks a wide range of new technologies to create value. 

While the term Industry 4.0 is becoming increasingly familiar, we use it in a specific way in this report.


Industry 4.0 Self Assessment

Is your industrial company leading or following? Take our self assessment and find out.

A Strategist’s Guide to Industry 4.0

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Manufacturing’s new imperative: Three strategies to boost top-line growth

In one way or another, operations executives are under pressure these days to make more significant contributions to their company's growth.

Contact us

Matthew Wetmore

Matthew Wetmore

Global Industries & Sectors Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 561 6376

Michael Kamel

Michael Kamel

Canada Industrial Manufacturing and Automotive Deals Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 514 205 3976

Neil Manji

Neil Manji

Markets Leader of Public Company Audits, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8130

Nochane Rousseau

Nochane Rousseau

Vice-Chair and Managing Partner, Quebec & Eastern Canada Region, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 514 205 5199 

Mario Longpré

Mario Longpré

Partner, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 514 205 5065

Nadir Hirji

Nadir Hirji

Partner, Digital Services Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8417

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