With St Patrick’s Day approaching, we thought we’d take a look at some of the contributions made to the manufacturing industry by the great folks in Ireland!
New Beginnings in Ireland’s Manufacturing Sector
Last year the Science Foundation Ireland launched a research centre that began putting Ireland in the forefront of the global smart manufacturing revolution. The Confirm Research Centre for Smart Manufacturing works in line with several organizations and is backed by over 40 industry partners.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, the manufacturing sector is the second largest employment area in Ireland, accounting for over 450,000 jobs. It’s responsible for 24% of the total economic output in the country. In other words, Ireland knows manufacturing!
A History of Manufacturing Greatness
The Emerald Isle isn’t new to manufacturing and has a long history of production success. In the 1920s and 30s, Harland and Wolff shipbuilders was the largest one in the world and the Guinness brewery was the largest brewery in the world. The industrial revolution may not have had the global impact of other European countries, but they are looking to influence the world now.
The Future of Manufacturing, Courtesy of Ireland
Industry 4.0 is the new concept in manufacturing and it’s driven by a world of mass customization. In an industry historically known for mass producing the same thing over and over, intelligent design and custom specifications is still a challenge. But Industry 4.0 utilizes what’s called cyber-physical systems. With it, machines are able to talk to each other through the internet of things (IoT). Machines can make smart real time decisions about the products they are making as well as communicate with said product. Industry 4.0 machines do not merely do what they are programed too. They can learn and grow their skill base.
According to the Roland & Berger Report, Ireland is a frontrunner in advanced manufacturing, following only Germany and Switzerland. They hope to become a clearer leader with the SFI facility, which will allow companies to come in and test their technologies. There companies can work together at a neutral location without risking their IP.
Companies can test their research and solution ideas without shutting down their manufacturing floors. This will open a lot of doors for those in manufacturing!
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