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Industry 4.0 - The new industrial revolution

April 25, 2014

Speed is of the essence

Industry 4.0 represents a huge opportunity for Europe, but like all revolutions, it will be fast and disruptive. And, there’s no going back. The question now is if Europe is ready to meet the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and leverage the trends to its advantage.

Industry plays a central role in the European economy: It contributes 15% to overall value added and accounts for 80% of innovations and 75% of exports. When taking into account industry-related services as well, industry is the engine of Europe's social economy. But the manufacturing sector has been feeling more and more pressure lately. Due to its declining competitiveness in the face of new market players – particularly from Asia – jobs have been lost in established markets such as the UK ( 29%), France (-20%) and Germany (-8%) over the past 10 years.

Industry is the engine of Europe's social economy. But the manufacturing sector has been feeling more and more pressure lately.
Industry is the engine of Europe's social economy. But the manufacturing sector has been feeling more and more pressure lately.

  • What's more, countries in Europe are developing differently. While Germany and Eastern Europe continue to increase their share of the industrial market, other EU members are facing de-industrialization. "This development will weaken Europe overall, because more jobs and know-how will be lost in industry. After automation, electrification, and digitalization of industry, the introduction of the Internet of Things in the factory marks the advent of a fourth industrial revolution," says Max Blanchet, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

The good news is that Europe is in better shape to meet these changes in industry than many may think. But, speed is of the essence. Alongside detailed analysis and a new EU Readiness Check that breaks down the frontrunners, potentialists, traditionalists, and hesitators, our study into Industry 4.0 looks at the best practices and explains what companies and politics can do to support development and leverage this opportunity for Europe.

  • Photo credits: Daniel Ingold / Getty Images; Kurt Trubel / iStockphoto

Roland Berger Think Act - Industry 4.0
Think:Act

Industry 4.0 – the new industrial revolution

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The new industrial revolution - how Europe will succeed

Published April 2014. Available in