People 4.0 – How to Get Buy-In from Your Staff for Industry 4.0 Systems

Everywhere we look as professionals, we are seeing and hearing more about “Industry 4.0” and other digitally connected systems. These new systems are more than just the “next best thing”—they represent a new model for manufacturing and, for some people, a new way of working. As manufacturers begin to integrate these new systems, many questions arise on how they impact an organization and how organizations should adjust to that impact.

My own company faced the most important and urgent question being asked today of Industry 4.0 systems: “How do I introduce this to my own plastics factory?” When we developed the Smart Attend production monitoring system—initially for our own use—at Axiom Group Inc., a Canadian automotive injection molder, we had to overcome some of the biggest challenges that an Industry 4.0 system introduces. One of these challenges was driving this change via new processes throughout all departments, starting with the factory floor. We quickly learned that not only are people resistant to change, but it required constant training, constant promotion of the software, and a near endless supply of answers to questions that were constantly being asked. This is because an organization is still made up of people from all different backgrounds and experience, and it quickly became a foolish mandate to assume that everyone learns the same way.

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