Manufacturing Survey: 'Industry 4.0' Taking Over

Posted: Updated:

A co-author of the 2018 Indiana Manufacturing Survey says the results show the industry's health is "in the best shape ever." Indiana University Kelley School of Business Associate Professor of Operations Management Mark Frohlich says the Industry 4.0 -- a fourth generation of manufacturing that is more focused on technology and data -- is in full force throughout the state. The survey, commissioned by Indianapolis-based accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller and conducted by IU Kelley faculty at IUPUI, shows the top concern among leaders from throughout the state is investment in technology, facilities and machinery. Workforce development concerns were raised by respondents, but appeared at the lowest level in a decade.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Frohlich the top issues expressed by manufacturers large and small are interconnected. "Your workforce -- each individual is such a special person to have on your team. This is nothing like what they were doing in the '70s and '80s where you'd put automation in and then, you know, fire or lay-off a bunch of people and the robots would take over," he said. "Now, the automation is put where either people might get bored working or it could be dangerous." Situations where automation can be seen now, Frohlich added, include heavy lifting, painting, grinding and movement of materials.

Recommendations to manufacturers include a need to upskill current employees, "aggressively recruit" high school students and advocate for the importance of the industry to all Hoosiers.

Frohlich added "this survey shows that manufacturing is strong in Indiana, but the state can't take its position for granted. Issues such as regulations and tariffs, healthcare reform and the workforce shortage must be addressed if Indiana manufacturers are to maintain their competitive strength."

You can connect to the full results, which also breaks down top industry types including automotive, industrial equipment and aerospace and defense by clicking here.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Indiana University Kelley School of Business Associate Professor of Operations Management Mark Frohlich says the top issues expressed by manufacturers large and small are interconnected.
  • Perspectives

    • Marketing is No Mistake

      We all know, "People make mistakes." So true. Yet it's not an excuse for the marketing blunders that seem to reach customers a bit too often. Many can be chalked up to carelessness, insensitivity and lack of relevance or connection. Most organizations could benefit from a communications audit.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Amazon Picks NYC, Northern Virginia Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has officially announced a decision to split its second headquarters between New York City and northern Virginia. The company first announced plans for HQ2 in 2017, with plans for a $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs. Early this year, Indianapolis was named one of 20 finalists for the project. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos says...

    • Park, Museum, Burger Among 'Best of' Indiana

      The state has announced a new group of "Best of Winners." The honorees, selected by online voting, include Best State Park, Turkey Run State Park in Marshall; Best Museum, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis; and Best Burger, Brew Burger in Jasper. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says "with all the terrific choices that Hoosiers were able to pick from, I am not sure how they were able to narrow it down to the winners in each category."

    • Greenwood to Recognize New City Projects

      The city of Greenwood will showcase some $11 million in recently-complete projects designed to boost the quality of life in the Johnson County city. The new Surina Way connector is one part of the slate of downtown work and will be the focus of Tuesday's ribbon-cutting. Surina Way involves new sidewalks, decorative lighting, landscaping and a bioswale system that the city describes as a drainage innovation. Additional projects complete this year include...

    • Work Begins on $21M LaPorte Hospital

      Beacon Health System and Franciscan Health have broken ground on the $21.6 million Franciscan Beacon Hospital in LaPorte. The hospital will feature a full-service emergency department, inpatient care, lab services, diagnostic equipment and telehealth capabilities. Construction is set to be complete in early 2020. The project involves about 28,000 square feet of new construction and nearly 20,000 square feet of renovation at the current Beacon Medial Group building.

    • (Image courtesy of WTWO in Terre Haute.)

      Tom McClanahan to Retire

      After some 47 years at WTWO-TV in Terre Haute, Tom McClanahan has announced his retirement. Now an anchor for sister station WAWV, McClanahan was WTWO's senior weekday anchor for 26 years until 2008. The Indiana State University graduate is a Sullivan County native who also briefly worked at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute and in cable advertising sales. Since 1971, McClanahan's duties have included news photographer, reporter, anchor, sports director and account executive.