Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Hannover Messe 2019 day 3: Supporting workers in an age of automation


April 3, 2019
By Kristina Urquhart

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April 3, 2019 – On day three of the Hannover Messe industrial technology fair, Manufacturing AUTOMATION covered a lot of ground between the industrial automation halls – from a session on how business leaders can embrace Industry 4.0, to a demo on smart manufacturing, to a panel discussion on standardization.

One theme stuck out: the way that industrial technology is going to change – not eliminate – jobs.

At the “Rethinking Manufacturing Leadership in a 4.0 World” discussion held in the Automation Forum, all panellists agreed that fostering talent within their organizations is central to success in an Industry 4.0 environment.

“We’re driven by teams operating cross functionally to address different business objectives and make our team more agile in Industry 4.0,” said Dan Dwight, president and CEO of U.S. manufacturing company The Cooley Group. He said breaking down silos when it comes to roles and responsibilities is the way forward.

Holly Baumgart, vice-president of IT at Sargento Foods Inc. agreed, pointing out that while technology changes so quickly and it’s virtually impossible to keep up, the industry now requires people who know how to operate that technology, how to contextualize the data that technology provides, and how to quickly adapt to what technologies are coming next.

Pietro D’Arpa, corporate manufacturing director and supply chain director for European logistics and strategic planning at Procter & Gamble, said his company’s approach is to “build, borrow and buy,” which translates to hiring the right people and helping them to develop their skills, forging partnerships with other companies to fill talent gaps, and purchasing the correct products to ensure their staff can succeed.

To stay ahead of the curve, Baumgart said manufacturing leaders must look across their organizations and tap into the talent that’s already there – whether by reskilling or training.

“You have to use everyone you’ve got,” she said.

Stay tuned for more updates as the show goes on!

Hannover Messe runs April 1-5, 2019 in Hannover Germany. More than 6,500 exhibitors from 75 countries are at the show, with an expected 220,000 visitors.

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