Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Industry 4.0 impact: Rockwell Automation report details automotive manufacturers’ tech strategies

June 18, 2024
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Rockwell Automation published the results of its ninth annual “State of Smart Manufacturing Report: Automotive Edition.” According to the company, the global study includes responses from 182 leaders from automotive manufacturers, automotive supply manufacturers and electric vehicle manufacturers across 15 manufacturing countries.

The 2024 report emphasizes the evolution of the automotive industry, revealing a focus on harnessing emergent technology to reduce risk, generate growth, and maximize workforce potential. Rockwell notes that automotive manufacturers are acutely aware of the industry’s evolution in the era of Industry 4.0, particularly as cyberattacks resulted in $1.99 billion in system downtime costs in the first half of 2023 alone.

Highlights from the study include the following:

  • Cybersecurity risk is listed as the top external obstacle for automotive manufacturers in 2024 – up from ninth position in 2023.
  • 97 percent of automotive manufacturers are using or evaluating smart manufacturing technology – up from 85 percent in 2023.
  • Technology investments increased 35 percent year-over-year, from 23 percent to 31 percent of the operating budget.
  • Wearable technology is listed as one of the top 10 investment areas for automotive manufacturers in 2024, ranking third overall.
  • Employee engagement is the top workforce-related obstacle for automotive manufacturers in 2024.
  • Reducing manufacturing waste is the factor that matters most to automotive manufacturers’ ESG programs.

“As the automotive industry is navigating an era of rapid transformation, setting clear goals and fostering cross-departmental collaboration have emerged as critical factors—and obstacles—for success,” said James Glasson, vice-president, global industry – auto, tire & advanced mobility at Rockwell Automation. “This year’s report highlights the pressing need for automotive manufacturers to prioritize organizational change management and adopt technologies that enhance the capabilities of their workforce.”

Rockwell explains in a press statement that automotive manufacturers are focusing on strategies that prioritize workforce retention, upskilling, and engagement. Technologies such as smart manufacturing and automation, which complement and augment the value brought by their employees, are key to driving positive business outcomes.


The full findings of the report can be found here.

This report is part of Rockwell Automation’s annual State of Smart Manufacturing report, which surveyed 1,567 manufacturing leaders across multiple industries.

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