Does your Company have Enough Industry 4.0 Skills?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the face of business and manufacturing as we used to know it, the pressure to increase the use of technology will increase.  That might be great if you are making the robots or automated material handling equipment used in warehouses, your demand will increase, but what about the end-user? Does your company have enough Industry 4.0 skills to take advantage of this opportunity?

Will companies find the talent to deploy new technology?  Who will service these machines as they eventually need preventive maintenance or repair?  Who will set them up in your shop?  How will you manage the communication across 5G networks so this spendy, shiny new technology can communicate with each other?


During WWII we won the war because we mobilized our manufacturing base quickly and could train new factory workers quickly and efficiently.  We accomplished that feat using a method call Training Within Industry or TWI.

By the end of the war, 16,500 companies and 1.6 million workers had trained in this method.  Then it was deployed across Europe and Japan to help rebuild their infrastructures.

TWI comprises four elements- JI which is Job Instruction.  JM which is Job Methods. JR- Job Relations and PD which is Program Development.  Program development is the overall development of a TWI training program.

Job relations, as it sounds, trained supervisors how to deal with employees fairly and effectively.  Job Methods teaches employees how to evaluate the efficiency of their jobs and provide suggestions for improvement.  Today that is called Lean.

Job Instruction is the largest effort of the four and trained experienced workers on how to break down jobs into defined steps.  Coach the employee for some time until they are competent and then slowly remove the coaching.

This blog isn’t about TWI but to share that there are very old-school methods to train employees quickly on how to use very cutting edge technology.

Since the pressure and speed to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies will increase don’t fear you won’t be able to keep up.  TWI is an excellent way to train your employees for the new century!

There is a non-profit organization called the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council (MSSC) that is releasing June 1, 2020 a certified production technician 4.0 certification for interested employees.

The training will cover Industry 4.0 enablers such as 5G, artificial intelligence, autonomous robots, additive manufacturing, data analytics, IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), augmented reality, nanomanufacturing, and advanced materials.

I’m not associated with them but I came across them while researching this blog.  If you have employees that are already technicians or are interested in up-skilling then you might want to share this information with them.  I’m sure this training can provide your company with increased Industry 4.0 skills.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little bit better today.

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