Industry 4.0 > Influence of end customers on the use of Industry 4.0

Influence on decisions regarding the use of Industrie 4.0

Influence of end customers and machine builders on the use of Industry 4.0

In 2022 Quest TechnoMarketing interviewed 25% of machine builders with 100 or more employees on the topic of "What the machine builder wants to change in automation in 2022 toward Industry 4.0". This included the influence of end customers on Industry 4.0 at the machines.

July 24th, 2023 - The result of the market research is clear:

  • Overall, the end customer influence predominates.

The diagram shows that 39% of the machine builders consider the influence to be equally distributed. 40% of the machine potential is affected by this. If we take into account the predominant end customer influence at 21% of the machine builders with 33% share of the machine potential, the result is:

Influeence of end customers and machine-builders on the use of Industry 4.0 iin 2022.
  • For 60% of the machine-builders with 73% of the machine potential, the end customer has a say in Industry 4.0 on an equal footing or even the decisive influence.

  • In contrast, 40% of the machine-builders with 27% of the machine potential can make their own decisions completely or predominantly regarding about Industry 4.0.

End customer influences use of Industry 4.0 entirely or mainly

21% of machine builders with 33% share of machine potential see end customers as crucial.

  • "At the moment, our experience is that very many customers are curious. Customers usually like to be informed in detail about I4. But when the offer is then on the table, it gets difficult. The time (for I4) is not yet so far in our area that it translates into investment needs. There is a lot of talk about it in the media. Customers don't want to miss the boat, but the orders aren't keeping up yet. We are now simply making suggestions as to what is advantageous or where the customer could have an advantage. I think it's slowly changing a bit, the customers' requirements are becoming more concrete. But the willingness to spend money is still lagging behind. Differences are visible in the world regions. In Europe, there is a bit more trading than in the U.S. In the U.S., there is a lot of talk but no action. A big stumbling block is also getting data out. In Asia it's relatively easy, there are few barriers in that regard, Europe is dramatic. In Europe, you have the most horrible discourse to get data. We already do data protection contracts and ensure security. As long as the attitude prevails, 'I'm not giving my data away,' we're treading water." (Building. glass, ceramic machines)

  • "The hesitant requirements of end customers for Industry 4.0 solutions are still determining, while one has already done a lot of preliminary work oneself. Customers are price-sensitive. If Industry 4.0 solutions are price-neutral, then yes; if there is a surcharge, then no." (Conveyor)

  • "Industry 4.0 is still met with quite a bit of skepticism from end customers. Nevertheless, there are surprises that efficiency improvements can be achieved, which have been proposed and accepted." (Printing, paper machines)

  • "The customer decides what intelligence to buy in. We have it." (Food processing machines)

  • "The influence of the end customer is predominant and determines the customer access to the machine and the availability of data." (Packaging machines)

Machine builders influence use of Industry 4.0 entirely or mainly

40% of the interviewed machine builders with 27% of the machine potential see it that way.

  • "For our customers today, it's all about changing batch sizes and increasing the number of variants and integrating data into local IO systems (customer systems). It's also less about PM and more about CM. The AI/machine learning direction is more not driven by technology. For us, it's about getting to the 100% process control for quality. With the large number of workpieces, every 50th part can be measured, but if a part is further processed between 0-50, that affects quality. We are much further ahead than our customers here. We work mainly for second-tier suppliers, but we also supply large corporations such as Bosch or ZT. We are on a par with them. But the medium-sized operator, he lacks the know-how. Our company works with over 20 employees for software and data analytics, so we are naturally ahead of them." (Machine tools)

  • "That's the question, "who wants it, who praises it". In the last 5 years, it has been us. In the textile area, we have driven the digitalization process. In the Asian area, they don't pay anything for software. That will shift now with the Chinese five-year plan for automation and I4. We will see how it will develop now." (Textile machines)

  • "For certain issues, such as intelligent energy management, the customer has the main influence. Predominantly, however, the influence on Industry 4.0 at the machine lies with the machine-builder." (Printing, paper machines)

  • "Influence of the end customer in maintenance. Maintenance departments state their requirements here. Machine design, however, is shaped by the machine builder. The end customer must be told what is possible." (Packaging machines)

  • "Yes, some customers demand it to be done. Networking the machines with each other and also energy efficiency is a big topic. But 70% comes from us." (Rubber, plastics machines)

The influence on Industry 4.0 is distributed between end customers and machine builders roughly equally

39% of the interviewed machine builders with 40% of the machine potential see it that way.

  • "It's also a cost issue. Predictive maintenance is all great, but someone has to pay for it. Customers are spread all over the world, even in Europe as well as in Asia, they don't want to pay for it. To I4 we drive and are driven." (Rubber, plastics machines)

  • "The customer specifies the vertical networking in the customer world. You determine the machine automation yourself." (Robotics and automation)

  • "50% of our customers want it. They have very extensive specifications, not only how the components have to look but also the software. The other 50% don't care." (Textile machines)

  • "We stand on three pillars now: 1. new machines, 2. service, 3. digitalization. Customers with strong influence organize workshops and present their ideas." (Packaging machines)

  • "We think about how to realize unit cost optimization for the customer and on the other hand we are driven by the customers about their requirements." (Machine tools)