May was a good month for Swiss industry. Purchasing increased by 4 points, climbing to 51 from 46.7 points in the previous month. However, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and the unions predict job losses by the end of the year, connected to the abolition of the exchange rate cap against the euro in January.
Swiss industry must therefore think to the future and reinvent itself to remain competitive and attractive. To this end, the four industrial associations asut, Electrosuisse, Swissmem, and SwissT.net have come together to launch the "Industry 2025” initiative.
This drive aims to gear up for "Industry 4.0”. Following mechanisation, electrification and automation, world industry will largely move towards digitisation. Specifically, the factory of tomorrow will be intelligent, comprised entirely of machines managed by computerised systems. Currently, new communication technologies are increasingly being used to run production units, and we can expect this trend to intensify in the coming years.
So what benefits could this new industrial revolution bring? The possibilities are endless. For example, better and faster manufacturing, as information technology will allow us to coordinate complex production lines more efficiently. Intelligent machines will be able to both transmit information to logistics personnel across the globe and better adapt to customer demands by producing unique items and smaller series at a lower cost. Lastly, new technology means innovation: by creating unprecedented machines, Swiss industry can stand apart and put itself in pole position.
It is therefore essential for Swiss associations not to let this digital transition pass them by. And, by extension, the "Industry 2025” initiative, which aims to inform, guide and support the industrial sector with a website and a national central office dedicated to "Industry 4.0”.