Investment intentions of UK manufacturers revealed in new IBM survey

3D printing in action 08062021
3D printing in action 08062021

A new survey conducted by IBM has revealed insight into manufacturing investment, including top solutions and technologies of interest. 

A new survey conducted by IBM has revealed insight into manufacturing investment, including top solutions and technologies of interest.

The study surveyed attendees at previous Smart Factory Expo events where the audience represent board-level and senior management from manufacturing companies. From this survey it was revealed that 61% plan to invest between 2021/22, with 24% hoping to invest in the near future.

The survey discovered that 67% of manufacturing decisions makers have accelerated digital projects as a result of COVID-19. The study noted that while business imperatives for digital projects are not different to those pre-pandemic, it is evident that plans have vastly accelerated.

With the UK government announcement of Super Deduction Capital Allowance, this only made small changes to investment intentions. Of the 61% that said they plan to invest, only 4% described their reasoning as due to this initiative.

44% said they originally had plans to invest, and they remain unchanged despite the Super Deduction and 13% claimed that had initially planned to invest and the announcement of the Super Deduction means they have been able to increase their budget.

When given 46 options to choose from, respondents revealed the top technologies they would wish to see at future Smart Factory Expo events includes:


  • Artificial intelligence

  • Additive manufacturing

  • Internet of things

  • Digital twins

  • Lean and operational management

Artificial Intelligence and IoT came in the top five, reaffirming results from the 2021 Digital Transformation Assessment where these technologies were cited 77% as technology helping and 83% likely to help decision makers meet their business goals.

Additive manufacturing and digital twins were marked high despite 44% of decision makers claiming they have not made significant progress with the technology. Their placement on the priority list highlights the opportunity for solution providers with this technology.

Manufacturers are increasingly looking to implement ‘digital lean’, another concept ranked in the top five which includes the use of digital tools and data insights to extend continuous improvement activities.

Smart Factory Expo www.digital-manufacturing-week.com/expo

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