CEPI in cooperation with StepChange and SITRA have launched a brochure on the state of industry 4.0 in the pulp and paper industry. The European pulp and paper industry has experienced and consistently supported the three major phases of industrial transformation since the 18th century. From steam power to electric power, then to the progressive integration of automation and information technologies, today’s paper industry stands ready to engage in its fourth industrial phase: industry 4.0.
Central to this next level of transformation is the abundance and utilisation of mass data, the ability to connect across the value chain in real-time, mass customisation and smart factories. More than simply another ‘buzzword’, industry 4.0 represents the next industrial revolution. This will contribute to Europe’s re-industrialisation and industry’s increased competitiveness.
Very soon, industry 4.0 will link product customisation with large production series, linking products to services and machines to machines. This will lead to faster, more flexible and more efficient manufacturing processes and shorter supply chains, so allowing an unprecedented level of ‘mass individualised’ customer service.
Today, the European pulp and paper industry is in full transformation. Both market and consumer needs have evolved, while policy pressure and global competition have increased. Therefore, industry has to innovate to remain competitive. Innovation can address not only processes, services and products, but also business models, workforce training and education. Consequently, our industry sees huge potential in ‘digital’, instead of treating it as a trend we are forced to compete with.