Industry 4.0 – opportunities and challenges for Mexico
Robots, automation, Internet of things, and big data: the networked and more flexible production Industry 4.0 opens new opportunities for companies. In recent years, the Mexican industry has expanded rapidly, primarily powered by the automotive industry. To keep up with the world market, Mexico relies on the Industry 4.0 as an alternative to increase their competitiveness.
Mexico: Latin American pioneer in digital shift
The Industry 4.0 enables manufacturers to increase their production up to 25%, thus also improving the global competitiveness. About 59% of the companies from the automotive, electronic, and medical technology sectors have already upgraded their production with process automation, robots, and networked machines (according to a study by Siemens). The introduction of technologies is growing fast with an annual rate of 8%. Many important international manufacturers and operators of Industry 4.0 are located in Mexico, for example, leading German suppliers of automation equipment such as Bosch or Festo.
Qualified personnel – main challenge of the Industry 4.0
Despite the strong growth of these technologies, there are impediments. The biggest challenge is to find well qualified personnel and to train the employees. Further factors are limiting the perspectives of Industry 4.0 in Mexico. A weak infrastructure inhibits changes. Companies´ internal communication and infrastructure must be expanded due to higher data traffic.
Government supporting the digitization
Government and businesses rely on education initiatives such as integrating Industry 4.0 in the Mexican dual education system. Various ministries want to improve the digitization of economy and society. Francisco Cervantes, President of the Mexican Industrial Chamber Confederation (Confederación de Cámaras Industriales) reminded to be cognizant of the importance of implementing an industrial policy based on innovation and technology.