Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 4

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Industry 5.0 -
what, already?
T
he first time I saw the term Industry 5.0, I thought it was a typo.
After all, barely a decade old, Industry 4.0 is still fi nding its way
into the thinking of a great many plastics manufacturers. Although
plastics manufacturing is, in general, a highly automated industry, and
most plastics manufacturers have now also adopted some piece of Industry 4.0
technology, many manufacturers are still hesitant about making the transition to
a fully digitalised, end-to-end connectedness across the enterprise. The sheer investment
required has led many businesses to opt for a gradual evolution rather
than a radical transformation of their capabilities; as well, many quite simply lack
the knowledge and the skills to implement a full-blown Industry 4.0 environment.
Or feel they don't need the level of technology provided by the new smart technology,
preferring to stick with what they know.
Although that group's eyes may have been opened over the past year when,
faced with a crisis, digitalisation off ered a way to build operational fl exibility and
resilience. It's an insight that has fuelled an interest in Industry 4.0 capabilities
among the smaller and medium-sized businesses that had hitherto been less
than accepting towards these technologies. In fact, a recent McKinsey survey
of manufacturing and supply-chain professionals found that 93 percent plan to
focus on resilience of their supply chain, and 90 percent plan to invest in talent
for digitalisation.
In other words, the digital transformation that is Industry 4.0 is still gaining steam.
But now, it seems, Industry 5.0 is already here. Seriously?
We've included an article in this issue to fi nd out.
Industry 4.0 is characterised by advances in connected and smart machines
and technology that are designed to eliminate the need for actual people to work
in today's production plants and factories. Yet what the pandemic of the past year
also showed was that yes: digitalisation can promote fl exibility and enhance resilience;
but no: we can't do without people. To put it in the simplest of terms, consider
this: even though machines are not aff ected by viruses, the Corona pandemic
has nonetheless had a major impact on production chains worldwide. Technology,
it would appear, needs people to make it work. That realisation has helped
to bring the idea of Industry 5.0 into sharper focus, and that idea is centred on
the interaction and collaboration - think cobots - between man and machine. A
merger between the smart machine and human intelligence - capitalising on the
strengths of each. It's already being called 'the human touch revolution', promising
to use the technology developed in Industry 4.0 in a way that benefi ts people,
as well as the bottom line.
And, by the way, just in case you hadn't noticed, it's here - and by all accounts,
here to stay.
Karen Laird
klaird@crain.com
David Platt
davidkplatt@aol.com
Amy Steinhauser
asteinhauser@crain.com
Don Loepp
dloepp@crain.com
Matthew Barber
mabarber@crain.com
Patrick Alfes
palfes@crain.com
Brennan Laff erty
blaff erty@crain.com
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Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 15
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Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 21
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Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover4
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