The ICT manufacturing sector and electronics in general play a strategically important role for the EU’s economy and society. The adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies is key to help the European companies maintain and improve their competitive edge and to better address the need for higher flexibility responding to the growing trends, such as personalisation and customisation of products and technologies.
This report therefore aims to provide an overview of the positioning of the EU’s ICT manufacturing companies in terms of the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies broadly referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies. Key insights are gained by assessing specific characteristics of strengths and opportunities, but also challenges and risks that the European stakeholders are likely to be confronted when operating in their environment. The further objective is to map the advanced manufacturing value chain and the interactions along the value chain. Due to the broad range of advanced manufacturing technologies and the scope of this report, we focus rather on general characteristics and functions of advanced manufacturing/Industry 4.0 technologies than on specifics that individual technologies might display. Analyses provided in this report are based on desk-research, the internal expertise of Fraunhofer ISI and on expert interviews.