Adopting digital technology – a poll with manufacturers in Wales


Some of the MADE Cymru team were invited to speak at a lecture organised by Dr Carlene Campbell and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) South West Wales. It was live streamed from the robotics laboratory at the SA1 Swansea Waterfront Campus of UWTSD. The title of the session was ‘Smart Manufacturing with Industry 4.0′ and it was an opportunity for UWTSD’s MADE Cymru and SMART Digital Accelerator projects to outline the support they can offer manufacturers in Wales.

As part of the session, an online poll was held to gather a quick snapshot of how the attendees felt about digital technology. The poll questions and responses were as follows:

Level of familiarity with technology

Which of the following statements best describes your level of familiarity with Industry 4.0 / digital manufacturing technology?

58% Intermediate – familiar with some of the enabling technologies and underlying concepts/theories

32% Novice – Not familiar with the terms digital manufacturing / Industry 4.0

9% Advanced – Familiar with all enabling technologies and knowledge of most underlying concepts/theories

Biggest impact of technology

Which of the following technologies do you believe will have the biggest impact within the manufacturing industry in the next 10 years?

34% Smart Automated Systems

27% AI and Big Data

20% Simulation & Digital Twins

15% Networking & Cyber Security

5% Immersive Technologies (Augmented, Virtual & Mixed Reality)

Biggest challenge

What do you believe is the biggest challenge to the adoption of digital technologies?

37% Cultural challenges / resistance to change

26% Knowledge & skills-based resources

16% Integration with existing systems

16% Financial challenges

5% Other

Following the session, we caught up with MADE Cymru’s Graham Howe and SMART Digital Accelerator’s Richard Morgan to see what they made of the responses.

Graham Howe, Executive Head of MADE Cymru said, “For me, the most interesting result was that over quarter of the attendees felt that knowledge and skill-based resources were a barrier to the adoption of digital technologies. This demonstrates a clear need for the upskilling of employees to be able to implement industry 4.0 technology and, to support them with identifying the right technology for their business. Our fully funded MADE Cymru short courses were designed to specifically meet this need and we are on a mission to help manufacturers in Wales through this process. We already have a huge number of manufacturers studying with us and hope to enrol as many students as we can before the funding stops. Thank you to the IET for asking us to talk, it is very humbling to be asked to present what we’re doing.”

Richard Morgan, SMART Digital Accelerator Project Lead and Head of Innovation & Engagement at UWTSD said, “It was exciting to be asked to take part in the IET lecture. We particularly enjoyed demonstrating the Festo Cyber Equipment in our laboratory. We’ve been working with multiple manufacturers, pan-Wales, to diagnose what digital technologies will impact their businesses the most. We want to help them cut costs, reduce waste, and increase productivity. There is little point investing in cutting-edge technology if it doesn’t meet a need and make a substantial difference. Thank you to Dr Carlene Campbell who is Chair of the IET South West Wales for inviting us.”

For more information about the EU funded (via Welsh Government) project MADE Cymru visit or email [email protected]

For more information about the Welsh Government funded SMART Digital Accelerator project visit or email [email protected]