Future of the Technician Workforce Study
The following i4.0 technologies were identified as the most impactful i4.0 technologies across all industry sectors: 1. Cybersecurity tools : The growth of sensor technology adoption and proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) networked devices has helped users gain faster insights and democratize business operations, but implores the need for technicians skilled in the use and implementation of cybersecurity tools to reduce cyber vulnerabilities and prevent the exposure of personal or business-sensitive information. 2. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) : Cheap computational power coupled with the availability of large data sets offers an invaluable tool for recognizing trends and predicting likely outcomes, but many businesses struggle to find qualified individuals who understand how to implement ML/AI algorithms and how it may impact their businesses. 3. Process automation : Automation technologies, which often works in concert with ML/AI tools, are a cornerstone for boosting productivity and competitiveness. For some businesses, automated or autonomous robotics can be well-suit- ed for assisting humans in roles that otherwise pose a threat to human health and safety. 4. Augmented reality (AR) : AR generally refers to the display overlay of computer-enhanced images over real, physical objects. In the case of manufacturing, AR projections informed by a network of connected devices can be used to deliver operational instructions, directions, and alerts to technicians in real-time.
Summary of Key Findings: Job Functions and Business Operations
Rochester and Finger Lakes businesses described how Industry 4.0 technologies are changing job functions and business operations within their respective industries. While certain job functions will cease to exist, many will be augmented by Industry 4.0, and others will emerge as entirely new roles and responsibilities. The following table summarizes the critical impacts on job functions and business operations for each industry sector.
Table 23: Summary of Key Findings: Job Functions and Business Operations
FUTURE FUNCTIONS ENABLED BY i4.0
AUGMENTED BY i4.0
Manufacturing & Automation
Manual tasks such as repair, diagnosis, inspection, and troubleshooting Data entry Dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks
Flexible training and skill-building More independent technicians Soft skills, generalist skill-sets Critical thinking and problem-solving Converging roles Hands-off inspection IT-centric roles IIoT remote operations Data-driven information Automation and programming Cybersecurity skills
Lifelong-learning and credentialing Micro-credentialing and “digital badges” Troubleshooting robotics; Crash recovery, debugging, and maintenance of advanced robotic systems IT-centric roles AI supervision and implementation Cybersecurity skills Calibration skills Data-driven informatics Expanded organizational roles AR-enabled troubleshooting Data fusion specialists
| 44 MCC Economic and Workforce Development Center
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