26 of the most advanced manufacturing factories in the world are lighting the way as learning beacons

The impact.

This week, we announced the addition of 10 new factories into our global Lighthouse Network – a World Economic Forum community of manufacturers showing leadership in applying Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to drive financial and operational impact.

Our Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production pioneered the global Lighthouse Network, which brings together the most advanced factories in the world for a cross-company learning journey. They serve as beacons to guide others in overcoming challenges in upgrading systems and applying cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics and 3D printing.

Members of the global Lighthouse Network share use-cases and insights through real and virtual factory visits, incubating new partnerships to accelerate technology adoption and dissemination in manufacturing, and transforming the business models by which they operate.

What’s the challenge?

The global production industry is lagging in its adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution manufacturing technologies, with more than 70 per cent of companies stuck in pilot-phases.

The Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production identified the need for a neutral learning platform to showcase top-use cases, roadmaps and organizational approaches to adopting and scaling technologies from which other companies globally could benefit.

The global Lighthouse Network offers an unrivalled opportunity not only to highlight the transformational efforts of the world’s most advanced manufacturers but also, more importantly, to create a shared learning journey that will help manufacturers around the world, across value chains and of all sizes to access and capitalize on the positive potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Francisco Betti, Head of Advanced Manufacturing Industry, World Economic Forum

Our approach.

To date, 26 manufacturing Lighthouses have been identified across 16 counties, spanning a range of diverse industries including electronics, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and more.

At its Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, People’s Republic of China 2019, the World Economic Forum welcomed 10 new factories into the Lighthouse Network. The factories were selected based on their success in integrating multiple Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to increase efficiency and drive innovation.

The new lighthouses are:

Arçelik (Ulmi, Romania): This greenfield factory is a product of the Arçelik use-case laboratory, where it was designed twice as fast as previous-generation factories. Since coming into existence, automation of low-value tasks has reduced operational costs by 11%.

Ford Otosan (Kocaeli, Turkey): This site leverages digital manufacturing and advanced automation to move beyond lean, increasing its output by 6% and employee engagement by 45% without additional capital expenditure investment.

Nokia (Oulu, Finland): Nokia’s fully digitalized 5G factory focuses on bringing together design and production to introduce new products. Implementing a range of 4IR solutions, connected by a private wireless network, this site improved productivity by 30%, and now brings products to market 50% faster than before.

Petrosea (Tabang, Indonesia): Challenged by its remote location, this mining service provider deployed multiple Fourth Industrial Revolution use cases (e.g. optimized truck dispatch, real-time monitoring, drone surveys) that transformed the mine from a loss-making entity into a profitable one in just six months.

Posco (Pohang, Republic of Korea): This plant leverages artificial intelligence to drive productivity and quality improvements in the steel industry. It is building its own smart-factory platform through a collaboration with a local ecosystem of academia, SMEs and start-ups.

Groupe Renault (Cléon, France): This Renault site uses a wide range of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies (e.g. cobots, virtual reality) to support operators, eliminate waste, reduce energy consumption and automate repetitive tasks.

SAIC Maxus (Nanjing, China): A challenging market environment drove this site to implement a new model for mass customization. Digitalizing the value chain end-to-end, from customers to suppliers, through an integrated digital thread resulted in improved sales and reduced costs.

Schneider Electric (Batam, Indonesia): One of Schneider Electric’s nine smart factories, this location developed a full spectrum of Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions (e.g., IIoT platform) that were then shared with the wider Schneider Electric community, including customers and partners, thereby improving the operations of the entire ecosystem.

Tata Steel (Kalinganagar, India): This greenfield steel plant is helping to set a new standard for the speed at which a factory can achieve full capacity from complete nascency. It also improved time-to-market by 50% thanks to significant investments in digital and analytics solutions, as well as capability-building to develop the digital skills of a relatively junior and inexperienced team.

Zymergen (Emeryville, USA): A digital native, this bio-engineering site is using robotics and artificial intelligence on processes that have traditionally been highly manual, resulting in the doubling of its innovation rate.

The 10 new lighthouses confirm that frontrunners in the Fourth Industrial Revolution draw a competitive advantage from either innovating their production system or by innovating their entire value chains and offering new products and services that were not possible before.

Enno de Boer, Partner and Head of McKinsey & Company’s Global Manufacturing Practice

How can you get involved?

The Lighthouse programme has been conducted in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. Learn more about the Lighthouses announced in January and the Lighthouses announced last September and read the white paper, Fourth Industrial Revolution: Beacons of Technology and Innovation in Manufacturing.

The global Lighthouse Network is an initiative of the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production.

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