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Industrial AI and the digital shop floor: China remains world leader

Industry 4.0 Barometer 2024

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Industry 4.0 Barometer shows China’s clear lead in digitalization progress

The digitalization of industry is continuing to advance worldwide, but at different speeds. That is a key finding of the Industry 4.0 Barometer published by MHP management and IT consultancy in conjunction with LMU Munich. The study surveyed 856 representatives from industrial companies in China (248), the USA (204), the DACH region (203) and the UK (201).

As in the past, clear differences are apparent when comparing individual countries. This particularly applies to industrial AI, which was the focal point of the survey this year. In China, 94 percent of the companies surveyed already use AI-based solutions in their manufacturing processes. That is more than twice as many companies as in the US, which follows with 46 percent. In the UK, 29 percent of respondents said they used AI-based solutions, while the figure in the DACH region is just 20 percent. It is therefore clear that there is a need to catch up.

Further key findings of the Industry 4.0 Barometer

China’s leading position is not reflected only in industrial AI, however, but in digitalization as a whole. The companies are facing major challenges here too. There is still an opportunity to catch up. This is also shown by the key study findings.

  • The industrial companies in all countries have made progress compared to the previous year – despite ongoing difficult conditions.
  • China is currently expanding its lead with regard to almost all Industry 4.0 aspects.
  • However, data silos and a non-continuous exchange of data are currently delaying the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies, particularly in China.
  • The biggest obstacle to the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies in the DACH region is the shortage of skilled labor. New educational programs and training measures are needed here.

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