Envisaging future factory automation


Automation, robotics, cloud computing, and big data are driving a revolution in manufacturing that some have called ‘Industry 4.0’. ABB is a world-class automation company and wants to maintain its leading position during these changes. It asked Innovia to envisage the future and identify opportunities for ABB to realise value.


We worked closely with the ABB teams in the strategy process, taking responsibility for envisaging the future factory automation architecture - what automation systems will exist in future factories, how they will interact, and what opportunities this will create. Using a scenario-planning approach, we considered the uncertainties and trends associated with automation and created four plausible futures.


Our recommendations helped ABB to develop its future strategy, deciding where to play and how to win. We provided an external perspective on a challenging problem, structuring a complex space to accelerate the decision-making process and deliver to tight deadlines. We helped ABB to see how to move from lofty strategic aspirations to future business reality.