Glass and the Future – Industry 4.1; work/life/environment in perfect balance
British Glass, 9 Churchill Way, Chapeltown, Sheffield S35 2PY, UK
As society evolves and technology heads toward AI and robotics, Governments focus on shaping a future through policies and fiscal instruments to enable an environment in which it can be delivered.
Rather than relying on a purely technical solution, glass manufacturing has the opportunity to become a true trailblazer in ‘holistic solutions’ – integrating and effectively balancing social needs with solutions that safeguard the environment and through improved productivity and performance, extend leisure and social time to truly balance the work/life-quality in perfect harmony.
Glass Futures is an ambitious project which through collaboration between industrial leaders, leading academics and government will develop a pathway to delivering this near-utopian future. By integrating skills and knowhow across a novel platform and introducing a space for training, upskilling, testing and demonstrating research outputs, and proving new principles, Glass Futures will set the bar for the next generation of production industry.
Capitalising on digitisation, AI, VR, the ‘internet of things’ and integrating emotional intelligence and a new way of developing human resource to high functionality and fulfilment – a completely new working environment fit-for-the-future will be created and demonstrated as a template for other sectors to follow.
This paper highlights the processes and collaborations that have gone into assembling this venture, the ambitions and results so far and the expectations for the manifestation of twin facilities for hot and cold glass development across the north of England; the heartland of UK glass manufacture.