Industry 4.0



The survey results have helped develop new career and educational pathways.

The Microsoft-funded survey, conducted from February to April 2019, studied current and future technology needs, skills and talent for manufacturers in Northeast Wisconsin. The NEW Manufacturing Alliance collaborated with area stakeholders and the Strategic Research Institute (SRI) at St. Norbert College to design and issue the survey to manufacturers. Metal, paper, allied products and machinery represented the largest economic sectors reached, with 104 companies completing the survey.

For more than a decade, manufacturers in Northeast Wisconsin have recognized the growing need for more skilled workers in the New North region, developing programs and increasing enrollment in skilled programs like welding, robotics and engineering.  Now, Alliance members hope to grow educational and career pathways in technology to accommodate Industry 4.0 needs in northeast Wisconsin.

Industry 4.0 essentially marries advanced production and operations techniques with smart digital technologies. It can include robotics, analytics, artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies, nanotechnology, quantum computing, wearables, the Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, and advanced materials.

Results of the survey shows that Northeast Wisconsin manufacturing companies are either investing or holding steady in at least some Industry 4.0 technologies. However, a significant 88% of companies have only a partial plan or no plan for implementing Industry 4.0. 


  • Areas of greatest current investment in Industry 4.0 technologies are cybersecurity and automation-robotics.
  • In the next 2-3 years, manufacturers plan to focus the greatest investment in Industry 4.0 on growth in automation-robotics (62%), cybersecurity (56%), cloud computing (56%), industrial Internet of Things (48%), smart integration (48%) and big data analytics (47%).
  • Occupation demand/growth areas likely in the next three years include; Process Engineers, Cybersecurity Officers, Industrial Computer Programmers, Data Management Analysts, Data Engineers, Data Architects and Application Developers.

For more information, please contact NEWMA’s executive director Ann Franz by phone at (920) 498-5587 or