ASQ World 2018, there were a lot of sessions about “Industry 4.0” and the transformation required by quality improvement professionals (Quality 4.0).
Wikipedia describes Industry 4.0 as: “the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.”
If I can read the writing on the wall, this means that more manufacturing jobs will be automated out of existence, including quality improvement. In the next few years, AI will embody the quality improvement disciplines, and automate detection and autocorrection of performance problems. No human required.
But manufacturing is only 11% of U.S. employment. 80% is service industries. While quality in manufacturing is still important, the rise of service quality improvement is desperately needed in everything from healthcare to fast food.
I believe that Quality 4.0 is about services, not manufacturing.