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ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION


beginning to be aware that there is amarket on the manufacturing shop floor.Manufacturing


computers are not always part of the system, not managed in the same way. It is easier to bring a mobile onto the shop floor, so there is a huge opportunity for providers of IT solutions, seeing new developments in security specific tomachines, rather than for a business systemor network.”


With flow of data up and down a supply chain, who owns it? David Preece: “This is a commercial issue, rather than one of security. Normally, the customer owns the data.” David Bott: “Wemust not lump risk together in one basket. There have always been commercial risks in business. They are different to legal risks, such as data protection and cybersecurity. People whomake themostmoney are the ones who get ahead of the curve.” Alan Norbury: “We use the cloud-basedMindsphere to store data – the answer is that the customer owns it. We offer a service to help SMEs to optimise their machines – it needs specialist algorithms.We have a legal arrangement with the customer, so aftermany years we agree to delete the data if they want us to.” Chris Greenhough: “I can see the benefit of that, but the potential legal issues haven’t been fully sorted out.We are diving into Industry 4.0 before we have themanagement in place to handle it.”


‘ Automation


will destroy jobs on an unprecedented scale…it is hard to see how this employment will be replaced





WHAT BROWSERS AND OPERATING SYSTEMS ARE YOUR WEBSITE VISITORS USING?


by Chris Rand, BMON We have an endless succession of helpful support contacts at Google, but with every new one I have to explain that our clients aren’t like most of the companies they appear to deal with. No, it’s nowhere near true thatmobile traffic represents half of all our clients’ website visitors. Yes, I have checked, thanks. They still don’t seemto believeme, but then again, they’re equally dubious when I suggest thatmost of our clients don’t have online stores either. Sigh. One of our clients recently asked


us to look into the trends in what technology site visitors are using, prior to the client specifying a completely new website. This was a very sensible thing to be considering at an early stage. I know they won’t mindme sharing the results with you. The company is in the scientific and technical sector, and gets visitors fromall over the world, and their data comes fromGoogle Analytics. Firstly, the overall desktop and


mobile traffic numbers: themean proportion ofmobile usage nowadays


for scientific and engineering companies is probably a bit higher than this, but our client’s figure of just 12 per cent is closer to themedian. Google’s Chrome browser took


over the number one spot from previous favourites Internet Explorer and Firefox a few years ago, and is now cementing its lead (although it has nothing like themarket share which Internet Explorer once had). As youmight expect,Windows


dominates, with the only real trend being an increase in Android, which is the operating systemformost non- Apple smartphones and tablets.We can break theWindows traffic down into different versions. Quite surprising to see the inertia of old versions ofWindows, particularly as (or perhaps because of) such a high proportion of visitors being from business environments. Thismight be an issue which designers should consider, as older versions of Windowsmay not be able to handle some of the technology found on modern websites – what happens if they can’t?


20 /// Environmental Engineering /// December 2016


Martin Strutt: “But wemust accept that some commercial risks we will get wrong. It’s a change of culture and not just for small companies – take a risk, try something; if it doesn’t work, try something else.”


JOB-EATING AUTOMATION Andy Pye comment: In a Guardian piece called “The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces”, which does little to allay the fear of where the world is finding itself in the impending Brexit/Trump world, GeorgeMonbiot, includes the effects of automation. Monbiot says: “Automation will destroy jobs on an unprecedented scale, and because the penetration of information technology into every part of the economy is not a passing phase but an escalating trend, it is hard to see how this employment will be replaced. No government ormajor political party anywhere shows any sign of comprehending the scale of this issue.” Adam Payne: “I believe we are on the cusp on one of the biggest issues we have job-wise. The number of people that will become unemployed just due to autonomous vehicles is phenomenal.While in Japan, there are restaurants that even have robots as waiters.” David Bott: “This is true. If you look at record stores and bookshops, they are dead. There will be a lot of companies killed by the digitisation processes. It gives an opportunity to the people capable of embracing innovation and moving. But if you want to stay with handwritten ledgers, you will die.” David Thomas: “We need to address the problemof how we safeguard work.Where are our 400 people going to get jobs if we bring the robots in?”


EDUCATION AND TRAINING Chris Greenhough: “We need to get into schools and teacher training colleges and train the people who are to fill the new jobs. Teachers now don’t know whatmanufacturing is, yet they are teaching it to the next generation.” Chris Brown: “We are seeing progress in the JCB and WMG academies. But rapid rate of change is always going to be important.” Alan Norbury: “It is vital to support colleges, because the national curriculumisn’t keeping up to speed with developments. Technology is changing at such a rate and we need to find a way of addressing that. Meanwhile, the disciplines of IT, gaming and engineering aremerging.” Olivia Kelly: “I came out of education recently and am just 20 years old. I learned CAD at college. I know that in five years 50 per cent of traditional jobs will be gone. But there will be a new set of people who will have Industry 4.0 skills, brought up with IPads and IPhones. So when we come into an engineering business we expect to see digitisation, and not handwritten ledgers. Rache Lawleyl: “IT is such a big part of it.More sub- level IT is needed – how to do coding and so on. Most colleges don’t touch on this but just focus on Microsoft Office skills!” EE


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