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Accenture’s Industry X.0 Expands its Focus to Digital Manufacturing Use Cases


Back in early 2018, we discussed with Accenture how the company had created its Industry X.0 unit to address client demand for product engineering services along with Industry 4.0 and emerging technologies such as AR/VR and digital twins. In Industry X.0, Accenture grouped its capabilities around digital manufacturing, embedded systems, PLM services, MES services, and other units.

Scale-Up Strategy

Accenture’s Industry X.0 unit has grown considerably in both size and capability, with several acquisitions and the set-up of Industry X.0 Innovation Centers.

In the past year, Industry X.0 has been strengthening its capabilities through various acquistions. Most of the acquisitions have been around product engineering and design, with a focus on the life sciences, automotive, CPG, and high-tech sectors; for example, London-based Happen brought in product design capabilities, Nytec in the U.S. strengthened the IoT product capabilities of Accenture, and Ziepuls in Germany brought in highly-specialized skills in areas such as automated car parking and ADAS architectures.

Accenture Industry X.0 has set up a network of Innovation Centers in key locations in major countries: to date, Detroit, U.S.; Sophia Antipolis, France; Bilbao, Spain; Essen, Germany; and Bangalore, one of its major global delivery hubs along with Shenghen, China; Tokyo, Japan, and Singapore. Some of these dedicated Industry X.0 centers are co-located with large Accenture Innovation Hubs; for example, its Houston Innovation Hub, which focuses on asset-intensive industries such as oil & gas, has specialist capabilities from Accenture Applied Intelligence (its analytics and AI unit), Industry X.0 and Accenture Interactive.

Digital Manufacturing Is Next Growth Area

Accenture Industry X.0 has been expanding its service portfolio beyond product engineering to industrial IT/digital manufacturing. The company is finding that client demand is shifting from brownfield to greenfield opportunities thanks to a resurgence in the opening of new plants in South East Asia. The phenomenon has accelerated, driven by the U.S.-China trade war leading some client organizations to invest in new plants outside of China. Accenture is also accompanying clients in setting up local factories close to customers, complementing mega-factories in South East Asia.

Accenture Industry X.0 is targeting large, transformational contracts where savings from operations (for example, by reducing energy costs from data center operations) are reinvested to fund digital manufacturing projects.

New Offerings and Change Management

Accenture Industry X.0 is going to market with offerings such as digital twins, automated visual inspections, and robotics. It is seeing increased client interest in the use of digital twins, and the number of use cases has expanded; for example, for the provision of training instructions and standard operating procedures to workers, as well as simulating the performance of plants. In parallel, Accenture Industry X.0 is investing in its visual inspection capabilities, driven by demand from discrete manufacturing industries in South East Asia.

Beyond the use of new and emerging technologies, Accenture Industry X.0 highlights that effective digital manufacturing requires a focus on organizational change. Accordingly, it highlights the change management capabilities in Accenture Consulting.

Accenture Industry X.0 is also increasingly helping clients discover innovations and best practices occurring in other industries. One example is the risk-averse chemicals industry, where some clients are looking to accelerate their digital transformation and are looking at use cases coming out of fast-changing sectors such as automotive.

Looking ahead, we expect Accenture to drive the coordination between Accenture Industry X.0 with other Accenture practise areas, notably the analytics and AI capabilities of Accenture Applied Intelligence, that will be key in making sense of the vast amount of available manufacturing data; the product design and UX capabilities of Accenture Interactive that will drive worker adoption of digital manufacturing; and Accenture Security, to help secure OT systems and equipment, some of which are of pre-Internet age. These other capabilities in ‘The New’ will be an asset for Accenture Industry X.0.

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