The new products (across a broad spectrum of industrial sectors) will exploit several levels of technology integration and highly collaborative product development. For this to be effective requires significantly reduced quality assurance and certification timescales, as well as a more continuous process that carries on throughout the product life. Although, this significantly challenges existing regulatory processes. Key to this will be the creation of new assurance methods that not only exploit new technologies but also use more probabilistic methodologies than they do today. This will support the aim of the theme, which is to accelerate the standards and assurance processes.
A significant driver for digitalisation is the need to retain the international competitiveness of the UK manufacturing sector. Other countries, such as Germany and Japan, have extensive support systems in place to accelerate the digitisation of their manufacturing SMEs. UK manufacturers, especially SMEs, need similar support systems and guidance. Work is required to develop best practise, signposting, frameworks and toolkits for the implementation of industrial digital technologies that will be shared by these support systems. Furthermore, providing guidance will help to improve regulatory compliance surrounding industrial digital technologies.