Updated: Jan 17
What does it mean?
A smart factory initiative will accelerate the digital transformation journey for manufacturers. The manufacturing industry is one of the industries that moved rather slowly with enterprise-wide and certainly ecosystem-wide digital transformation initiatives.
Manufacturers have accelerated their digital transformation journey by deploying new technologies, such as artificial intelligence tools, edge computing, data lakes, new connectivity standards, and advanced analytics. It includes people, processes, and things, in addition to digital tools and technologies. Manufacturers are leveraging the information and data from different manufacturing processes from different industries to structure new business models that improve operational efficiency and lower costs.
Manufacturing is facing an exciting period because of Industry 4.0's implementation. Automating manual processes with advanced technology is making a major shift in the business world.
The modern manufacturing industry is experiencing digital transformation
The manufacturing industry is compelled by several similar drivers of digital transformation as other industries are. Global and national industrial initiatives, such as Industry 4.0, which emphasize IoT (Internet of Things) and the integration of IT and operational technologies, are another factor that accelerates transitions.
Through this technology-driven manufacturing approach, businesses can make effective use of industrial solutions, respond in real-time to changing conditions and requirements, streamline processes, improve management and internal workflow, optimize production, and transform any other aspect of their manufacturing processes.
Every operation and process in this case is enhanced by integrating assets and data in a way that adds value to them.
The use of digital technologies to replace old or non-digital manufacturing and near-manufacturing processes and operations to improve business performance is known as digital transformation in manufacturing.
Manufacturing's digital transformation is driven by a revolution called Industry 4.0, which automates processes and allows for real-time operations control. By combining assets and data with digital and traditional manufacturing, as well as leveraging efficient technologies, this can be done efficiently and effectively.
Why do manufacturing companies need digital transformation?
Innovative ideas like digital manufacturing are great. Check out these ways that you can benefit from working online.
Increasing productivity and efficiency
You can dramatically increase your work efficiency and productivity by investing in the right digital strategy. By deploying automated, cloud-based solutions instead of traditional manual processes:
Enhance the capability of decision-making
Save money and time by reducing rework and downtime
Enhance performance monitoring
Find out where the weaknesses and bottlenecks are
Putting new ideas to the test before implementing them
Embracing this strategy will not only save your company time and money but also increase staff productivity.
Digital manufacturing technology helps you gain a better understanding of inventory levels, delivery status, and demand cycles.
You will be in a better position to deal with market inconsistencies and make informed decisions. Overstock, inventory, and the material will be removed, removing unnecessary risks and costs.
Innovation and Employee focus
The investment in the digitalization of your manufacturing company will never be regrettable. The right technology, software, and infrastructure investment will have a direct impact on your employee's productivity and the ability to modernize your company.
By linking users, sharing critical information, hosting remote meetings and dialogues, and generating more ideas, technology facilitates cooperation and speedy development. You can witness a true revolution within your business.
Digital manufacturers offer customers a range of customization options. Manufacturing on a large scale can be done efficiently while still functioning on a large scale. Maintaining competitive pricing is possible as a result.
Employee Safety & next-generation workers
Robots can be used to perform hazardous work. By installing sensors throughout the factory, the manufacturing crew can be alerted to potential hazards in advance. A company that invests in digitization is more likely to attract and keep skilled employees.
Manufacturing will continue to be influenced by future technological trends.
With the advent of Industry 4.0, traditional manufacturing and manufacturing factories will be transformed into digital factories. One of the major goals of Industry 4.0 is automating manufacturing processes so that all activities can be controlled in real-time. Rather than the type of technology used, the differences are found in the growing number of businesses making the transition to digital.
Predictive analytics - Machine Learning and AI
An AI program or device simulates human behaviour like learning and problem-solving by using software or hardware developed with artificial intelligence.
In the digital age, data has become the most valuable asset for a company. Considering the tremendous amount of data generated by machines, algorithms become critical to speed up actions.
Thus, the two most compelling components of artificial intelligence-based solutions for your manufacturing organization are "data quantity" and "computer power." These elements are what will increase your manufacturing's productivity and reduce waste.
Provides sophisticated analytics, insights, and decision-making based on data
Maximizes revenue and improves forecasts.
Increases the level of automation in manufacturing sites.
With demand forecasting, inventory management is improved.
Real-time improvements to operational efficiencies.
Industrial Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a network of physical items that have software integrated into them. An interconnected network of sensors gathers and exchanges data.
Similarly, the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, connects machines on the factory floor via the Internet. The system gathers and analyses data to enhance artificial intelligence and improve predictive analytics.
Manufacturing is being transformed by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These technologies assist in transforming manufacturing and delivery processes.
Consistency and quality improved. Robotics can help manufacturing companies improve their production quality, along with other technologies like industrial IoT and 3D printing. It also improves preventive maintenance by reducing cycle times and introducing real-time monitoring.
Productivity has increased. We can maximize throughput through the use of robotic solutions.
Enhanced safety. When workers perform repetitive tasks with robots, they are less likely to sustain an injury, especially in hostile environments.
Providing real-time information. Using sensors, manufacturers can obtain information about the status of machinery and the processes they are taking part in.
5G and Smart Manufacturing
5G has been talked about a lot in the last few years. The production world has finally embraced 5G this year, though.
With Industry 4.0, smart factories with interconnected gadgets will be able to make decentralized decisions. However, this can only be accomplished with 5G.
Taking advantage of this fifth-generation mobile network, a smart factory can seamlessly integrate IIoT into its operations. The advantages of 5G, including its huge capacity, wireless flexibility, and low latency performance, have made it the industry's standard for supporting manufacturers.
Predictive Maintenance Is the Next Innovation.
In the industrial sector, technology has always been important.
To detect malfunctions that might have gone unnoticed, manufacturers or maintenance teams conducted routine equipment maintenance. However, this, too, would result in production being halted and cost money.
A recent investment in digital technology has led to the design of machines that have internal sensors, or that can be added externally, that will send messages to alert workers that maintenance is needed. Using a real-time alarm and reaction system, predictive maintenance identifies mechanical defects before they occur.
Manufacturers require predictive maintenance since reactive or proactive ways of addressing problems aren't enough anymore. This can save repair costs and schedules, reduce unplanned downtime, and eliminate the causes of failures. Non-invasive testing is also employed in predictive maintenance for evaluating asset performance trends.
Optimization of operational expenses.
Material cost savings (25 to 30%);
Maintenance is performed as needed.
Reduction of the maximum amount of downtime.
Perhaps you are wondering how technology relates to this trend. Throughout LEAN, waste is reduced, and metrics are measured. All processes are optimized, and all waste is eliminated in LEAN manufacturing. LEAN manufacturing enhances operation as below:
The quality of the product has improved. Manufacturers can focus on the quality of products with a smart approach to resource management.
Enhanced efficiency. Effective planning is made possible through an allocation of balanced resources.
Manageable. Predictive analytics and automation solutions simplify the management of complex production sites.
Safer workplaces. An organized work environment is a safe work environment and removing unnecessary elements from the operation will help manufacturers become more organized.
Automating manufacturing processes has greater potential. The companies Companies that are committed to optimizing and reducing waste also seek to automate their manufacturing processes.
Visualization on top of actual environments, aiding engineers and others in working more efficiently, solving more issues, accessing data faster, and avoiding errors. Similarly, 4G and 5G networks, along with edge computing, are used in factories to run alternate reality and virtual reality applications.
Through the use of these technologies, we can create factory experiences to enhance factory operations. VR/AR will help employees to assemble products and repair machines with a real-time feedback loop. If not, fix it as soon as possible with timely step-by-step explanations on how to do so.
Inspections are led by AR to ensure all areas are checked, that parts are in the correct place, and that the quality criteria are met. The use of AR/VR will facilitate the rapid achievement of competence by employees without the need to have a trainer supervise them.
As AR/VR is delivered both on-premises and as cloud-based, it will enable a larger community of experts to see and understand what technicians, floor managers, operators, and others are seeing and doing. Using virtual reality as a way to walk the factory floor, find assets, see their history, see the factory layout, and so on, allows for better design, planning, and problem-solving.
For manufacturers to quickly implement differentiated technology, they must restructure their processes and customer experiences to accommodate this change. As we evolve into an intelligent factory, it becomes critical to determine where to start and how to accomplish the ROI that enables reinvestment to drive an end-to-end transformation.
Cloud, edge, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and a slew of new analytics will continue to propel innovation at a breakneck pace. Manufacturers' competitive advantage will be determined by how quickly they can embrace and adopt new technologies. Work, production, and learning are being revolutionized by Industry 4.0. Embrace its advantages today.
Virtual representations of real-world things, systems, and processes are known as digital twins. One of their distinguishing characteristics is accuracy: they're usually made with real-world physical data and measurements.
Building a twin of this type might assist a company in prototyping improvements to current products or entirely new models. It can also assist in identifying problems with machinery and integrated systems, as well as discovering solutions to increase efficiency. Twins frequently include representations of the object or system to make the data more accessible.
Sensor-connected virtual simulators can be utilized by manufacturers to design predictive maintenance, optimize production processes, and plan risk mitigation scenarios by merging digital twins with IoT data and AI.
Next-Generation Manufacturing Employees
With technology taking over much of the repetitive work, companies are automating operations to accelerate production. As a consequence, companies are accelerating production by automating repetitive tasks.
Manufacturing will remain centred around humans. But they will need new skills.
When the scope of a worker's occupation changes away from traditional manufacturing, workers will need to learn new skills.
As a result of changing customer demands and market conditions, technological advances are making our manufacturers more responsive and agile.
There is no better way to improve our productivity than shortening our time to create, receive schedules, and process a client's order.
For manufacturing companies, this is a good thing. Their production cycles and emerging product demand levels will be closely synchronized. For organizations to run effectively, they must combine these two essential elements.
Let's Wrap up
Manufacturing's digital transformation opens a world of possibilities, from personalization to efficiency, agility, and automation to name a few.
Any digital transformation strategy, on the other hand, must never lose sight of the passage of time. Consequently, manufacturers should always remember that digital transformation is inevitable, but it shouldn't be seen as a panacea for all production problems.
To become and stay competitive in the market, manufacturing digital transformation should be seen as a continuous process.
In manufacturing, identifying opportunities for improvement that result in substantial customer benefits is a good approach to launching a digital transformation.
Are you ready to implement digital transformation in your manufacturing facility?
We can help you build a smart manufacturing unit that will improve your business processes and facilitate growth. We drive digital transformation across industries, and we have extensive expertise in disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet of Things, robotic process automation, and machine learning. Get in touch with us so we can help you define your strategy and ensure a smooth transition.