Posted: 22 Dec 2022 Contributor: Ghia Marnewick
How Manufacturing Industry Leveraging Digital Transformation to Spark Innovation and Growth
The manufacturing sector is one of the sectors that is slowly moving from a full business and certainly a full perspective to the transformation of digital ecosystems. Many of the drivers of digital transformation in the manufacturing sector are relatively similar to other industries.
In addition, industry initiatives and national initiatives around the world such as Industry 4.0 (Germany and parts of the EU) or the Industrial Internet (Consortium) are accelerating changes in the IoT (Internet of Things) and the integration of IT and OT. as key components.
Industry 4.0 offers many benefits – higher productivity is just the beginning, Changing consumer expectations affect the entire supply chain, as different manufacturers are dependent on each other, so even non-consumer manufacturers are affected by these consumer changes.
Additionally, manufacturing decision makers have different expectations because we are all consumers at the end of the day. This leads us to the data-intensive and (semi-) autonomous development of Logistics 4.0, where speed and connectivity are key, with the change of IoT (Industrial IoT) and cyber-physical systems.
Importance of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing success requires vision, strong leadership, and control over what can be a long, multi-year process. The same qualities are also needed to successfully complete a long-term digital transformation. However, the benefits of this investment of time and money will pay off 100% in the end.
Every manufacturing center is different and may require different technologies to make the digital leap; it depends on your operating business model and overarching goals. No matter what technology is adopted to get you there, most new systems are designed with operational efficiency, supply/chain planning, inventory cost management, compliance requirements, and Industrial Internet operations in mind. of Things (IIoT) to improve.
So, why digital transformation in manufacturing?
Improved processes improve operational efficiency.
Moving away from traditional paper and manual processes by deploying automated, cloud-based solutions can help streamline process flow, gain access to actionable analytics, improve decision-making capabilities, avoid costly rework and downtime, simplify performance monitoring, deliver faster to market, and provide a detailed digital representation of products – all while improving quality and reducing waste.
Innovation thanks to the use of the most modern technologies.
To achieve new features such as increased employee collaboration, predictive analytics, machine learning, connectivity, and 3D modeling, it pays to invest in the right digital infrastructure. Digital platforms help eliminate silos by merging planning and development.
Allure and empower the next generation of the workforce.
Digital manufacturing can help fill manufacturing jobs. By investing in new digital manufacturing technology, there is a greater chance of attracting and retaining new workers who want to use the technology to increase efficiency through process improvement.
Increase customer satisfaction.
Digital manufacturing helps increase brand awareness and in turn, helps companies deliver more customer-specific solutions.
Digital manufacturing helps companies gain better visibility into supply/chain issues such as inventory levels, supply status, and demand cycles. This increased visibility helps reduce unnecessary risks and costs associated with issues such as excess inventory.
Going digital means rethinking how you identify and leverage new opportunities to improve the customer journey. Surface changes are often not enough. Creating customer value means implementing recurring dynamics across your business that help deliver the best experiences for your customers.
Key Technologies and Trends for Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Industry
Why is it called Industry 4.0? Because it represents the fourth industrial revolution powered by data, connectivity, and cyber systems. First coined in October 2016, Industry 4.0 represents the use of fourth-industry technologies that combine hardware, software, and biology – and highlights advances in communication and connectivity which can drive manufacturing brand marketing.
This new era is expected to be marked by breakthroughs in emerging technologies that from the basis of digital transformation roadmap for manufacturing such as:
- Robotics artificial intelligence (AI)
- Quantum computing
- Internet of things (IoT)
- 5th generation wireless technology
- 3D printing
- Fully autonomous vehicles
This list has come a long way since previous industrial revolutions.
The First Industrial Revolution (1760-1820) was marked by the transition from manual production methods to machines using steam and waterpower. The technological revolution, also known as the second industrial revolution (1871-1914), was brought about by the installation of the extensive railway and telegraph networks, which enabled the faster transmission of people and ideas, as well as electricity.
Finally, the third industrial revolution occurred in the 1950s with the development of semiconductors, mainframe computers, personal computers, and the Internet—the digital revolution. And that brings us to today, Industry 4.0. Although the above list of emerging technologies looks scary and resembles something out of the Terminator movie series, the step of adopting new technology can start with small steps and is completely possible (no (including what is necessary to keep up with the growing and changing needs of consumers)).
Benefits of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
There are many benefits for organizations that undertake digital transformation. In addition to the financial and business benefits, there are also environmental and social positives that require a change to remain viable and competitive.
Higher output quality
With increased sensors, automated testing, and quality control throughout the manufacturing process, manufacturers can produce higher-quality products. Using the Pareto principle (and knowledge gained through machine learning), manufacturers can make changes to any production line to reduce errors and improve processes.
Greater process efficiency
Hyper-automation enables organizations to eliminate human error from their manufacturing processes. Hyper automation involves the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to augment human activity.
As consumers demand more and more environmentally positive behavior, technology is evolving to provide the answers. Monitored and AI-powered machines increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Increased efficiency also generally promotes lower material consumption. Less used resources are more positive for the environment.
Reduce costs, increase margins
Digital transformation reduces costs for manufacturers. The Internet of Things (IoT) helps manufacturers diagnose and solve problems, minimizing downtime. Connected machines offer manufacturers several benefits, such as diagnosing problems before they occur and scheduling maintenance during downtime to increase productivity.
Personalization, agility, and increased customer orientation
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers is adapting products to scale. Customers will pay more for personalization but want the same responsiveness and speed as generic products. An agile manufacturing process ensures a customer-centric business. By using data-driven production machines that understand and apply their own parameters, production lines can be directly influenced.
In business, resilience is the key to success in difficult circumstances. Even with stability in operation, adaptation is necessary for long-term success. Manufacturers must anticipate and respond to challenges to stay ahead of the competition. Digital technologies are helping manufacturers with flexible automation, remote operations, and supply chain connectivity with cloud infrastructure.
Impact of Digital Transformation and Evolving Tech on Manufacturing
Digital transformation in manufacturing and distribution has offered companies several advantages over the years. In addition to lower operating costs, higher productivity, competitive advantage, flexibility, and product quality, other important effects of digitization are:
1. Better overview
Digital manufacturing systems help employees track key operational metrics and accurately interpret data. These data-driven insights help employees effectively create operational plans, generate sales, and increase revenue.
Digitization gives companies access to the latest technologies. They can tread uncharted territory and discover new methods to deliver unique capabilities such as better employee collaboration, reduced risk and error, and improved quality and accuracy.
Digital transformation techniques have given many manufacturers better and more reliable insight into complex supply chain issues. They are able to make informed decisions and deal with uncertainties in supply and demand. Adopting digital technology enables manufacturers to quickly reduce inventory, machinery, and warehouse costs and save critical time and energy resources in the value chain.
4. Faster time-to-market
Digitization results in the optimization of most tasks, resulting in faster time-to-market for products and services. Employees can better manage risk by engaging in digital strategies across departments and on the factory floor. In automating daily tasks, there should be close collaboration within the organization to enable products to get to market efficiently.
5. The Road to Industry 4.0
As the digitization of the manufacturing sector accelerates, companies can future-proof their operations to meet the demands of Industry 4.0. They can stay informed about the latest technologies and trends to win over their competitors. Digitization will give all manufacturers a fair chance to accelerate their journey to greater productivity and profitability.
The Industry 4.0 revolution has added enormous value to digital technologies in the manufacturing sector. Regardless of the size of operations, businesses become more sustainable and safer in the long term.
Digitization has the potential to transform the entire area of production processes from production to dispatch. Manufacturers who still rely on traditional techniques may be left behind in the competition. Also, they may not be able to provide better service, reduce costs and maintain high revenues.
Spark Innovation with Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Industry
The digital revolution has already taken hold in every industry. Companies that have adopted full virtualization in production are for companies that don't want to adopt it. Despite the progress, digitization is here to stay, and if businesses want to stay relevant in this ever-changing landscape, they need to fully digitize and embrace the revolution.