Call it Industry 4.0, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or smart manufacturing—the one thing that is rapidly transforming modern manufacturingis the application of information and communication technology to it. This intersection of digital advancements with manufacturing technologyaims to reshape the very nature of global manufacturing.
This year, due to the pandemic, the crucial challenge for manufacturers will be to re-engineer their architectures, models, and systems, and prepare themselves for future risks. According to Capgemini, digital transformation is all set to become a strategic priority for the manufacturers who will try to solve precise challenges by leveraging the myriad digital transformation approaches. The value of digitization in the manufacturing market is estimated to touch USD 767.82 billion by 2026. The figure aptly demonstrates the significance of digital technologies in modernising, augmenting, and automating the manufacturing process.
So, how exactly is digitization changing the manufacturing landscape? Let’s take a look.
Significance of Digitization in the Manufacturing Sector
Manufacturing is witnessing a digital transformation like never before. Connected devices and intelligent technology are fast improving business outcomes. In a manufacturing enterprise, digitization can consist of any function that encompasses supply chain and back-office applications, data analytics, automation of the factory, and much more.
Some key areas where digitization is making its presence felt are:
Enhanced operational efficiency
Let’s take the case of Ford Motor Company. The American automaker giant has placed IoT sensors on every production equipment at its facility. Downstream machines can predict if the pieces they get from an upstream machine differs in required specifications in any way. Hence, it indicates probable issues in upstream machines that can be quickly recognised and taken care of.
According to a NASSCOM report, digitization has enabled the creation of a centralized platform merged with IoT that makes it possible to determine maintenance of equipment and also eliminate any unexpected outages.
Thus, digital transformation services have enabled manufacturing enterprises to overhaul their conventional operational processes and make them more efficient than before by using intelligent devices.
Minimised maintenance expenses and downtime
According to IDC, nearly half of the players in the Middle East manufacturing sector will embrace digitization by 2022. There is a good enough reason for that. Adopting digitization means leveraging cost-efficient, connected sensors that can gather data, use algorithms on it, and discover trends that were previously unidentifiable. It will allow them to accurately determine at which point an element of their manufacturing process is likely to falter. Planned maintenance activities are more cost-efficient than reactive maintenance that arises due to unpredictable issues. Digital manufacturing can bring to the fore never seen levels of efficiency and minimise the cost to a great extent.
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The myriad benefits of digital twins A digital twin is a duplicate of a real-time object whose performance and efficiency are tested in a simulation environment. Gartner reveals that around 30% of organizations having IoT projects leverage digital twins and 62% of organizations plan to establish digital twin use.
Let’s look at the case of Siemens, the industrial manufacturing giant, to understand the concept of digital twins better. Siemens utilizes this practice for the manufacture of autonomous vehicles. There are many sensors for data collection in self-driving cars. The car’s digital twin increases possible malfunctions and eliminates the threat of heavy injuries. Manufacturing companies can easily test any product, even before it is made, through digital twins. Engineers can find out about unexpected scenarios and develop mitigation techniques. A representation of an object helps in integrating financial data such as material and labour expenses. The accessibility of enormous amounts of real-time data coupled with analytics allows companies to arrive at sound decisions quickly.
Overcoming big data challenges
William P. King, CTO of Design Innovation Institute at the University of Illinois, rightly asserts, “One of the biggest disruptions of Industry 4.0 is the ever-increasing value and importance of data. Companies need to think about data as a precious raw material. Therefore, companies will need to change the way they think about and manage large amounts of data and information.”
Data flows from a variety of sources. Most legacy systems that the manufacturing companies use are not efficient enough to deal with a huge surge in data. You can exchange data but only through a manual process that does not yield you extra benefits. Manufacturing industries should break the old transaction-based system in favour of a unified data sharing system. It will also bring data in a single place rather than on multiple platforms.
It is the absence of a unified solution that complicates the business process and makes them time-consuming and costly. A unified solution will streamline processes and boost employee productivity. The digital transformation services offered by Stralynn facilitate effective data management, which in turn will benefit your organization in the form of improved employee productivity.
The transformative impact of digitization in manufacturing is aptly summed up by the 2015 MGI report. It estimated that just using sensors in the manufacturing area can create nearly $1.8 trillion in new value every year across the factories of the world, by 2025.
Do not let your business fall behind during these uncertain times. Stralynn is here to provide you with a wide range of digital transformation services, specially designed to enhance the agility and efficiency of your business processes and workflows.