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Home / Insights / Blog / Digital Transformation in Manufacturing – The Way Forward
February 27, 2023 - by Synoptek
Digital transformation in manufacturing refers to integrating digital technologies into all aspects of manufacturing processes, from design to production and supply chain management. Digital transformation in manufacturing aims to leverage data and technology to help manufacturers:
The global smart manufacturing market size will be worth $658.41 billion by 2029 from $277.81 billion in 2022 at a 13.1% CAGR. But adopting the smart factory model depends on whether it makes sense for your facility or business model, which can be done through an in-depth assessment.
Some manufacturers may find upgrading machines, retraining workers, or installing security systems prohibitive. But most companies claim that technology transformation has helped them significantly grow their product/service portfolios and enhance customer experience. A study by the Everest Group states that manufacturing and distribution companies have realized a satisfactory strategic and cost impact. According to researchers, companies in this sector have demonstrated a 44% overall technological impact.
All aspects of the organization should be involved in the decision to transition to a smart factory. Everest group’s findings for technology investment priorities say that the manufacturing and distribution industry leads the way for investments in emerging next-generation technologies. Over 40% of manufacturing and distribution firms are investing in big data and IoT.
Despite the many doors that smart manufacturing opens, there are several challenges that the manufacturing and distribution industry faces in its technology transformation initiatives, including:
Companies that successfully navigate these challenges will be better positioned to thrive in a rapidly changing digital world. This adds to the increasing need for automation and adopting new technology, as well as the scope of having service consultants resolve conflicts cost-effectively.
In the past, technologies in pilot or development stages have now moved into the next phase to deliver results on demand. Let’s look at the leading technologies that are poised to carve the future of manufacturing:
AI and ML will revolutionize ways manufacturing processes are carried out via:
Manufacturing and industrial software development tend to use monolithic architectures and applications- which are rigid and complex, requiring manual installation and scheduled downtime for changes or updates. Incorporating advanced AR technology into shop floors and assembly processes can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and boost overall production. AR simplifies complicated processes by positioning the right information at the right time. It also creates a real-time hybrid environment bridging cyber-physical IoT and the real world.
Manufacturers looking to handle the vast amount of data that has always been available for use can. The data from operational systems, supply chain, and customer feedback is used to understand & improve performance & efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. It can be exploited for the benefits of advanced analytics to identify gaps in existing processes.
Creating insights from data will be a key focus area for manufacturers globally. Then these observations can then be used to optimize operations, production, supply chain, vendor management, product performance, delivery of goods, services, and customer management. It can also improve quality, efficiency, and turnover.
For instance, predictive analytics can help organizations optimize production schedules and reduce waste. In contrast, prescriptive analytics can provide recommendations for better decision-making and process improvements and help analyze customer data to understand purchasing patterns and preferences. This can, in turn help them develop targeted marketing campaigns and improve customer engagement.
As sensors expand across territories, IoT is catching up with digitization like wildfire, and edge clouds are acquiring front-row positions in factories. The following are the ways IoT will transform manufacturing in the future:
Blockchain technology can benefit the manufacturing and distribution industry in several ways via its transparency, immutability, and security capabilities. The benefits include:
Increased Trust and Collaboration: Blockchain technology also allows for secure and transparent sharing of information between different stakeholders (manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, customers) in the supply chain leading to improved trust and collaboration.
Cyber threats such as hacking, malware, phishing, and other cyber-attacks could disrupt operations and compromise sensitive information. To strengthen security posture, manufacturers will be found investing in several cybersecurity tools and technologies, including:
Aside from the evolution of established technologies like additive manufacturing, IoT, and so forth, the world can expect innovations or new game-changing strategies to come into play. It is rare for giant leaps to occur; technological development moves incrementally in its usual course.
Optimal technological development opens up new possibilities and paves the way for rapid and fundamental change, new theories and hardware, and conceptual thinking. And that’s how the manufacturing technology world is expected to progress in 2023.
The Industry 4.0 revolution will become even more widespread in the coming year. This will lead to the creation of smarter and more efficient processes. This also results in increased collaboration between different parts of the supply chain. Other aspects that will be redefining the Manufacturing and Distribution industry in 2023 include:
Technology consulting service providers play an important role in helping organizations navigate the complex and rapidly evolving world of technology. They provide expert guidance and support in strategy development, implementation planning, process optimization, and technology selection.
A third-party consultant brings extensive expertise to get things done without disrupting the flow of a well-functioning business. Using automation, AI, Big Data, Data Analytics, and IoT, these consultants can help organizations provide remote technician support, enable integration between siloed systems, and capture real-time machine information to gauge performance. Consultants can also schedule timely preventive maintenance for machines and transform shop floor outcomes.
Data-driven transformative technologies are fundamentally reshaping manufacturing and product design. This is opening new ways to maximize operating profits and achieve sustainability. They will continue to empower companies to increase competitiveness and improve the process of digital transformation in the Manufacturing and Distribution Industry’s bottom line.
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