While smart manufacturing offers significant benefits, people sometimes make inaccurate assumptions about what those benefits are, who is ready to deploy smart manufacturing, and how (and how soon) they’ll benefit.
As someone who makes decisions every day about manufacturing technology, I know first-hand how beneficial the right discussions can be – and how distracting bad assumptions and misconceptions can become.
What It Isn’t
Here are two of the biggest misconceptions I’ve found around smart manufacturing.
- With smart manufacturing you need fewer people. Your smart devices might be connected end to end, but you still need people to engage technology. Smart manufacturing augments people; people drive productivity.
- One size fits all. You don’t “buy” smart manufacturing the way someone buys a product. How you deploy smart manufacturing strategies will be as unique as your operations.
What It Is
Smart manufacturing is sustainable, optimised and demand driven. It’s how we’ll do more without adding cost to the equation. That’s because people and machines will collect, consume and use data wisely to make better real-time decisions, and collaborate to become more efficient and productive.
The result: driving the desired output to meet changing consumer demands, and the ability to take advantage of emerging technology opportunities.
What do I gain?
Everyone involved in smart manufacturing has something to gain.
Smart manufacturing that connects, evaluates, collects, presents, and optimises can help you advance your use of manufacturing and industrial operations. This, in turn, helps you navigate the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and take advantage of real-time information that drives profitability, and safely and securely boosts productivity.
- Your customers get the product/system/solution they were promised, when it was promised.
- Your employees are more engaged, better trained and more capable to handle future OT/IT configurations and advanced technologies.
- Your partners better understand what’s needed and how to deliver, just in time, with better line of sight that makes your manufacturing more predictable.
- Your shareholders get a better return on their investment because you are driving improved levels of productivity and efficiency – encouraging greater levels of reinvestment.
- The world benefits as you continue to use fewer resources and use them more efficiently.
How Do I Know I’m Ready?
You’re ready to deploy smart manufacturing when you’re capable of these three markers:
- Visibility: See deeper into operations and logistics.
- Collaboration: Between people, teams, departments, and machines.
- Efficiency: Transform information into insight, increase ROI, get to market faster, and dramatically reduce waste.
While technologies such as data analytics, scalable computing, and mobility can add value to your industrial processes, the transformational value of smart manufacturing is only realised when you can seamlessly integrate these (and other) technologies in an aware automation system that is intuitive, self-adaptive, and secure.
Are you ready?
This whitepaper can help you determine your readiness, next steps and what you can expect in return.
Published November 16, 2020