The manufacturing industry is one of the core resources in any country's economy. Previously, production could be cumbersome due to the manual operation of all processes. However, the introduction of digital technologies in this industry has greatly helped eradicate the longer chains in manufacturing operations, positively affecting these systems. The application of artificially intelligent computers can take instructions and execute them effectively. The production capacity in these industries has greatly increased as technological practices have been implemented.
Emerging Trends in Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
When it comes to digital transformation within the manufacturing industry, emerging trends that indicate where things are heading include the following:
Industry 4.0 is an entirely new world of automated industrial operations, especially in the communications sector. In this projected industry, computers and machines, with the help of artificial intelligence, are believed to have the capability to initiate processes and to execute them independently. Under this digital transformation, the approach in the business that revolves around these industries will automatically change and attract more customer demands.
From the information obtained in Global Data's Disruptor Tech Database, we realize that 3D printings play a significant role in providing the technology required to power the future of manufacturing industries. Due to massive amounts of automated data, digitalization facilitates all manufacturing industry businesses, from the manufacturers to the lower-end customers.
Smart manufacturing is a way of interconnecting all the firms involved in manufacturing using a central server. The server will automate every function, will help learn the systems involved, and will execute immediate changes. This method makes these industries highly flexible and adaptable to lean manufacturing, which mainly aims at minimizing waste and maximizing profits. With smart manufacturing, many products can be produced or customized with great efficiency, benefitting both the end consumer and manufacturer all at once. Profits will also soar for manufacturers due to adopting a lean production system.
We recently witnessed a significant achievement in the networking industry, and this is the introduction of the 5G network: a much faster and more efficient data networking technology for industries worldwide. This network will have many areas in manufacturing accelerated in delivering information from one operation to another. Apart from facilitating faster communication between manufacturers, the 5G network also lays a good infrastructure for e-commerce. All business that depends on online platforms can be carried out much more quickly and efficiently.
Computer-Based Decision Making
Apart from humans learning how to better make valuable and informed decisions, machines also learn from the data they collect by drawing out algorithms. Using these learning algorithms, machines can analyze changes and create patterns that help predict the future of manufacturing practices, which finally translates to overall decision-making. Some of the decisions made from these machine analyses include employees' work execution actions, predicting time series, and appropriate time logistics.
The future of manufacturing is also anticipated to come with advancements in manufacturing robotics. Combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing robotics can carry out activities independently and can coordinate among themselves to perform tasks. Unlike humans, whose actions may be compromised with extreme feelings like joy, sorrow, and grief, these robots lack emotions and are purposely programmed to carry out their functions, leaving human employees out of physically demanding work in exchange for managing automation.
Advantages of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
After considering these trends, let's look at their advantages to the manufacturing industry:
- Better usage of data – Optimal data utilization will help manufacturing industries to plan efficiently, to only produce what is required, and—most importantly—to be able to enhance flexibility in their operations.
- Improvement in the processes – Digital transformation will help significantly achieve a revolution in manufacturing operations. Traditionally, all procedures were manual and required a lot of time and physical effort to perform. On the other hand, digitized operations are efficient and cost-effective, not forgetting how much they save time in the processes.
- Digitization in the manufacturing industry – Digitization has also helped to promote increased innovations. Due to increased research, many innovations are taking place, which helps influence the manufacturing industry positively. Innovations are the key to continuous quality improvement in production, which leads to customer satisfaction.
Through digital transformation, manufacturing companies also experience smarter outsourcing. It is a way of outsourcing that involves the use of technology; this is necessitated by the use of e-commerce to link manufacturers with their globalized customers. Manufacturers can apply various analytics from their different customers worldwide and find out how best to distribute their products.
Customer centralization is another important aspect of digital transformation in manufacturing. Through the established digital structures, manufacturers can contact their customers anytime and anywhere across different web channels.
Manufacturing or otherwise, the industry is most often shaped by need, which leads to innovation. With an increasingly digital future on the horizon, our team at Base22 can walk you through what a digital transformation for your manufacturing operation might look like and provide consultation every step of the way. Contact us today to get started!