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Jessica Bennett

Digital Transformation & Manufacturing: Will It Really Help?

A complete digital transformation in manufacturing has been necessary for a long time. But will COVID-19 be that final catalyst in the complete transformation process?

We have known for a long time that for the survival of the industry, manufacturing organizations need to adapt to the technological solutions and automate the work process. Previously it was about improving the workflow and enhancing the quality of the manufactured goods. But today it is more about labor safety.

With integrated sensors, cloud-based systems, and collaborative tools, we believe that the manufacturing industry’s digital transformation will give it a better chance of survival in the future. In the new normal of the post-pandemic era, the manufacturing industry will need all the technological help.  

Why Is Digital Transformation The Only Answer?

Because right now digital is the key to enhancing any kind of process.

We are experiencing a digital revolution that only comes once in a century. From smartphones to smart homes, the level of automation we have reached with the help of digital transformation was not imaginable even a decade ago. And it is not just about the rapid speed of the digital transformation, it is also about the sheer size of adaptation. Most of the people on this planet today are using some kind of smart technology. And in such an age where digital advancement has such a wide audience, it is obvious that the manufacturing industry needs digital transformation in order to survive in the changing trade scenario.

In spite of the strong case of popularity and widespread adoption of the technological transformation, a lot of people might ask why it is necessary for the survival of an entire industry. And that’s why in the next section we are going to look at three use cases, which show the benefits of digital transformation in the manufacturing industry.

Digital Transformation: The Use Cases Speak For Themselves

Instead of going round and round in debate about industry 4.0 digital transformation in manufacturing, the best way of proving that digital transformation is important, we have gathered information about three use cases in manufacturing that have proven to be incredibly important for the survival of the industry and make it pretty clear why a technological revolution is extremely important.

1. Sensors For Reading: Protecting Equipment And Workers

For a factory, its equipment is its lifeblood. Disruption in the functionality of any equipment can cause the entire operation to collapse. And that’s why it is important to keep up with a regular upkeep procedure as well as regular testing of various equipment and its parts.

Considering the scenario right now when it is really not suggestible to go out, this maintenance process is pretty hard to keep up, that is, if you are still sending out workers to do these checks manually. We don’t really have to elaborate on the inefficiency of the whole manual checks on the factory equipment and their quality. Not only is it going to be time-consuming (for larger factories) but it also puts the employees at the risk of hazardous accidents. And honestly, at an age where sensors are available to do these regulatory quality checks, it is indeed not efficient to send out workers for these tasks.

The digital transformation in manufacturing has introduced new kinds of sensors for readings and live observation. With this, employees will get a much better idea of how the factory equipment is working, which requires work, and which systems need a serious upgrade. Not only is this process logical, but it also protects the integrity and safety of the factory workers.

2. Digital Collaboration And The Ease of Decision Making

Any manufacturing organization is built up of many different departments. And at the end of the day, the efficiency of the entire company and its processes depends on how well all the departments can collaborate together. And that is where digitalization in the manufacturing industry comes in.

The problem with old systems still in use in some places is that they are not collaborative. The data-sharing model is almost absent and that creates problems. For a seamless workflow, it is necessary that the different departments and workers can have access to the same data, and determine their next actions accordingly. Without the collaborative approach, thanks to the digital data sharing models, the work process of the manufacturing organizations can get messy and hazardous for the employees.

3. Smart Manufacturing Improving The Quality Of Work

We have smartphones, and smart houses, so why not smart factories?

Having already talked about the sensors and their importance in manufacturing, it is now time to talk about another smart technology and its application on the factory floors and that is the digital twin system. These cloud-based systems act as the counterparts of the physical assets (often devices used on the factory floors) and enable the engineers to manage the asset right from the comfort of their own offices (or their homes, considering the pandemic situation).

One of the important benefits of this tech is seamless management. It speeds up the process of installing new machinery on the factory floor. With the help of sensors, the digital version analyzes the data and changes with the physical twin device and gives the engineers a live update of what exactly is the state of equipment. This way the digital manufacturing industry can install their equipment as well as enhance their functionalities. 

Wrapping Up

It is not an exaggeration when we say that technological transformation is the only way the industry can survive. The benefits of digital transformation in manufacturing are too many to count. It will not only enhance the inner workings of the industry but also help the employees to live a better life.

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