Disruptive technology is driving massive changes in multiple verticals across the world, from finance to healthcare. Surprisingly, manufacturing is only recently harnessing the latest digital innovations for greater efficiency, opportunities and revenue. Digitization is no longer an option, manufacturers who are looking to stay ahead of the game must embrace digital transformation in the era of Industry 4.0.
Disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Big Data, wearables and 3d printing are reshaping the manufacturing industry as we know it.
Research by PwC indicates that a whopping 86% out of 2000 manufacturers are looking forward to costing reductions and greater revenue due to digital transformation efforts during the course of the next five years.
Let’s take a look at some of the changes taking place due to disruption.
Optimization of the Supply Chain
Manufacturers often struggle with lack of precise knowledge on the various stages of the supply chain. This is all set to change with the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and more sensors at every stage. In addition, AI and ML predictions will help optimize inventory. The power of automation and IIoT-enabled tracking will see drastic increases in efficiency.
Cloud computing can provide a single window of transparency across the entire supply chain. Autonomous vehicles could also optimize the supply chain with more efficient deliveries and clear-tracking across vehicles too.
Zero Downtime with Predictive Maintenance
Downtime is one of the biggest losses for any manufacturer. Predictive maintenance is the key to cutting downtime to almost zero. This adds up to massive cost and time savings, which ultimately lead to greater profitability. This predictive capability will be powered by AI and ML in tandem with cloud computing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This technology will enable precise predictions at both component and system levels for advance maintenance. This predictive power will lead to massive improvements in efficiency and productivity, with the elimination of wastage due to equipment downtime.
Greater Employee Efficiency
It’s a brave new world with digital disruption and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) at the new frontier for training employees via immersive programs. It is much easier to teach the workings of machinery and equipment in a visual manner that is easily understood. AR allows an instruction-filled map to be cast on complex machines. Skills become almost downloadable with this technology. Besides training, AR can also help an employee do their jobs better when an overlay of simulated information supports the task they are completing. AR technology also allows tasks such as field testing to be executed remotely. Wearables and exoskeletons in tandem with AR and VR are improving training, productivity and employee efficiency for industrial workers.
Improved R&D and Testing Efficiency
Organizations spend billions in the R&D and Testing stages of Manufacturing. Disruptive technologies such as AI, ML and AR are proving to be game-changers in this space. With the power of AI and ML, it is possible to rapidly simulate many options in a realistic manner which is extremely efficient for both these stages. The capabilities of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) drastically improve the ability to test a product in varying conditions. This leads to greater efficiency for both these stages along with cost savings.
Manufacturers predict that manufacturing efficiency will grow annually at 7 times the rate of growth seen in the decade of the 1990s. It is an exciting time for manufacturing with automation and disruption reshaping all layers of the industry.
If you are interested in exploring a transformative digital solution for your organization, please feel free to contact us. InApp is passionate about empowering clients, and with over 15 years of experience in the manufacturing sector, we would be happy to help.