Restarting and Reimagining the Future of Manufacturing
The Covid-19 pandemic, along with geo politics, anti-globalization sentiments and consistent trade wars, has triggered off major disruptions in supply chain models and the manufacturing industry. Inefficiencies have emerged in traditional and legacy-focused production capabilities in 2020. Supply chains have gone into turmoil worldwide.
Even manufacturing leaders are struggling to survive in the new normal. The over-reliance of supply chains on specific regions and countries has come to the fore during lockdowns. Production units across the world are trying hard to regain their capacities and resume work after months of standstill. Overall, the manufacturing industry is reeling from grave economic setbacks that were uncommon in recent times.
What do the figures show?
According to a report published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the impact of Covid-19 on the manufacturing industry has been felt the most. For example, in September 2020, the Index of Industrial Production for Japan for food products was 97.2%. This was 4.6% less than what the index value was in September 2019. The index value stands at 60.1% for the leather and related goods manufacturing industry, a whopping 26% decline in the past one year. The list of such dismal figures goes on.
Industry 4.0 – Triggering future thinking with directed automation
Thankfully, the initial stages of the ongoing pandemic flare-up are subsiding in most nations. Boardroom discussions are now revolving around future thinking patterns and industrial automation. Alternate supply chains and de-risking strategies are paving the way forward for the Industry 4.0 revolution, which was triggered off in the last decade.
- “Accelerate the acceleration” – this has become the mantra for businesses looking for new growth opportunities and technology-enabled competitive edge.
- Along with robotics and data analytics, manufacturers are tapping into intelligent solutions to redefine their manufacturing, procurement, supply chain, planning, distribution and related activities.
- Alternative supply chains are being planned to dissipate the over-dependence on specific countries.
(A recent example of the ongoing concerns can be seen in D10 and how the United Kingdom wants to shift its reliance on one nation for telecom infrastructure. The Government of Japan is also planning to incentivize domestic companies to move their dependency on China.)
What are industry leaders doing?
Industry 4.0 solutions are being leveraged by pioneers in the manufacturing industry, globally. Almost 39% of them have established a control tower or nerve center to centralize their operations.
– They are aiming to increase supply-chain transparency in entirety.
– Automation programs are being fast-tracked to bridge worker shortages and other issues resulting due to Covid-19 migrations.
– IIOT and CDC are connecting with newly-acquired pandemic skills to embrace intelligent and smart automation solutions.
– Industrial automation and hi-tech management of CRM, inventory, sales orders and production through a single solution are impacting future thinking.
– SAP Business One and other critical business insights are offering vital information on manufacturing to sales, distribution and daily sales activities.
– More robust ERP systems are being used to furnish multi-language and multi-currency support; these systems are compliant with Covid-19 applicable taxes, regulations and laws.
Accelerated industrial adoption
Manufacturers are looking towards accelerated integration of quick-win solutions to adapt and respond to new regulations and norms easily.
- Solutions for tracking employee health, supporting remote collaboration and enforcing safe distancing on production floors are being put into place.
- Digital automation is replacing legacy technology infrastructure quickly. Augmented reality–based assistance, digital work instructions and automated use-cases are enhancing the performance of manufacturing companies.
- Manufacturing units with existing critical capabilities like IT/OT stacks, manufacturing-execution systems, data lakes and data marts are likely to speed ahead.
- Companies are deploying digital solutions even outside their plants. They are integrating end-to-end value chains for reimagining and replanning the recent disruptions in supplier and operational channels.
Digital technologies are the future
At Techminds Group (https://techmindsllc.com/project-services/digital-transformation-and-cloud/ ), digital transformation teams are working overtime to assess the existing OT and IT systems of manufacturing units to empower their clients. They are providing scalable, analytics-reliant and obsolescence-resistant IT stacks to support IoT solutions. You may want to boost your organization’s operational efficiency, product quality and asset productivity metrics to take bigger strides in the post-pandemic era.
Reach out to Techminds’ smart Industry 4.0 capabilities and digital technologies to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, right away.