It is the era of Industry 4.0, where any physical thing, person or process has a near real-time copy (its digital twin) to expose useful information for fast and predictive decisions, resulting in smart connected products.
Research from Accenture has revealed how Digital Transformation becomes primordial within each vertical market. It rapidly changes how to conduct business, tell stories and engage customers. Therefore, it’s all about data and data means “Running Digital”. However, how much data one can collect and how one can analyze it may define the way to transform the delivery of core products and services into something that is “customer-adaptive”. Among disruptive technologies, digital transformers are prioritizing ecommerce for retail, Big Data advanced analytics, Machine 2 Machine communication and IoT, Mobile and Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Citizen science. By being able to manage the know-how effectively in these digital technologies, growth in operational efficiency and increased customer satisfaction will ultimately result in new lines of business.
The 4th industrial revolution is about machines equipped with sensors and actuators to collect real-time data, so that decision-makers can build fast and predictive actions to avoid production line breakdowns and customers’ churn. In fact, Industry 4.0 creates a disruption and urges manufacturers to redesign their supply chains so that it gives them the opportunity to improve operational effectiveness, update their business models and transform the company into a digitally connected world. For example, Automotive, Electronics, Food and Beverage and Life Science industries such as Healthcare and Cosmetics are all on the front line to transform their businesses into being more efficient and agile to stand out among competitors.
Many smart factories worldwide have shared their success stories with many innovative examples on how to perform their activities better, faster, cheaper and greener on fast lines towards operational excellence. By leveraging Big Data Analytics tools and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), software platforms should be developed to monitor any production line in real time by gathering sensed data from any device connected to it or other systems and exploit smart information to gain more insights and speed up decision making with a 360° inter-functional perspective. The framework should be composed of many modules to control the production performance, quality and workforce management, among many and these should be customized for each manufacturing type.
- Product Safety & Quality: where product quality is ensured by checking the quality validation aspects on production lines already set by the quality managers and a total control of the manufacturing operations in real-time for prompt decisions.
- Sustainability and Waste Management: where such a platform can help to reduce energy usage, packaging waste with 100% labeling quality achieved for utilities thus encouraging decision-makers to go for green lines fast track production.
- Operational and Asset Management: where the overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is improved, the downtime of production lines is reduced with predictive maintenance, leading to better productivity and less frustration from breakdowns.
- Workforce Productivity and Shift Management: where operators/ supervisors shifts are managed to offer 24/7/365 coverage without stress overload or production stoppage. Besides, operators can easily check in real time the line status through Human to Machine Interfaces, dashboards or wearable devices and communicate to management about any alarming information without delay.
In conclusion, these advanced manufacturing execution systems can increase the production capacity and ROI by improving visibility with real time self- customized dashboards. It enables plant managers to quickly react to unscheduled breakdowns by performing preventive maintenance with spare parts ahead of time.