Digital Transformation is a buzzword in the manufacturing sector for all the right reasons. Higher customer expectations, technological improvements, and increased connectivity are a few of the main catalysts in bringing digital transformation to the manufacturing sector. More and more manufacturers are realising the potential of digital transformation in their business.
Digital transformation has led to the adoption of emerging technologies across enterprises. Advanced technologies can create new business processes, add value to traditional tasks, encourage innovation, and improve customer experience.
Want to know which are key digital transformation trends driving digital transformation in manufacturing? What is the impact of emerging technologies on the manufacturing sector? Read our blog to know more about manufacturing digitilisation.
What is Digital Transformation in Manufacturing?
Digital transformation in manufacturing refer to integrating digital technology into processes for enhancing quality and efficiency. It is a comprehensive approach where digitalisation is the key driver.
Rising customer expectations and a highly competitive market are the main reason to digitally transform the manufacturing industry. Most of the advanced technologies can improve speed, and efficiency, decrease costs and offer elevated customer experiences.
Key Digital Transformation Trends in Manufacturing
Given the numerous technologies that are useful for manufacturing operations, it’s not surprising that many of them are already applied or going to be soon. As most of the manufacturing-based leaders are initiating digital transformation for their manufacturing, here are 5 trends of manufacturing digitalisation.
Industrial IoT (IIoT)
Industrial IoT (IIoT) is one of the critical technology of manufacturing digital transformation that requires sensors for connecting equipment with IT systems. The data collected through sensors drive valuable insights related to operations and productivity. companies can collect and analyse information from all stages of the manufacturing process with suitable sensors and analytics tools.
Therefore, applying IIoT allows manufacturers to access new data and make informed decisions related to operations or supply chains. For instance, the data from IIoT devices enables the reconfiguration of production lines or assets more easily. As a result, it is easier to prepare a company’s variable contract and support client customisation.
- Augmented and Virtual reality: Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) might sound the same, but they are completely different technologies.
- Augmented Reality(AR): When the user’s surrounding is made to interact with computer-generated information.
- Virtual Reality(VR): When a user is completely simulated in a digital environment.
Augmented and virtual reality can improve the production floor’s performance. It can guide professionals in assembling products or repairing machines through a real-time feedback loop. As a result, manufacturers can confirm the completion of tasks correctly. AR and VR can also guide inspections in the factory for ensuring that all locations are inspected correctly, all assets are in proper places or positions, and the required quality criteria are passed successfully.
Manufacturers can involve AR and VR in the training process, which helps professionals to grasp necessary expertise quickly. With augmented and virtual reality, employees can obtain the on-premise and virtual experience including walking through the factory floor, finding required assets and checking their condition instantly.
Therefore, implementing AR/VR provides manufacturing industry experts with efficient problem-solving and a better understanding of design and planning. They can keep an eye on the tasks of technicians, floor managers, or operators.
The digital twin is an impressive concept and one of the most digital transformation solutions in manufacturing right now. It integrates ideas through AI, IoT, AR and VR to create digital models of real-life objects, processes, and systems. Digital Twin models can adjust variables to study the effect of aspects which are twinned. The whole process can be done at a fraction of the cost.
Manufacturers can digitally replicate various aspects of the manufacturing process by creating a digital twin. Furthermore, the given device’s real-life equivalent can gather data for gaining an effective solution. For instance, one can determine the most efficient maintenance framework through digital twins.
Combining digital twins with IoT data and AI, manufacturers can achieve sensor-connected virtual simulators. As a result, they can improve the quality of goods, implement predictive maintenance, optimise production processes and risk mitigation scenario planning.
Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) involves software mimicking human reasoning and neural networks. Machine Learning (ML) is the subset of AI useful for predictive analytics and data management. For instance, machines can gather a high amount of data which AI is capable of analysing.
When it comes to manufacturing, AI-powered digital transformation can turn enterprises into streamlined, smarter and safer companies. The most interesting property of AI and ML is that they can make companies efficient by automating a wide variety of tedious processes for employees. Consequently, manufacturers become empowered by predicting trends for improving quality, making products faster and reducing waste.
As data is important for every company, it needs to be handled digitally for leveraging its potential. As machines in manufacturing can collect data, it is important to utilise algorithms for performing quick actions. However, such quick actions are harder for humans to do efficiently and accurately. Hence, AI and ML are required for fulfilling the requirement of “Data Quantity” and “Computing Power” to make manufacturing productive and less wasteful.
As sensor machines and various other manufacturing-based devices are often spread throughout the factory, 5G can offer several benefits in such scenarios. 5G provides manufacturing companies with an affordable method to create large, wireless sensor networks. 5G allows the IoT network to collect insights from factory to factory, or within machinery, operations, risks, etc which improves data collection and automation.
Integrating 5G with edge computing, companies can rapidly analyse IoT data collected from machines and industrial robots. Manufacturers can easily reconfigure production lines and assets to support variable contracts and product customisation.
The fifth-generation mobile network is faster and more powerful and capable of managing the full integration of Industrial IoT in manufacturing plants. The high capacity, low-latency performance and wireless flexibility can effectively support manufacturers.
In totality, digital transformation for manufacturing can be a blessing. However, it delivers impressive benefits, such as cost-efficiency and flexibility, but companies need to have a solid foundation for its application and a trustworthy software development partner. A proper approach to digital transformation in manufacturing is to recognise improvement opportunities that can result in significant benefits for customers. Taking into account all the mentioned points, manufacturers can take their production to the next level.
Rejig Digital is an expert in digital transformation solutions in manufacturing which are created utilising emerging technologies such as IIoT and AR. If you want to improve your business process and facilitate growth, then get in touch with us without hesitation.