Before the arrival of the Covid-19, volatility was already becoming a motto among supply chain and manufacturing leaders. Now, as companies adjust to the new normality, an indispensable long-term question arises: How will manufacturing companies be able to overcome the problems caused by the pandemic crisis?
The coronavirus crisis provides a new sense of urgency for manufacturers to strengthen their businesses through digitalisation and become smart factories. This involves reinventing many aspects of traditional manufacturing, from the production line to the factory to the supply chain.
If you want to know if you are ready to become a smart factory and learn about the technologies that make it up, don’t miss our post about Smart factories.
Why is it now more necessary than ever?
There are two key points for the efficiency and agility of a manufacturing process:
- The integration of the internal systems to the factory. Connecting all elements within the production system.
- The collaboration between entities and partners. The creation of strategic alliances and a collaborative eco-system.
These two aspects must be applied to the entire business route, from products and services to operations and employee development.
Digitalisation creates supply chains that are more resilient and able to cope with unforeseen events and sudden crises. The following points are some of the most important advantages for businesses:
- Possibility to work and monitor remotely. The connectivity between machines provided by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) allows to coordinate systems, capture data, have a remote control of production. This avoids possible blockages in the production in case of not being able to be physically present in the plant.
- Increase in efficiency and productivity with the same resources. The ability to make better use of resources allows for increased efficiency, reduced production times and costs, allowing for a higher quality of industrial activity.
- Production changes in response to demand. The ability to react to volatile changes in demand is one of the best qualities a manufacturing system can have today. A flexible and highly adaptable form of production is key to business competitiveness.
- Digital logistics and automated maintenance. Intelligent factories are equipped with Machine Learning and Digital Twin technologies that, among other things, allow us to perform preventive and predictive maintenance. These technologies avoid losses due to production stops, prevent work accidents and increase the useful life of the equipment, among other things.
- Counteract interruptions from suppliers. Manufacturing ecosystems and digital tools offer companies a faster response and enable better collaboration between partners. By creating a “network” effect, which is cumulative for participants, more value is generated than the sum of the parts, driving higher performance and creating exponential results.
Today, manufacturers can be divided into three phases in reference to their situation in the face of the crisis:
- Phase 1 – Survival: ability of the companies to deliver goods to the market in spite of the situation.
- Phase 2 – Recovery: through viable short-term initiatives to address the first phase of disruption.
- Phase 3 – Normalcy and Evolution: a new set of skills focused on greater operational agility and leveraging real-time demand intelligence and process visibility.
The objective of the manufacturers is to reach Phase 3 as soon as possible at the lowest cost to the company. In order to achieve this, the key is agility and acceleration, but… How to achieve it? Below, we give you all the details.
Types of transition
Previously we have talked about the three phases that the organisations are going through during this year. The transition from one phase to another depends on their speed of adaptation, and there are three different types:
- Accelerated Adoption: rapid solutions that help companies respond and adapt to new standards. Other types of implementation are often delayed until the company is able to lay the groundwork or find the financial muscle to invest.
- Differential adoption: for companies that already have the critical capabilities and evolve to an intermediate category that already requires basic information technology (IT), operations technology (OT) and data infrastructure.
- Deferred adoption: involves a higher capital expenditure and is a more complex and sophisticated process. Strategies are considered with time and are focused on the long term.
Digitisation equals resistance
A Smart Factory is capable of turning massive amounts of data into action by using advanced analytics to identify bottlenecks, solve problems, understand asset interdependencies and reduce costs.
Companies must implement digital solutions beyond their own manufacturing plant, covering the entire value chain from one end to the other to address planning and re-planning challenges. In addition, to counter these challenges, they must have a central element that provides visibility into demand forecasting, supply planning, production planning, logistics planning, and sales and operations planning.
Become a SMART Factory with Nexus Integra.
The Covid-19 has left a complicated and volatile scenario for most industries. Its effect, rather than fading, will remain in the long term by restructuring the way the industry works. If companies want to maintain their competitiveness, increase their productivity and generate new business models, they will have to invest their time and money in moving towards a SMART Factory model.
Nexus Integra is the integrated operations platform capable of turning a traditional factory into a smart industry with all the mandatory security measures and in order to protect its customers’ data.
Do you want to know more about how to implement Nexus Integra and what benefits it would bring to your company? Contact us to study your case and receive personalized assistance.