For manufacturers who want to remain relevant and not become obsolete, the industrial digital transformation is essential.

Taking steps towards the digitalization of manufacturing and industry, even if it means a paradigm shift, brings great benefits: according to the study by PWC, global network of professional services, 86% of industrial companies expect to see cost reductions with the application of digital technologies in their businesses.

We talk about smart factories to name those companies that are mixing traditional manufacturing with the advantages of the technological and digital world. Tools such as IA, blockchain, Machine Learning or IIoT are already guiding the industrial digital transformation in companies of all sizes. But where exactly do we go from here? We analyse the trends that are channelling this transformation.

The industrial digital transformation in the coming years

Achieving optimized production

The industrial digital transformation implies constant change, due to the uninterrupted irruption of new technologies. In this sense, companies must evolve in all areas towards flexibility. In the industrial area, work is being done to ensure that the application of appropriate technology allows the time between the taking of a decision and its application in the factory to be reduced. This optimizes production times.

The definitive guide to ensuring the full digital transformation of an industrial company 

In addition, predictive analytics help companies understand how their equipment and machines work and why they stop. Thus, it is possible to predict those failures in production that are reflected in unnecessary costs.

As an additional benefit, the IIoT and Machine Learning will enable companies to make significant cost savings. It’s only a matter of time before you see, for example, machinery capable of monitoring your fuel usage or the state of your engine. In this sense, the industrial digital transformation implies an improvement in productivity and performance

Product processing

The new market paradigm marks that consumers are no longer passive recipients of messages, but make themselves heard through different platforms. Companies in any area must listen to them and act accordingly.

This new system was difficult to apply in the industrial world. A few years ago it was unthinkable to manufacture customised products in areas such as the automotive industry. However, the industrial digital transformation has allowed the factory to produce customized products in the same way as batches are generated.

Tools such as ERP, CRM and Customer Experience Mapping are enabling industrial companies to access information about the entire supply chain and make decisions about their products. Transectional decision-making is therefore part of the industrial digital transformation.

The definitive arrival of 5G

While there has been talk of 5G technology implementation for years, 2020 will be the year when its potential is evident. This technology will be responsible not only for increased broadband speeds, but also for profound changes in industrial digital transformation and Smart Cities, among other applications.

In its industrial application, the 5G will allow so-called smart manufacturing: centralized tracking of activities, use of the cloud or quality inspection will be increased.

Find out how Smart Cities are managed in an integrated way with Nexus Integra 

Analytics as the main competitive advantage

Data analysis is going to be one of the most marked trends in industrial digital transformation from 2020 onwards. Collecting and analyzing customer data and applying its lessons will be the keynote of the coming years.

The truth is that industrial companies are going to face a reality: the competition is already using data analysis and those that do not will become obsolete. This process allows access to valuable information about the opportunities and problems generated by the products.

AI and Machine Learning increase data analysis results

Companies of all kinds are already using digital data analytics tools to explore the options provided by the industrial digital transformation. Speeding up production, knowing which machinery needs repairs or monitoring the state of the inventory are some of the data that are easier to know thanks to process digitalization.

Machine Learning and AI go one step further. They allow for the analysis of large amounts of data, making it no longer necessary to assign entire groups of analysts to these jobs and reducing to a mere fraction the time needed to analyze the information that could previously take months. Today’s algorithms are not only faster, but are capable of handling a large volume of data.

This allows, among other things, machines to have the ability to learn from data and make decisions accordingly. All this with the aim of being able to solve and automate processes such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph in the coming years.

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As with 5G technology, the Blockchain has been heralded for some time as a huge disruption on many levels (also for industrial digital transformation), but still does not offer clear results beyond cryptosystems. This will change in 2020.

Great progress is expected in many areas, such as food security, intellectual property or real estate management. Giants such as IBM are already giving clues about where this technology and its application to industry is heading, in areas such as the automotive industry, banking services or the protection of sensitive data.

Connected vehicles, autonomous drones and Smart Cities will become a reality

The total development of technologies such as 5G will also allow the real explosion of other trends that have been talked about for a long time. Testa and Uber are already working on connected and autonomous vehicles, while Amazon is getting closer to using autonomous drones for its shipments. Similarly, the steps to generate Smart Cities bring us closer to this reality.

The industrial digital transformation will involve knowing how to apply these ideas and innovations to industry and manufacturing, generating more efficient processes.

Nexus Integra, the platform to make industrial digital transformation a reality

Nexus Integra is the standard industrial system and open integration smart platform that generates an operational reference framework for large-scale industrial assets and Smart Cities.

Through a three-layer structure, Nexus Integra offers a comprehensive operations center that allows to control, monitor and manage all the company’s facilities and assets, in a simple, fast and autonomous way. It thus becomes a powerful tool to achieve real industrial digital transformation in an efficient and automatic way.