The experts at Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, predict investment in smart manufacturing technologies to top $400 billion by 2025, 30 percent higher than originally projected. This accelerated growth is attributed directly to the pandemic as manufacturers vigorously reassess their digital strategies and look for ways to lessen their dependency on production and delivery locations.
Despite a dip in investment at the outset of the pandemic last year, a 16 percent between March and April of 2020, ISG observes a rapid change in investments flows in the post pandemic world. As early adopters of smart manufacturing technologies showed resilience and a better navigation of the pandemic, the validation has served as a driving force for investors who can no longer risk getting left behind. Once adopted, smart technologies will help streamline operations, add resiliency to supply chains and enhance customer experience as economies reopen and manufacturers rush to satisfy the influx of demand.
ISG further states that they see a significant room for growth as interest in cybersecurity, cloud and IoT for applications such as quality management, over-the-air software updates, remote and smart service and predictive maintenance has spiked. The pandemic has led to the identification that together, these applications create a high-tech ecosystem of smart devices that achieve an optimized, efficient factory floor.
For example, tools such as the RES.Q QMS cloud-based quality management solution have managed to reimagine and revolutionize conventional quality management on the factory floor. They shift the focus away from record keeping and reporting to data analysis and decision making by streamlining quality inspection with a simple, digital interface-driven process and offering decisionmakers with a 360° view of production quality on the factory floor.
The full visibility eliminates reporting time lags, enables faster, data-driven decision-making, reduces wastage, and improves your overall cut-to-ship ratio. It further streamlines business processes and optimizes supply and demand. These applications, when implemented correctly, equips decision makers with timely information that in turn enables them to intervene on a predictive or preventive basis. In a manufacturing ecosystem plagued with downtime and inefficiencies, smart manufacturing technologies offer the ideal solution to bypass conventional issues that have continued to ding production output for decades.
The best part about smart manufacturing, however, is that it identifies human limitations in analysing vast amounts of data capture. It therefore utilizes AI and machine learning algorithms to contextualize the data and flag anomalies or make recommendations. The final / pre-final audits and buyer audits offered by RES.Q QMS are a few such examples. It identifies where quality output comes from and equips you with the relevant information to make better informed decisions.
At a time when the early adopters of digital technologies are hailed as winners of the pandemic based on their ability to position their response to the crisis, there still is immense opportunity waiting to be scaled for companies that are struggling to formulate their crisis response. In fact, the pandemic is a wake-up call to embark on the overdue digital transformation.