Digitization transforms industry in 8 ways
Smart Industry distinguishes 8 important transformations in the digitization of the industry.
ALIX thinks it is the best approach to be a leader in today’s competitive world !
On your right, the Smart Industry wheel…
Transformations are on the outer ring of the wheel. On the top half, we see in order error-free and flexible production, the development of smart products and smart services.
To this end, it is necessary that companies have their internal digital household in order and that they improve their connection with other companies. Employees must also adapt to the new digital world. Finally, digitization will enable and must make the industry more sustainable. These transformation can all be seen on the bottom half of the wheel.
Smart production (Advanced Manufacturing)
Smart production is error-free production. This can be done by 100% checking every step in the production process, whereby data measurement, storage, analysis and machine learning are combined. Thanks to error-free products (zero defect), failure costs are minimized.
To be able to produce flawlessly, highly accurate equipment is needed and data must be kept up to date with data logging. When that is achieved, the next step to mass customization is possible because setting and start-up losses are reduced.
Flexible production (Flexible Manufacturing)
With flexible production, a factory can always realize different products with the shortest possible lead time. This can involve many pieces, but also the production of small series and custom-made single pieces for the price of a mass product. Manufacturing is made to order instead of made to stock. Delivery times are reliable and usually short.
Flexible production requires zero programming of robots and equipment. First time right is the goal (no start-up losses).
Smart products are products that are user-friendly, attractive and digitally connected. They are designed on the basis of minimum lifetime costs in energy, material and transport.
Smart products have built-in intelligence, possibly with flexible electronics so that they can communicate with their environment (users, but also remote administrators). In addition, these products are customer-specific (capital goods) or even ultra-personalized (consumer products). These products are also designed for component reuse and flexible (n = 1) production.
Smart services (Servitization)
Smart services are product suppliers that provide both products and services or organizations that have expanded the revenue models of their service organization. Examples of this are services linked to a physical product, leasing services with associated financing of hardware products and remote service maintenance.
Delivering both products and services is increasingly possible through the application of the Internet of Things (IoT). This allows a supplier who builds, manages and maintains hardware / software to follow everything. The development of digital platform solutions also plays an important role.
A digital factory is digitally and securely connected internally: from office, design, production, logistics to maintenance and management. A digital twin of all products, processes and equipment is available from / for design, visual (AR / VR) and process modeling, simulation, control, maintenance and management registration. Thanks to collected data and Artificial Intelligence, more and more processes are automatic.
In addition to the CAD version of an object, Big Data management, IoT links and data storage are also important. With all these digital models, data and links, it is possible to monitor, optimize and stimulate changes in the condition of a factory.
Digital chains (Connected factory / factories)
Companies that are digitally connected and can exchange cyber-secure data form a digital chain. Quotations, drawings, orders, transport information, invoices, production and quality data from machines are digitally identified / described in accordance with open industry standards and are securely exchanged.
Cyber security, IoT connections, but also the use of fiber optic connections, but do require the right legal contracts (copyrights on sensor data, database law, privacy legislation, rights of use for software in equipment).
This involves working as economically as possible with a view to energy and material consumption. Companies that produce in this way make use of renewable energy and recycled / refurbished materials. In addition, the products produced are as much as possible suitable for re-use / refurbishing / recycling.
There is a relationship with the total life-cycle design of smart products and smart services as well as with flexible production. This is because a flexible factory that is capable of producing single pieces, as a sustainable factory, must eventually also be able to disassemble the product in reverse order into the most reusable components.
Smart working means that employees are maximally supported by technology that they understand and for which they have received training if necessary, which makes them more productive and healthy. We call this human-centered technology.
Examples are exoskeletons and cobots that make heavy, dirty and dangerous jobs lighter, cleaner and safer, and support with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to perform complex operations without errors. Or to robots and machines that can be operated intuitively.
Thanks to this technology, people can be deployed earlier and longer. It ensures that they find value in their work and have more fun in it. At the same time it makes a large labor market available for an industry that is screaming for employees. And it makes the companies more competitive.