The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) requires UK companies to connect their manufacturing operations with technology, in order to deliver more agile, responsive and customer-focused outcomes. But what are the specific technologies that British industrialists need to embrace?
According to Martin Rainer, vice president and general manager of Manufacturing Industry Segment in Northern Europe, Enterprise Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, there are four key technology areas that manufacturers need to focus on in order to improve their competitiveness now and in the years to come.
- Transformation: hybrid infrastructure enables the expansion of value chains, allows manufacturers to adapt quickly, and supports product innovation and growth through cloud-based digital prototyping.
- Protection: it’s no longer a question of if you get hacked but when; and how long it will take to detect a breach. Studies show that it takes a median 205 days to identify a breach – and even more alarmingly, 69% of breached companies learn of a breach from an outside entity.
- Data: a data-driven organisation not only streamlines manufacturing operations through data sharing but also automates the processing of unstructured data so any impending issues can be identified, such as those affecting plant performance or customer satisfaction.
- Enablement: refers to integrating complex supply chains, production, people and processes to create a truly collaborative environment that increases production innovation.
Just like cogs in a wheel, individually and collectively, these four transformation areas work in harmony with each other, connecting suppliers, engineers, production teams, customers and consumers seamlessly – allowing businesses to stay ahead of competition.
“I believe growth and long-term prosperity for manufacturers lies in the hands of those who embrace digitization,” concludes Rainer. “The total integration of a digitised ecosystem is what we at HPE call Connected Manufacturing. It represents a new era of manufacturing where everything is connected – plants, processes, products, people, partners, customers and consumers.
“And to make it possible, you will need to tap into transformational technologies such as hybrid infrastructure, security, data and workplace productivity to be able to integrate all functions and generate huge efficiencies and opportunities along the way.”