Digitalisation success stories from the manufacturing front lines

They call it the new oil. There’s talk of data lakes and data highways. Data ingestion, data governance, data lineage, data everything. Data, data, data… Hardly the language of everyday manufacturing, is it?

Industrial Automation - Digitalisation - Industry 4.0 concept, intelligent factory with control over the Internet. Use smartphone to check status and order, with icon flow automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
Data holds great power, power that any business, anywhere, should want to harness – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Now if it was described as information instead, well that we can get our heads around. And in truth, that is all it is. It’s just information, like the information we’ve always used to run businesses – from spreadsheets, production schedules and reports.

Except this is information on steroids. In terms of its scale and its utility, it is an entirely new ball game. It is information that can make your business sing, make your products more versatile, make your workforce happier and bring your customers levels of service they could only ever dream of.

It can also tell you when your machinery is likely to break down, when a production cell needs more parts – and always ensures it gets the right ones.

Put like that, data becomes less a matter of remote jargon and more something of great power, that any business, anywhere, should want to harness.

In the articles below, you’ll meet some companies for whom doing this not only meant their ability to exist, and be rescued from doom, but also provides hope and salvation for a hungry world. Yes, it is as big as that.

You’ll also discover how to avoid the common digitalisation pitfalls and how the data revolution can even be applied to very modestly sized companies with limited resources through the ‘Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring’ project at the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University, in partnership with Nottingham University.


Want to learn more about how data and digital manufacturing could help realise your business’ growth ambitions? 

Virtual Reality practical demonstration at Smart Factory Expo 2018 - image courtesy of The Manufacturer.Smart Factory Expo is Europe’s largest digital manufacturing show – presenting the most extensive free programme of presentations across seven stages, 150+ exhibitors, and thousands of digitally-savvy manufacturers.

It is the largest component of Digital Manufacturing Week, an annual celebration of UK manufacturing excellence that takes place every November in Liverpool – 2018 saw 5,322 visitors, up 36% on 2017.

Clear your diary and join us: 13-14 Nov 2019!


These articles first appeared in the March issue of The Manufacturer magazine. To subscribe, please click here