The Manufacturer Podcast: The tech that will make us sustainable

Posted on 27 May 2022 by Tom St John

The penultimate episode of series three of The Manufacturer Podcast will look at modern manufacturing technology that could enable a huge push towards a sustainable future.

We welcome our podcast sponsors Accenture on to talk about the latest manufacturing technology, and how it’s being applied in the manufacturing world. Dan Farrell at Accenture, along with Séverine Trouillet from Dassault Systèmes, discuss how this new and exciting tech can enable sustainable growth within the industry.

We also look back at a gem of a keynote speech from Amber Case, an American cyborg anthropologist, who spoke at Digital Manufacturing Week in 2020. Listen back to a snippet of her presentation on “Calm Technology,” which refers to technology that isn’t time consuming, annoying or unreliable.

We hope you enjoy this episode.


Dan Farrell, Industry X, Engineering & Manufacturing, UK and Ireland Lead at Accenture on future sustainable tech innovations 

Dan Farrell, Accenture

“We’re expecting larger scale adoptions of the recent innovations in digital tech and the smart use of data across manufacturing contexts.

“We see increased value in leveraging digital simulation and twin technology to be able to understand and model changes in behaviour, the way things work and the way things respond to stimuli. In order to understand the changes we’re going to make before we make them.

“We’re investing a lot of time and energy in terms of looking at the value we can achieve from digital twins, and how we can enable those in all kinds of different kinds of industrial contexts from process to discrete manufacturing. There’s a focus on value and on the  difference it can make for our clients.

“It gets us into all kinds of fun contexts around smart use of machine learning, artificial intelligence in certain situations, and how that can enable a greater levels of automation and closed loop feedback systems. We’ve even started to think about the metaverse and how virtualisation technologies play in to this context, and we think that there’s something to be said about that as well.”

Séverine Trouillet, Public affairs, Comms and Sustainability at Dassault Systèmes on adopting twin tech for sustainable growth

Severine Trouillet from Dassult Systemes

A joint study between Dassault Systèmes and Accenture was a very interesting way for us to crystallise the key recommendations that we see are important, including for our manufacturing colleagues.

“The first pillar, I would say, is around tying together a technology and sustainable agenda so that you don’t see them as two parallel revolutions or transitions within your organisation. You can talk about how technology enables and is your partner in terms of reaching your sustainable goals.

“The second one is around improving the understanding of virtual twin technology, because I think that speaking about the value and specific use cases will be a great way for manufacturing champions to understand what it can do for them and why rapid adoption is very useful.

“The third pillar for us is around trying to focus on disruptive and system change use cases, so that you can quickly scale solutions with transformational impact in relation to sustainability.

“And finally, I think it’s important to make sure you rally around your ecosystem so that you’ve got a broad support around the value of virtual twins. This is including your private partners, but also the public sector and civil society, because that will ensure the long term success of the adoption of virtual twins for sustainability.”

Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist on ‘Calm Technology’ – Digital Manufacturing Week 2020  

Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist

“When you put this all together (overbearing and un-useful technology) you get what I like to call ‘The Dystopian Kitchen of the Future.’

“Imagine; everything in your kitchen speaks with a different alert style, all of it is connected to the internet somehow, it takes more bandwidth than streaming Game of Thrones on Netflix and it all catastrophically fails in weird ways that are unpredictable.”

“Plus, everything is written in a different programming language; it’s affiliated with a different start-up. When you get divorced or when you move to a new house, you have to hand all that equipment over to somebody else”

“There’s a reason why people are buying mid-century modern and older appliances – they were built in an era in which our primary task was to be human and we weren’t overly reliant on technology.

“As humans we have a glanceability, we can tell when something is wrong. I don’t think smart technology treats us as if we are smart humans. We need smarter humans, not smarter technology. We need calm technology.”

Listen back to our previous episode in this series