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Exploring Digital Transformation Part II – Manufacturing and Production

By November 5, 2019 No Comments

This is Part Two of a series. To read Part One, click here >

Look around you: Digital Transformation is everywhere. It’s in the applications that your colleagues are using daily. It’s in the artificial intelligence that’s solving complicated challenges for your organization. And it’s in the connected utilities that allow you to control your environment with push-button ease.

In this series, we’re discussing how digital transformation is impacting individual areas of the enterprise. In a previous post, we focused on the Contact Center. Now, let’s shift gears and look at another critical area: Manufacturing and Production.

Shifting Away from Manual Processes

In the past, manufacturing environments were managed manually. Data, for instance, was typically collected on paper and transferred by hand into spreadsheets. And production notes were usually written down on laminated sheets or boards.

As a result, manufacturing and production were both costly and highly error-prone. This is changing, though, as more and more companies are forming comprehensive digital transformation plans, and experimenting with ways of implementing cutting-edge technologies into their operations.

In manufacturing, digital transformation is now being used to:

  • Reduce manual data entry errors;
  • Identify and trends and anomalies;
  • Record notes and progress;
  • Streamline safety checks; and
  • Simplify audits.

Three Examples of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing and Production

Next, let’s take a look at some examples of digital transformation in manufacturing and production.

  1. The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT)

For the better part of the last decade, there’s been a tremendous amount of focus on the IoT—the growing global network of IP-enabled objects and devices. And within manufacturing, there is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Ultimately, the only difference between IoT and IIoT comes down to usage. IIoT refers to processes like supply chain management, fleet tracking, statistical process control, etc. The IIoT is growing at a rapid pace, as manufacturing environments are being transformed into highly-connected ecosystems driven by automation and data.

  1. Apps

A growing number of facilities are leveraging the rapid application development (RAD) framework, and low-code app platforms—a departure from traditional code-based development. RAD enables fast and cost-effective app development, enabling manufacturing teams to incorporate backend apps into their workflows more easily. By using apps, line operators and production managers can communicate and enter information over a single smartphone, tablet, or kiosk.

  1. Software-Defined Wide-Area Networking (SD-WAN)

The IIoT and apps have something in common: Both require strong connectivity to function. Now, multi-location enterprises and single-site production facilities alike are leveraging SD-WAN to create, deploy, and manage virtual networks. SD-WAN can be used to minimize downtime, improve security, and maximize network resources.

Make sure to check back soon for our next blog when we dive into how digital transformation is improving life for finance and accounting professionals.