The manufacturing industry has faced multiple operational obstacles caused by the pandemic. How can companies use digital technology to strengthen the industrial ecological chain and their own health in an all-around way?
What Is the Digital Transformation of Manufacturing Industry, or Smart Manufacturing?
Digital transformation in manufacturing involves integrating digital technologies into processes and products to increase manufacturing efficiency and quality. Digital transformation in manufacturing focuses on: Improving operational efficiency and reducing costs. Ensuring the quality of manufactured products. Smart manufacturing has been defined as the fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the smart factory, the supply network, and customer needs.
The supply chain risks implied by globalization have become more acute as the COVID-19 epidemic spreads. Many companies have introduced digital tools and decision-making systems to accelerate digital transformation, thus turning crises into opportunities. Due to the multiple operational obstacles in the manufacturing industry due to the epidemic, in response to generational innovation, it is expected that digital technology and smart manufacturing will be used to innovate products and services, create new business models, and become a solution to future changes.
The outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019 has caused a widespread economic recession in various countries, and all industries have been affected. Nowadays, although the rate of vaccine delivery is increasing and the epidemic situation is under control, the threat of variant viruses remains, and the global supply chain continues to be threatened. Due to the severe impact of the epidemic on several aspects of industrial operations, including supply chain disruption, insufficient human resources, market shrinkage and imbalance between supply and demand, cross-border business operations, and limited logistics and transportation energy, uncertainty has become the new normal of the industry. Among them, supply chain disconnection has become a common bottleneck facing the world. Most manufacturers have encountered a lack of components and raw materials, as well as delayed delivery and extended delivery.
Reduce manpower demand and improve production flexibility
The epidemic will not end in the short term. It may be a long-term struggle, which will continue to affect the manufacturing industry and the global economy. The operation of manufacturing factories still needs to maintain epidemic prevention measures to prevent the production line from shutting down again. Therefore, technologies such as automation and the Internet of Things are the means for enterprises to achieve remote monitoring and maintenance and to increase productivity.
The attitude towards China is still tough, and the trade war between the US-China continues. It can be expected that manufacturing and supply chains will accelerate De-Sinicization, and global labor costs will continue to fluctuate. In response to the disruption of the global supply chain caused by the pandemic, all countries realized the importance of establishing independent supply chains. Advanced countries have put forward policies for the return of manufacturing industries. Companies can take this opportunity to introduce smart manufacturing factories with no manpower or low manpower demand, and reduce labor costs in emerging countries.
With the rise of the “zero distance economy”, the e-commerce market has exploded. Not only have consumer's consumption patterns changed, platform technology and digital technology have also changed the sales model of industries. Industry can understand the needs and preferences of customers through data analysis, and optimize products and services, or provide customized products to create differentiation. The manufacturing industry is also facing a trend to small and diverse demands and highly customized production. The speed of launching new products has accelerated, resulting in a shortened product life cycle. Through automation and smart manufacturing processes, the flexibility of production can be effectively improved.
Facing the trend of global supply chain reorganization and the establishment of second production sites, the introduction of digitalization by enterprises is not only to improve production line efficiency or quality yield but also to build the best solution for their own adaptability and resilience. Enterprises also need to continue to adjust accordingly.
Aspects of Using Digital Technology Layout
Use smart technology to enhance professional experiences, accelerate precise decision-making, and ensure information security. Semiconductor manufacturers can use AI machine learning to automatically optimize production parameters, predict production variation and make smart autonomous decisions to achieve smart manufacturing. In order to shorten the cross-plant mass production learning curve, key information is transmitted only when used, and measures implemented are deleted immediately after use to reduce information security risks.
Zero-touch epidemic prevention:
Use automated operations and smart robots to create a zero-contact environment to replace personnel on-site operations; in response to the new crown epidemic, e-sports computer brand manufacturers have developed automated trolleys that can provide food delivery and disinfection according to environmental and functional requirements And other services, saving care workers' manpower to travel back and forth, the background AI will also automatically collect data, perform air quality monitoring, and actively activate UVC ultraviolet disinfection, which is suitable for medical care and other fields.
Use digital technology or 3D printing to overcome the distance, so that the production is continuous, the machine is not stopped, and the service is not interrupted; Simultaneous monitoring of on-site screens enables continuous maintenance of the client's machine capacity and redefines the work pattern.
Construct full-time, full-domain, and fully-connected production and scheduling to support customers' needs locally; provide full-time and full-domain spare parts services to ensure rapid relocation of production, and provide technical support locally, Distributed manufacturing reduces impact.
The epidemic has accelerated the digital transformation of global companies. The market size of the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry is expected to be US$46.31 billion in 2020. By 2025, the market size will reach US$113.09 billion. The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry can be said to be imperative. The focus of digital transformation is not on digital, but on transformation. In addition to introducing digital tools, it is also necessary to integrate cross-domain technologies to develop innovative products and services, establish business models, and improve corporate competitiveness.