Why Manufacturers Need To Embrace True Digital Transformation

The manufacturing sector continues to transform itself through digital transformation. The use of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud, and analytics solutions play an integral role in this transformation.

Mikael van der Sluis, Senior Sales Manager, manufacturing and infrastructure, ASEAN, Aveva, shares his thoughts on why manufacturers need to embrace true digital transformation.

The manufacturing sector continues to transform itself through digital transformation. The use of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud, and analytics solutions play an integral role in this transformation.

With trends around urbanisation, food safety and transparency, rising uncertainty, and changing consumer preferences, the food and beverage sector is ripe for digital transformation. It is expected that by 2025, Asia alone will have at least 30 of the world’s megacities.


READ: AVEVA: Digital Transformation Projects Are Exponentially Accelerating Organisational Innovation

This presents opportunities for an organisation such as Aveva to work with manufacturers to enable improvements across the asset and operations lifecycle, maximise return on capital investments, and increase profitability.

“Many large manufacturers are starting to use data analytics to optimise factory operations, boosting equipment utilisation and product quality while reducing energy consumption,” said Mikael van der Sluis, senior sales manager, manufacturing and infrastructure, ASEAN, Aveva.

However, challenges remain for manufacturers on adopting digital transformation into their operations.

According to Forbes, a few of these big challenges are proprietary and closed approaches to connectivity, lack of collaboration, master data management challenges, and security concerns regarding connections, authentication and authorisation, and integrating legacy and digital assets.

READ: AVEVA Unified Operations Centre Solution Helps Southeast Asia Customers Capitalise On Digital Transformation

“Continuous improvement of equipment effectiveness and operational efficiency is a competitive requirement today,” said Sluis.

“This is where manufacturers can take advantage of new technologies and look to the digital transformation of operational processes for lower cost of operations, optimised productivity and capacity,” added Sluis.

Ultimately, Sluis said, manufacturers will need to leverage digital technologies to be more innovative, fast, scalable, and agile.


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When it comes to implementation, manufacturers will first need to assess where they currently are in their digital maturity journey, said Sluis. There are three broad phases:

  1. Fundamental Phase – manufactures are digitising operational excellence practices on the plant floor.
  2. Site Phase – manufacturers are addressing specific operational issues at-site and applying model-driven MES based on industry best practices
  3. Enterprise Phase – manufacturers are driving reduced cost and revenue growth through operational best practices, agility and standard scorecards, and applying multi-site model-driven MES based on a line of business templates

“The digital transformation process is a continuous improvement project across the entire value chain,” said Sluis.

Driving Value

According to McKinsey & Company, 96 per cent of leaders believed Industry 4.0 will bring new business models to their industries and, slightly less than 90 per cent, said the improved performance will be one of the main benefits from these new technologies.

“For manufacturing-based countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, manufacturers are generally optimistic about the prospects of Industry 4.0,” said Sluis, and they should be.

READ: Three Key Ingredients For The Successful Digital Transformation Of Manufacturing

For one, there are return-on-investment (ROI) opportunities for manufacturers at every digital maturity level, stated Sluis, including increased worker productivity and improved equipment reliability and utilisation.

“There are many other instances of how digital transformation drives plant optimisation,” said Sluis, however, “approaches vary according to where manufacturers stand in the digital maturity model, but operational processes that are supported by data-driven decisions are an imperative for manufacturers to achieve higher levels of productivity and capacity.”

For food and beverage and consumer packaged goods manufacturing plants to be efficient, information such as production operations, quality, asset health and inventory status are essential for monitoring, analysing and continuous improvements.

“Data collection in a timely and effective manner is the first critical step to ensuring this information is accurate, meaningful and in time to support data-driven business decisions,” said Sluis.

The technologies behind Industry 4.0 will impact positively all aspects of the manufacturing process, Industry 4.0 will offer manufacturers the capability to improve their productivity and achieve their business goals.


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