I remember a few decades ago, we discussed the impact of new ERP and MES systems across our factories, how processes would change, how we could convince our workers that data collection via terminals and scanners would be so much better than through the work-order pouches full of papers (btw – who has still got those circulating in your plants? ;-))
Industry 4.0 initiatives were meant to change a lot, but did they really change that much?
Was it the pandemic that made us (in and around manufacturing) rethink how we best apply technology, not to necessarily get faster, but more efficient, more flexible, more resilient?
Or has it been those never-ending IoT and digital twin talks and pilots that never really resulted into scalable initiatives with true business value that made us re-assess how we better use available technologies?
If we’re honest with ourselves, in many cases, technology initiatives were technology led to start with, or top down decisions (such as often the case with ERP systems … and disastrous results that nobody wants to talk about).
To better prepare for what’s ahead and some of the unknowns that may hit us here in Europe or elsewhere in the world and impact manufacturing at a wider scale, we need to take a business led approach and leverage technology where it’s best placed to address operational and strategic challenges.
VMware and Intel have partnered to work with manufacturers to do exactly that. Let’s pause, let’s look at operational challenges (lower cost, increase OEE, shorten time to market) and strategic opportunities (new revenue streams through new channels or services or other), and see how our technologies can help drive change and accelerate corporate initiatives.