Digital Transformation in the Industry Sector

Published : 05/16/2018 17:38:46
Categories : Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation in the Industry Sector

Joan Guasch, Public Programmes Director at Eurecat, explains in his presentation as part of the Dawn of a New Industrial Era - Mobile World Congress programme, in collaboration with ACCIO, how digital transformation has impacted this sector. 



The Challenge to the Manufacturing Sector 


Five years ago, Eurecat conducted a SWOT analysis to understand the main strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats to the industrial sector. Based on SWOT, some key ideas have been extracted that explain the digital transformation this sector has undergone:


  •       Strengths: Europe, thanks to its long industrial tradition, is a global leader. 
  •       Weaknesses: labour costs or energy dependence. 
  •       Opportunities: a new demanding middle-class and new markets. 
  •       Threats: the price of energy and raw materials.


Digital Transformation in the Manufacturing Industry


The elements defined in SWOT explain the digital transformation that the sector has undergone in the last 5 years.  

  •       The middle-class is increasingly looking for personalised, almost unique products.
  •       Due to the price of labour, attempts are being made to automate production lines
  •       As the cost of the raw materials is high, processes are optimised so as not to waste material. 
  •       Renewable energies are being sought to compensate for the high price of energy. 


Joan Guasch prefers to talk about industry evolution rather than revolution. He emphasises that we need to look not only at the changes, but also at the speed at which they occur. The so-called Industry 4.0 integrates digitisation in all processes and at all levels of the production process. 


Technologies and Their Application on the Factory Floor

Enabling technologies are at hand that help us take this step to Industry 4.0. Joan Guash talks about: 


  •       Robotics and automation: to increase efficiency. 
  •       New materials: enabling the creation of new products and new applications.
  •       Additive manufacturing: to respond to customisation. 
  •       Interoperability between systems: to facilitate the transmission of information. 
  •       Virtual and augmented reality: to facilitate management, decision-making and learning.
  •       Big data: to learn through the analysis of large volumes of information. 
  •       Internet of Things: provides information of interest in real time.
  •       IT security: as a central element in the design of the industry's ICT infrastructure.
  •       Web 2.0 and social networks: to create a new relationship with the customer. 


Technologies and Their Application on the Factory Floor

How can we apply these enabling technologies in our business?


  •       Comprehensive supply chain planning: to ensure quality throughout the process. 
  •       Intelligent diagnosis and prescriptive maintenance: real-time monitoring and maintenance recommendations. 
  •       Smart machines: machines that self-adjust according to the task assigned. 
  •       Autonomous systems: production resources that depend on the workload. 
  •       Intelligent quality control systems: with predictive models in real-time.
  •       Training operators in augmented reality, mobiles and wearables: to facilitate work and have better control. 
  •       Total product traceability: this ensures product quality. 
  •       Intelligent route management: dynamic management for cost savings. 
  •       New business models: the result of digitisation.
  •       eCommerce: integrated with real stock, identification of prescribers, communication 2.0. 


Impact of the Transformation

 What impact has it had on industry? These are some of the changes Joan Guasch highlights:



  •       Increased production and quality. 
  •       Process performance: to extend the lifetime of machines. 
  •       Cost reduction: thanks to the intelligent management of resources and improved maintenance. 
  •       Effect of robotisation and automation: which helps to improve the added value of people. 
  •       Influence of customer and end user on manufacturing: thanks to new technologies. 
  •       Technological requirements: such as a good network system connecting machines. 
  •       Frequent and radical changes in human resource needs: new roles and new skills. 


But above all, the digital transformation has brought about a change of mentality at a social level. Factories that were previously less open to the public will become connected and open to consumers in order to show them what they do and respond to their needs. 


Do you want to know more about Industry 4.0? Don't miss our programmes focused on the manufacturing sector.