We’ve written recently about strategies to help our customers take advantage of Industry 4.0 technology in their manufacturing operation. Today, we’re going to explore how recent technological advancements are creating greater urgency for action among manufacturers, and why it’s critical to take a proactive role in your organization’s digital transformation efforts.
The Next Evolution in Industry 4.0
The most rapid and impactful evolution we’re seeing in digital transformation is driven by the convergence of workforce challenges and new technological capabilities. Specifically, we’re seeing emerging use cases for the role generative artificial intelligence (AI) can play in industrial environments. Generative AI has been the fastest technology to gain mass adoption in the history of the world because (1) it works really well and (2) it’s free.
Manufacturers are recognizing that AI is now smart enough to take on most of the repetitive tasks in their operation at a pace and quality that exceeds human labor, freeing up people in the organization to focus on higher value roles. This is creating a massive change in the work people will do, and an even larger need for upskilling efforts to prepare them for it.
It’s also creating an awakening among manufacturers to the concept of transitioning from on-premise customized apps knitted together to create a framework, to adaptive cloud-based low code/no code environments. Aging, incomplete, or nonexistent infrastructure is a routine roadblock we see in manufacturers looking to future-proof their operations. Disparate automation tools with no connectivity to a business network won’t cut it anymore. We routinely talk to customers who are operating on homegrown enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) systems that they’re happy with. The danger is that they’re relying on in-house talent to support it and maintain operability. When those people are gone, the tribal knowledge goes with them. So it’s imperative to find a partner who knows how to help you arrive at your vision for the future, utilizing the latest technology.
Today, generative AI is predominantly built around accessible, public information. When this technology is applied to private data, the power it will unlock for manufacturers to make fast and well-informed decisions will be unprecedented.
Who You Partner with Matters
We’ve reached a point in the Industry 4.0 conversation where manufacturers are no longer doubting the power of digitization to dramatically and positively transform how they do business. It’s not a trend, and everyone sees the capabilities of this technology. The hesitation we see is customers afraid of making big, foundational, and expensive errors that will be difficult to recover from. You’re overwhelmed with options and working silos to address disparate needs with technology. The fear, and it’s justified, is that if those silos can’t be connected you’ll be no better off than you were before.
Digital transformation for your operation is too big a project to take on all at once. Agilix Solutions works with customers to take a phased approach to digitization with prioritized activities specifically tailored to your needs and desired outcomes. This minimizes the fear of missing on a big swing. We start by working with you to create the network and infrastructure to support a successful deployment. Then, we move on to solving for your highest priority issue. As you spend time with that solution and observe the impact it’s having on your business, we work with you to recognize additional opportunities for improvement and address those next, setting up a continuous cycle for improvement that will enable long-term success.
Another key aspect of digital transformation that Agilix helps customers address is ensuring it’s done in a secure environment. A recent Statista report relayed that in 2022 manufacturing was the #1 target for cyberattacks globally. That’s not a statistic you want to be a part of. Agilix Solutions has a time-tested, proven, and methodical approach that accounts for security and risk factors. Ignoring security as you increase connectivity and digitization puts you at risk for creating more vulnerabilities than you started with.
It’s Time to Make Digital Transformation an Operational Priority
If it feels like we’re approaching this topic with a sense of urgency, it’s with good reason. If you’re operating on legacy infrastructure and networks or first-generation AI technology, you’ve probably been able to make it work up to this point. But the pace of change in manufacturing technology today is now moving so rapidly, it’s quickly growing the divide between manufacturers that are thriving and those headed for obsolescence.
Today’s business challenges require technology investments to overcome. It’s our goal to ensure you make the right investments that will serve you long term. Contact your Account Manager or reach out on our website to take advantage of our complimentary Digital Transformation Discovery Workshop. You’ll be connected with our team of in-house experts and our deep bench of manufacturing partners to create a roadmap tailored to your organization’s needs and priorities.