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What the digital factory of the future will look like

What the digital factory of the future will look like

Digital Factory

The world of making is changing, and businesses are digitally transforming from mass production to mass customisation as consumers demand individualised, emotional experiences. New technologies, such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are starting to significantly impact how products or experiences are designed and manufactured. Meanwhile, social apps, Big Data, and the Cloud are creating opportunities to interact with and understand the consumer in totally new ways. So how do we bring these new data streams and technologies together to produce meaningful business insights?

The key to leveraging the power of these new technologies and the data they generate is finding a way to connect individuals, machines, and processes across the entire manufacturing supply chain, which can now reach from raw materials to consumer interaction. This broader expanse requires shifting away from a linear supply chain to a dynamic network, which enables synchronisation and integration of all manufacturing operations and supply chain activities. Achieving this requires digitalisation of information and a platform that enables this level of collaboration.

Software solutions implemented within the last decade simply are not up to the task of handling this level of integration, nor the plethora of data now being created. Rather than investing in the new, many companies try overhauling the old by stringing together point solutions, hoping they gain some efficiencies. With today’s pace of technological change, incremental improvements to business processes are not enough to achieve the speed and responsiveness needed. It requires an entirely new way of doing business.