Decreasing technology costs, the rise of big data and a digitally mature workforce are three key factors that are converging to help us realize significant changes and improvements. We have been looking at every area where digital technology could help us be more efficient. Everything from simulation tools in R&D to increase innovation agility, capturing quality data from every machine and process to improve quality, to collaborative platforms for enhancing real-time customer liaison or increasing the knowledge sharing and creativity of internal teams.
Reflecting the speed of change, we’ve focused on four priority areas and set out to explore the business cases that could really benefit priority areas such as product development, manufacturing, and the way we manage customer programs, human resources and communications. Some 40 proof of concepts have been evaluated, ranging from reducing scrap in injection molding to 3D prototyping. Now we’re deploying many of these key technologies throughout the world with a target of fully transforming 20 plants in 2016.
Zoom on manufacturing 4.0 in action
- Predictive maintenance – capturing and analyzing data to predict and prevent equipment failures, correct inefficiencies and increase productivity
- Quality flow control and tracking – automated tracking of components via RFID tags to simplify logistics and enable real-time management of inventory flows and quality
- Smart automation and collaborative robots – the use of robots for non-ergonomic, complicated or repetitive tasks to optimize automation of manufacturing
- Visual management – real-time on-screen monitoring of production replaces manual intervention, freeing employees for higher value added and more rewarding work.