Deloitte, the global audit, consulting and finance company, has issued insights into the importance of the smart factory and the challenges it presents in its article:
Implementing the smart factory New perspectives for driving value
The feature outlines the strategic importance of smart factories. As early adopters claim efficiencies in terms of cost, quality, safety and profitability; other competitors are at risk of being left at a disadvantage. In the USA:
- 86% of manufacturers believe that smart factories will be the main driver of competition by 2025
- 83% believe that smart factories will transform the way products are made
However, relatively few have achieved the smart factory status:
- 65% of manufacturers had no progress on smart factory initiatives
- 30% were implementing smart factory initiatives
- 5% of US manufacturers had 1 or more fully ‘smart factory’
The smart factory concept combines a variety of technologies to create a connected environment with data at its heart.
Perhaps the data suggests that achieving full smart factory status is not necessarily a binary black or white affair, but can be a more a gradual migration, with sections or areas at a time being reviewed rather than the full operation. Yet the data also suggests that the majority of companies have yet to embark on the journey.
Deloitte summarise the key learnings from those companies who have already moved to a smart factory model.
It is clear that the human element is key to an effective smart factory project. Companies that have been through the process recommend involving a range of employees with different backgrounds:
- Human-centred design – understand the issues and key information requirements before designing technology
- Involving staff at all levels from senior to operational
- Cross-functional team – not just engineering and IT, but also data, marketing, finance, HR… a broad input
- Ongoing learning – investing in development of skills and supporting staff through the smart factory transition
More learnings and insights are outlined in the full report at https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/digital-transformation/smart-factory-2-0-technology-initiatives.html
Smart Factory Experts
Mechatronic Robots, Robotics & Automation Solutions
UK-based Mechatronic are thought leaders in world-class automation. With over 3 decades of experience, their team of engineers have been at the forefront of smart factory innovation, creating bespoke automation developments in a range of sectors and industries.
Mechatronic’s high tech systems have enabled clients to achieve smart factory efficiency, improving profitability through lower costs and increased speed and quality. The intelligent systems provide information which gives commercial and operational benefits too.
Established in 1988, Mechatronic Solutions (Mechatronic Production Systems Ltd) offer high tech automation solutions to a wide range of manufacturers. As well as bespoke automation machinery, the company also created the innovative Robopod®, a reconfigurable system with a standardised platform which is endlessly adaptable to the client’s requirements.
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