Trends Defining Intelligent Manufacturing in 2019

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As we’re adapting to the manufacturing landscapes given to us by the era of Industry 4.0, technologies are becoming intelligent and connected, while enabling more productive scenarios.

AI, Machine Learning, IIoT, insightful data and a rage of useful integration features are making a strong push and influencing the way we think and strategize, reshaping manufacturing processes on many levels.

Entire business models and workforces will be reshaped by technological advances, which is why it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a look at the most important upcoming trends in the manufacturing industry.

Welcome to “Tech Intensity”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently announced a big surge forward in terms of connected solutions and their influence on our lives. “Tech intensity” were the exact words he used to explain how IT systems would merge with operational technologies in order to create smarter solutions barely noticeable to the human eye.

Manufacturing challenges such as collecting and processing data, remote monitoring, real-time problem solving, and automated operations will all be orchestrated through IT-powered initiatives.

Nadella describes tech intensity as a fusion of cultural mindset and business processes that rewards the development and propagation of digital capabilities that create end-to-end digital feedback loops, tear down data silos and unleash information flows to trigger insights and predictions, automated workflows and intelligent services. This represents a new era in the world of manufacturing.

Servitization as a business model is growing

In order to cater to the ever-changing needs of customers, provide flexibility and remain agile on the market, manufacturers have had to evolve.

Servitization pushes organizations to adapt their business models to offer customers services in addition to the physical product in order to expand their offer and the value they are able to deliver.

In an effort to stay on top of unstable markets and on-demand requests from customers, manufacturers will seek higher levels of control over their value chains and assets, which probably means reorganizing their entire strategies into somewhat leaner operations.

The next step in intelligent manufacturing

New technologies are truly revolutionizing manufacturing, improving safety, efficiency and delegating tedious and time-consuming processes to autonomous, smart systems.

With the help of advances such as Digital twins, manufacturers will be able to test products, environments and entire structures in a very time- and cost-efficient way.

Hybrid manufacturing models, mixed reality applications, smart manufacturing plants, real-time insights about production and efficiency will all play an important part in the manufacturing world of 2019.

An evolving industry requires an evolving workforce

Is it the IT workers’ responsibility to independently hone their skills and meticulously study the newest technological advances? Or should organizations strategically be looking to improve employees’ skills in order to overcome a growing skills gap in the manufacturing industry?

Whatever the answer is (and it might just be both), manufacturers will have to seek out a better solution to filling critical roles on their team.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be around 1.3 million occupational openings for IT professionals by 2026. Right now, the number of computer science graduates being produced in the USA every year is around 60,000 – nowhere near that number.

The skills gap isn’t there simply because we’re not educating enough IT professionals. The fact of the matter is, technology is moving at a blindingly quick pace and there’s simply not enough time to keep up with everything that’s been going on since the arrival of Industry 4.0.

Conclusion

Although it may not seem like it yet, manufacturing is going to experience truly tectonic shifts in the upcoming year. Production strategies, supply chain and workforce management, and business models are experiencing disruptions the likes of which we have never seen before.

In order to cope with the unpredictable trends in technology and stay ahead of the curve in terms of intelligent manufacturing, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a versatile, but highly unified set of solutions meant to ease the transition of everyone looking to future-proof their business endeavors.

Building on the incredible advances brought to us by AI, Machine Learning and IoT, D365 is the next generation of ERP systems and a perfect companion to conquer markets with in 2019. Read more about how you can implement it with the support of Merit Solutions by clicking here.

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