2022 was both positive and unfavorable for the manufacturing industry. The pandemic-induced disruptions continued to affect the existing supply chains. The challenges were compounded by economic instability and a tight labor market. However, despite all the odds, the manufacturing industry continued to evolve in the “new normal,” and rightly so.
The industry witnessed an accelerated pace of advanced technology adoption. In 2023, this journey toward digital transformation will be even more profound, making the “factory of the future” a reality.
What Does Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Entail?
Digital transformation in manufacturing starts when the organization implements digital technologies to improve manufacturing processes. This can be a one-stop digital solution or a piece-by-piece implementation of different software applications. When advanced technologies are infused into all the steps of manufacturing operations, they can drive fast time to market, efficient quality control, predictive maintenance, and cost reduction.
Moreover, the successful adoption of digital transformation initiatives helps:
- Achieve greater employee productivity
- Improve cross-organizational collaboration
- Improve asset uptime
- Increase process efficiency
- Drive better agility
- Increase profit margins
According to IDC’s predictions, the global digital transformation spending among manufacturing industries will be more than $816 billion by 2025. Clearly, an effective digital transformation strategy is important to survive and thrive in the manufacturing industry.
As it stands, the industry 4.0 revolution is opening avenues for manufacturers to accommodate better business connectivity and intelligent automation. Clearly, now is the time to look forward to the technology trends we can expect in 2023.
Digital Transformation Trends in Manufacturing to Watch in 2023
As mentioned above, digitization of the manufacturing industry primarily refers to adopting advanced technologies to streamline various aspects of manufacturing processes, from ideation to delivery. As we kick off 2023, it is time to leverage the best-in-class technologies and build the factory of the future.
Industrial IoT Sensors
By 2023, over 43 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Some of the common uses of IoT sensors include monitoring plants and equipment, tracking equipment maintenance, managing inventory, and measuring environmental temperatures such as humidity. As such, these IoT-enabled devices can be utilized in manufacturing plants, fields, or any other locations where data about equipment performance is to be collected and analyzed.
Considering the massive amount of manufacturing data generated across every touchpoint, it’s essential that businesses employ advanced analytics to measure existing performance and make informed decisions related to supply chain management, product development, and other important business aspects.
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
For the past few years, AI and automation have significantly contributed to transforming manufacturing operations into smarter, safer, and better processes. This trend is going to continue in 2023 as manufacturers look to automate tedious manual processes, improve quality control, and reduce wastage.
Cloud-based Manufacturing ERP software
Cloud-based enterprise resource planning software helps manufacturers store data in the cloud and access it from anywhere at any time. It also allows employees to collaborate on projects, access documents remotely, manage inventory efficiently, improve customer relationships, and streamline production and planning. In a nutshell, cloud ERP helps manufacturing companies earn more sales with fewer operational hassles.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
The usage of AR and VR in manufacturing industries will reach a value of $2.8 billion by 2023. AR and VR supplement and enrich the job of factory workers. For example, they help provide remote assistance for basic troubleshooting and repairs. They also help explore advanced touchless options to display instructions for assembling an item, create a simulation of the production line in a virtual space, visualize the finished product before beginning production, and much more.
Predictive maintenance helps manufacturers monitor the machinery and equipment for wear and tear. It also helps predict the part replacement and machine fixing needs before it breaks down. This proactive approach helps in reducing the machine’s idle time and enhances operational efficiency. Besides, predictive maintenance monitors the equipment’s health constantly and helps make necessary adjustments beforehand to save unnecessary costs on repair and maintenance.
This term is used to describe the usage of automation and digital technologies to gather data about system operations and communicate with other systems. It can be applied to various aspects of manufacturing, including production, supply chain management, and quality control. The primary goal of smart manufacturing initiatives is to leverage new technologies to make manufacturing processes more productive and efficient.
The Road Ahead
The digital acceleration attained in 2022 is expected to continue in 2023 and beyond. The potential for technology-led solutions to transform manufacturing operations is significant, as they can facilitate the smooth functioning of entire facility operations. Achieving the ultimate goal of the future factory is not a walk in the park, but it certainly is manageable with the aforementioned technology trends.
To achieve success in the year ahead, manufacturing companies should increase the utilization of digital technologies to enhance productivity, supply chain visibility, and connectivity with partners, suppliers, and consumers. At the same time, manufacturers should also work towards making smart factory initiatives successful to achieve high-end manufacturing efficiency.
Want to excel in 2023? Contact us to learn how your company can leverage cutting-edge technology to boost operational efficiency across all aspects of your operation.