The flexible factory of the future
Manufacturers have spent the last decade automating factories to boost efficiency and reduce costs. And while they now produce more products at higher rates, the downside has been less flexibility.
Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is bringing together technology and risk management to introduce flexibility alongside traditional low-cost production. Why is this important? Because finding the balance between speed, efficiency, flexibility, and sustainability is the key to 4IR. Understanding this will help manufacturers to maximise their business potential in rapidly growing emerging markets. But to succeed they’ll need to move from mass production to more adaptable smaller runs, while still providing competitively priced, customised products.
Embracing this revolution requires a new mindset and radically different factories, which would normally demand massive capital investment. But the beauty of innovation and new technologies is that they allow manufacturers to experiment with everything from factory set-ups, to raw material sourcing and new distribution models – without spending a cent.
It’s called Digital Twinning, and it’s a crystal ball that lets manufacturers see into the future, uncover opportunities before anyone else, and boost their competitiveness.