With changing rules, knowledge is key to digitizing factories
Han Tiong Law
APJ Manufacturing Lead
Digitization, Manufacturing, Enterprise Networking, Security
There is no single route to digital success in Manufacturing. That was quite clear to me from listening the many keynotes and panels during Cisco’s first regional Digital Manufacturing Summit in Seoul late May. Everyone had a different approach, strategy or partnership solution. Although the speakers agreed on many things; how they managed data, why they made certain digital decisions and how they chose to optimize operations varied – sometimes slightly but frankly frequently a great deal!
But the speakers had plenty in common. Although Cisco hosted the Summit to drive digitization in Asia Pacific & Japan’s manufacturing industry and encourage peer learning, it is safe to say that Cisco people and partners also gained insights. I’ve summarized them below:
1. The industry needs these kinds of platforms for open collaboration, amplifying innovation and hearing about value chain optimization. I think that is the reason why our Summit drew so many top names in the industry: POSCO, LG, Jabil Circuits, GM Korea and Panasonic all shared details of their digitization journeys and Cisco partners Rockwell Automation, Mazak and Fanuc about how they innovated together with their customers.
2. The rules of the manufacturing industry are changing due to disruption. Knowledge about what it takes to digitize and how to succeed matters most. In my experience, the IT and OT departments must not only align – they should converge – to deliver the most value.
3. Data has the ability to unlock new values in terms of business and operating models. Factory data determines the success of any Industrie 4.0 project. Without data, securely extracted from a myriad of sources, delivered to the right application, at the right time – little optimization can happen. There is a considerable amount of useful data trapped within plant floor equipment, which includes run-time, equipment condition, performance, and quality data. Manufacturers need seamless access to this data to make better business decisions. With the network being the digital factory core, that securely manages data to make I4.0 possible.
4. Security rules. Every speaker and attendee voiced their concerns for both factory and supply chain security, production integrity as well as protecting intellectual property from the factory to the enterprise and beyond. It was a distinct top of mind during the entire summit.
This common ground aside, plenty of manufacturers voiced different opinions about how to go about digitizing - Panasonic being a great example. It is exactly these different viewpoints, and the passionate discussions they roused, that made Cisco’s first Digital Manufacturing Summit a roaring success in my book. This type of sharing and discussions lead to new knowledge creation, which is key to digitizing the factory floor successfully.
I firmly believe that the Summit will contribute to a more advanced Manufacturing sector in Asia Pacific & Japan, strengthening the growing demand for optimizing factory, operations, improved equipment availability, enhanced productivity, better quality, lower costs, and – at the end of the day - greater innovation for customers.
Be sure to download our free resource pack that will help you get started in driving your own excellence in Digital manufacturing today. I look forward to hearing about your success!