Smart Manufacturing: The Rise of the Machines

Willem Sundblad is featured in GP Bullhound’s latest research report, Smart Manufacturing: The Rise of the Machines. You can access the full report here. Below is a snippet:

Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of Spotify says, “The value of a company is the sum of the problems you solve.” I think it’s true for all businesses, but especially true for manufacturers. Manufacturing has always been competitive in nature, but due in part to globalization, the competition has intensified tenfold. Improvement methods such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen, that emerged as a result of the competitive landscape, are now considered table stakes for everyone, forcing manufacturers to look to a new frontier to gain the competitive advantage. They’ve found this new frontier in digital manufacturing solutions.

There are two ways that a digital system can deliver value to users. It can help them solve problems faster than previously possible. This has immediate value, given how time consuming the process of solving quality, performance or downtime issues is in manufacturing.

However the second way a digital solution delivers value is more long-term and transformative: it allows users to solve problems they would never be able to solve previously. Take the environmental algorithms we have delivered at Oden Technologies as an example. The factory environment (e.g., temperature, humidity, etc.) plays a sizeable role in material processing. But, in order to understand and adjust process parameters to account for the impact of environmental factors, one has to first analyze an abundance of data. The volume is typically too great for skilled engineers to handle, and since many do not have the experience to train models, the task is nearly impossible.

However, digital solutions like Oden have algorithms to analyze millions of historical data points and make recommendations on the optimal settings that will drastically improve quality and output. These trained models do what even your most skilled engineer cannot. Getting to a Smart Digital Factory is a journey. At Oden, we educate the industry on the four levels to that journey towards data-driven, intelligent manufacturing.