The factories of the future - necessary epic transformation
Digitisation and its influence on Factories of Future is on top of the list amongst all conferences around IoT, IIoT, Industry 4.0 and the likes. We had a session in one such conference yesterday attended by over 200 senior members of a variety of factories. There seems to be a level of anxiety, uncertainty and a sense of loss in many minds regarding the success of digital journeys, initiatives and possible transformations due to new technologies. Questions like - will it ever work? Is it for us? Is it worth the effort v/s the benefit? How many job losses will this result in? and so on...
But, if we look at the market situation, consumption of every product and "things" is continuously growing. Number of people joining factories is reducing. Number of people continuing in factories is reducing. Number of people being proud of working in a factory is reducing. Number of people venturing out to manufacturing is also reducing. If this trend continues, who will make the products required in the market? Where will the products be made? How will the products be made, shipped, deployed and serviced?
People in the business of making, have to start looking at this issue more than just increasing individual operator productivity, quality, cost and other operational parameters. It is important to focus on being relevant in the changing dynamics of society. Making sure that factories of the future hold the same aspirational value for people building, working and making them successful like previous generations. Digital can be a great lever to bring this transformation. Making factories of the future cool, dynamic and the best places to work for is as important like other attributes. Adopting latest technologies like AR/VR, Computer Vision, 3D printing, Robotics, AI based systems, self-aware machines, autonomous systems and tools become a natural choice in design/ re-design of factories.
Factories adopting to become future relevant through Industry 4.0 Technologies and systems are talking about growth, employee empowerment and leadership positions like the one you see in this video. This is the time to embrace the change and benefit.
Every time we work with leaders looking to transform their organisation, we see how people and purpose become core catalysts to make the change happen and stick well. All factory of future projects reinforce this aspect right through the process.