The manufacturing industry has faced many challenges in the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic sparked supply chain disruptions, staff shortages and the need to optimize more effectively in the global marketplace; and that’s just to name a few. Digital leaders are looking to remote access to decrease downtime, save on prescriptive maintenance efforts, and even save on staff and travel costs.
The manufacturing sector is facing a considerable number of challenges following recent shifts in the market, particularly in response to the pandemic.
Prices soar as raw material and energy costs increase and inflation rises, causing problems for cashflows and putting strain on costs.
Growing risks of cyberthreats
The risk of cyberattacks continues to grow as manufacturing becomes the world’s most attacked sector.
Supply and demand problems
The increasing supply and demand imbalance is causing disruption on a global scale, such as the global chip shortage.
The need for skilled technicians is higher than ever and the supply is not meeting this. Specialized technicians and skilled workers are in shortage, slowing processes even further.
It’s during these times of uncertainty that innovation goes into overdrive and organizations find new ways to solve these challenges. Here are some technology trends that we expect to see shape the future of manufacturing.
The shift towards digital is about removing the resilience on physical presence. Being able to virtually monitor and access manufacturing assets is one of the main drivers of investment in industrial digitalization – and with good reason.
The network infrastructure of manufacturers is a prime target for attacks, and steps must be taken to mitigate these risks. Even a small complication or setback can create colossal issues in production. Organizations like the U.S Department of Homeland Security, CISA and NIS2 have all created new guidelines for the strength of the network and what to watch out for.
Servitization is a core opportunity for the manufacturing sector. The new business model sells ‘outcome as a service’ (think Netflix & Spotify) and is poised to open new revenue streams with a customer-centric outcome.
“More than 64% of manufacturers are still in the early phases of digitalization.”
- Source: PwC study: Digital Factory Transformation Survey 2022
Let us focus on the first trend, digitalization. The digital transformation of large-scale manufacturers is happening – and it is one of the most profound changes to the industry in decades.
Across sectors, geographies, and size of operations, the focus for manufacturers is the combination of IIoT, Data Analytics and Cloud platforms. Right now, the global manufacturing industry is amid a digitalization wave in the pursuit of flexibility and resilience.
When it comes to downtime, every minute can potentially cost thousands of dollars. Yet, manufacturers are often at the mercy of external technicians due to increasing line-complexity, costing valuable time in travel and coordination.
Manufacturers are mitigating this by using digital solutions like remote access management to remotely monitor and identify irregularities, enabling them to delegate and manage access to production assets. By investing in remote access management, manufacturers are seeing a decrease in downtime, savings on prescriptive maintenance efforts as well as staff and travel-cost, and much higher returns on their investments than their counterparts.
The challenges of the last few years are opening up new opportunities for businesses everywhere to optimize their production, change their business models and increase cybersecurity. Digitalization and remote access management is the key to leveraging the full scope of benefits of this new business landscape.