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Industry 4.0 (Smart Industry) is embracing technologies at incredible speeds. The opportunities presented by digitalization, integration and automation give manufacturing companies the ability to collaborate both internally and throughout the value chain in ways that result in improvements – in productivity as well as in design and quality. However, to realize future economic growth, employment and a modern and sustainable industry, your sector will have to continue to lead the way and invest more rapidly in ICT and new production technologies.
The added value of digital transformation for industry
An unpredictable economy, increasing regulatory and tax burdens, and legislative changes that affect labor contracts and permits: various geopolitical developments all have a direct and indirect impact on the growth scenario and competitive position of Dutch manufacturing companies. These are the trends that are currently happening in your sector:
Trend #1: Smart Industry
Data exchange and integration allows production systems to collaborate and respond to real-time changes in your business, customers or supply chains. Self-diagnosing machines tell you when maintenance is needed, thus minimizing repair costs. In fact, research shows that operational costs can be reduced by as much as 40%.
Trend #2: Optimal balance between humans and robots
Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a crucial role in the future of manufacturing. Assisted by AI, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) is developing adaptive support systems that enable flexible production and smart data use. Augmented reality (AR), collaborative robots (co-bots) and Robo-mates (exoskeletons for heavy physical work) are achieving a smart balance and facilitating interaction between humans and robots. Scarce human resources are used as effectively, flexibly and sustainably as possible.3
Your challenges, our solutions
How will the manufacturing industry boost its competitive edge? TNO has already advised manufacturers not to become complacent: before you know it, the gap to catch up with your competition will be unbridgeable.
A streamlined digital transformation is a key ally. We have identified these key challenges within your sector:
Digitalization and cyber risks
More and more processes in industry are going digital. As a result, production has improved in terms of speed, efficiency and volume. But growing digitalization also has its risks. It increases the likelihood of getting hacked: not only within your own organization, but among your partners in the value chain. In addition, digital corporate espionage or potential violations of privacy laws are risks you should be aware of. This requires investment in security and risk management solutions.
Digitalization requires labor market adjustments
Technological trends, including digitalization and AI, but also such developments as the energy transition, the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, require a future-proof and resilient labor market. Technology is often seen as a threat to employment and job quality, but at the same time it also offers opportunities for new, high-quality work. Strengthening the adaptability and absorptive capacity of your company and employees. It should therefore be your main focus in response to technological change.
Your partner in a successful digital transformation
Digital transformation hinges on good preparation. As a manufacturing company, it makes sense to start by developing a sustainable digital strategy and only then contemplate the technology that can contribute to it. We are the partner who can advise you throughout the entire process. We will help you find the right solutions and guide you through every step of your digital transformation. In this process, you can rely on our years of experience and expertise.
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