The manufacturing sector has long been a leader in innovation. The industrial revolution over a century ago centered on the adoption of mechanical advances to produce items at speeds and volumes that would have been previously unimaginable.
Henry Ford’s concept of the assembly line in the 1910’s, Toyota’s Kanban methodology introduced in the 1940’s and Kaizen in the 1980’s, and Motorola’s development of Six Sigma in the 1990’s are additional revolutionary principles established by manufacturing, then adopted by many other industries.
In 2023, manufacturing challenges center upon computer integrated manufacturing and data proliferation.
Earlier this year we conducted the Digibee 2023 State of Enterprise Integration survey, collecting insights from more than one thousand CTOs, CIOs, system architects, and web developers across several key industries such as Manufacturing, Finance, and Retail.
Several overarching themes emerged representing the goals and challenges experienced by all industries, where other areas showed more industry-specific nuances. In this blog post we examine the insights garnered specifically from Manufacturing and the trends the report uncovered.
Integration Objectives in Manufacturing
Not unlike the industrial revolution, modern advances in technology have spurred huge leaps in innovation, forcing manufacturers to adapt or risk losing their competitive advantage. New industry trends include servitization, hyper-automation, and sustainability, with all companies striving to become more data-driven due to rapid adoption of connected devices.
The Digibee State of Enterprise Integration Report findings indicate the adoption of these new trends and related pressures are critical drivers behind enterprise integration within the manufacturing sector:
1. Improve Security, Reliability, and Governance
When survey respondents were asked about goals for integration, Improving Security, Reliability, and Governance ranked 4th across all industries for integration goals, but by contrast it represents the top priority for the manufacturing sector in 2023. The root cause of this concern is the vast array of valuable private data manufacturing systems now handle –everything from the Intellectual Property behind the products being made to the personal information of the employees –requiring many points of access to be secured within Integrated manufacturing solutions.
Businesses are no longer stand-alone operations; they are components of critical infrastructures and supply chains, which significantly increases their exposure to risks.– Forbes Technology Council
While security concerns have drastically changed for manufacturing technology in recent years, the pursuit of higher reliability, efficiency, and predictability within manufacturing goes back as far as the industry itself.
Once an item has been manufactured, there is no “undo” button that restores the valuable raw materials used to make it. For this reason, reliability in manufacturing control systems will always be a top concern compared to industries that do not produce physical products. Integration is a priority for reliability as it supports real-time data visibility and monitoring to ensure consistency and accuracy throughout manufacturing execution systems at all stages.
Improvements in governance are built upon insights gained from the integration of different systems within the manufacturing management system. With well-integrated systems, an overview of the internal workings is monitored in real-time to meet standards, and to reduce anomalies or mistakes that jeopardize quality, security, compliance, and safety.
2. Improve/Enhance Business Analytics and Decision-Making
Better governance results in higher quality data, which in turn supports business analytics and decision-making.
With retailers prioritizing improved time to market in the survey, increased pressure will be placed on some manufacturers to produce new products faster.
Retail Demand Forecasting draws upon business analytics to uncover buying patterns to predict future sales. To keep ahead of the curve, a similar integrated infrastructure must be adopted by manufacturers.
Enhanced business analytics help inform demand, supporting supply chain management and just-in-time inventory practices. These are top of mind concerns, with many manufacturers still recovering from the crippling supply-chain issues experienced during the pandemic.
Enterprise integration supports the unification of data from different applications across the operation, streamlining data access and analytics. Manufacturers are leveraging these valuable stores of data to support and help guide the business.– Digibee
EI Report 2023 – The State of Enterprise Integration for Manufacturing
3. Enable Automation and AI
Just as governance requirements rely on business analytics, decision-making is increasingly reliant on automation and AI within integrated manufacturing systems.
Better manufacturing data integration makes it easier to manage and organize higher volumes of information. Unfortunately these large data stores are a barrier for less technologically-sophisticated businesses that rely on legacy systems and manual workflows that 74% of manufacturers must still rely upon.
AI allows manufacturers to extract significant value from the data generated, recognizing patterns within unstructured data and creating models for future outcomes.
The possibilities go well beyond the obvious use-case of predicting future sales and extracting data from manufacturing software systems; innovative companies have employed tools based solely on visual monitoring, such as ŠKODA’s Magic Eye project, to flag and predict undesirable conditions on their EHB3 conveyor.
AI also enables a host of innovative manufacturing capabilities, including automation.
Meet All of Your Integration Goals with Digibee’s iPaaS
Computer integrated manufacturing provides the solid digital foundation needed to adapt to the industry trends and pressures of the modern world. Streamlining data storage and access with Digibee gets the most out of your manufacturing system, whether the challenges you face are at the executive offices or on the factory floor.
Digibee’s intuitive monitoring systems and platform security features allow you to safely connect and integrate with partner and customer systems, for a real-time operation and increased efficiencies.
Download your complimentary copy of the Digibee 2023 State of Enterprise Integration for Manufacturing sub-report today for a deep dive into all of the data. Understand how your peers are progressing and examine year-over-year trends and observations to inform your integration strategy.