Digital manufacturing

Why digital innovation is essential to future-proofing your business

Image credit: Pop Nukoonrat/Dreamstime

In today’s fast-changing business landscape, organisations that want to maintain their competitiveness can’t afford to neglect emerging technologies like the ability to create virtual ‘digital twins’ of their manufacturing sites.

Incorporating digital technologies, tools and platforms allows digital innovation to flourish. And it is by tapping into innovative technology that businesses can optimise their operations while simultaneously creating new revenue streams and enhancing the customer experience.

The ever-evolving nature of technology in an increasingly connected world requires companies to adapt quickly to stay ahead of the competition and maintain their relevance. Digital innovation enables businesses to adapt to change and disruption, leverage data insights, and improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

In today's fast-paced digital world, businesses must stay relevant by embracing digital innovations such as virtualisation. The integration of AI and robotics in factories is just one example of the need to integrate digitalisation across all industries, particularly manufacturing. Digital innovations have made automation more accessible and cost-effective through low-code and no-code robotics.

The idea of becoming more digitally integrated has led to an increase in companies benefiting from automation, resulting in improved precision, efficiency and productivity. As a result, companies must prepare for an increase in the use of collaborative robots in manufacturing sites, working alongside human workers to enhance productivity.

For example, look at how Amazon is using machine-learning algorithms to analyse customer data, to provide personalised product recommendations and improve customer experience. This illustrates how digital tools and technologies can help businesses streamline their operations, automate routine tasks and improve productivity. The time and resources that are freed up can be invested in other areas of the business.

Perhaps one of the most significant developments in digital innovation is the use of virtual-twin technology. The shift towards virtual factories in the manufacturing industry is a prime example of ground-breaking innovation. No longer do companies have to rely solely on physical manufacturing sites.

With cutting-edge virtual-twin technology, engineers can seamlessly simulate and monitor physical objects or systems in real time to elevate their performance. This technology will ultimately facilitate more efficient and cost-effective testing of products and expedite the design of new factories. Integrating digital innovation into a company's operations has become increasingly crucial in today's fast-paced business landscape. With the help of virtual twins, manufacturing businesses can automate various processes, reduce errors and streamline their workflows, thereby enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.

Manufacturers can use virtual factories to test new ideas and processes without incurring the expenses associated with making physical changes. By experimenting with new machinery, production lines and processes virtually, they can detect and resolve issues before they become costly problems in a real-world factory.

Moreover, virtual factories encourage teamwork and cooperation between departments by creating a virtual environment that minimises the time and resources required for communication and collaboration. This leads to quicker decision making, more effective problem solving and the development of more efficient manufacturing processes.

Integrating virtualisation into their operations is a critical tool for manufacturers seeking to improve their operations and achieve their business objectives. Companies may be considering the likes of automation and machine learning to get ahead of the competition, however, virtualisation also needs to be embedded in everything they do.

Overall, it is absolutely crucial for companies to prioritise digital innovation in order to maintain their competitiveness, improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience. This is the only way for companies to position themselves for success in the ever-evolving business landscape.

John Kitchingman is MD, EuroNorth & SVP global client engagement at Dassault Systèmes.

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