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The Great Digital Transformation: Manufacturers Use Real-Time Insights to Deliver Revolutionary Results


Manufacturers are already realizing sizeable boosts to performance via the Great Digital Transformation.

By enabling a secure flow of data throughout the enterprise and supply chain, these companies are dramatically improving productivity, quality, compliance — and profitability.

How? By making visible data and insights that were previously hidden in production environments, allowing plant managers to:

  • Share information among production assets — streamlining operations
  • Limit equipment access and operation to trained personnel, and identify potential safety events before they occur — reducing accidents and injuries
  • Digitize mistake-proofing to prevent quality problems before they occur — eliminating defects and the costs associated with them (e.g., warranty issues, recalls)
  • Alert employees and maintenance staff to impending equipment breakdowns — increasing machine uptime and production capacity while reducing asset-operation costs (e.g., energy)
  • Reconfigure plant and process designs — optimizing productivity
  • Coordinate production data with component and material suppliers — improving inventory efficiency and strengthening supply-chain relationships.

Executives who look beyond their plants’ four walls gain even more from digitization, creating a Connected Enterprise.

For example, real-time information from enterprise and manufacturing systems can facilitate demand-based production planning that efficiently adjusts to peaks and troughs in customer demand.

The Connected Enterprise also helps to improve customer service via coordination with customer specifications, order predictability, and responsiveness.

Through digitization, we’ve seen manufacturers reduce lead times and defective products by as much as 50%, achieving unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction.

Last but not least, digitization is changing the B2C and B2B landscapes, creating new opportunities for connected products and service.

For example, B2B equipment makers can now offer “equipment as a service” (EaaS), managing their machines remotely at customer sites to help reduce unplanned downtime. EaaS can also increase innovation, as insight into equipment usage patterns drives customer-focused product development.

In the B2C market, consumer goods manufacturers are sharing real-time information with users, providing automated software upgrades; offering real-time insights on how to better operate products, and sending alerts for repairs or replacements. Digitization gives consumers more value — and increases customer loyalty.

The Great Digital Transformation has already begun. Is your company ready?

Beth Parkinson
 By Beth Parkinson, Market Development Director, Connected Enterprise, Rockwell Automation