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The Digital Revolution Presents Major Opportunities (And Challenges) for Manufacturing Firms – And Although 85% of Businesses See the Potential of Industry 4.0, Only 15% Have Strategies in Place to Get There. Let’s Take a Look at the Top Technology Concerns Manufacturing Firms Face And How to Resolve Them.
We’re in the midst of a serious digital revolution that’s changing the way we produce products and goods. Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth revolution in manufacturing – the revolution that takes computers and automation and combines them with data and machine learning – making factories more efficient, less wasteful, and overall, more productive than ever before. Manufacturing firms are poised for significant growth over the next few years. After all, 18% of the world’s goods are still produced in the US now. This statistic shows manufacturing is still alive and booming, but for how long? Do manufacturing firms need to embrace industry 4.0 to maintain their competitive edge?
The simplest answer: Absolutely. Although 85% of businesses see the potential of industry 4.0, only 15% have strategies in place to get there. So what technology concerns should manufacturing firms resolve before leveraging digital innovation to keep up with the pace of technology? Here are the top technology concerns manufacturing firms face and how to resolve them.
The potential for downtime
Research shows that the average manufacturing firm deals with 800 hours of downtime each and every year. The financial impact of downtime is huge for any business, especially those in the manufacturing realm as they struggle with lost production time, wasted payroll dollars, depleted inventory, and more. In some cases, downtime can result in the manufacturing firm needing to layoff staff, liquidate, and a range of other costly consequences.
How do you resolve this? The most important step is ensuring you have a technology partner that is proactively monitoring, maintaining, and supporting your environment. They should ensure your hardware and software are up-to-date to minimize the risk of failure and/or performance issues.
The risk of cyberattacks
Manufacturing companies tend to rely on single-source supply locations, and moreover, they hold a ton of intellectual property that’s lucrative for cybercriminals. Verizon’s data breach investigation report found that 86% of attacks in the manufacturing industry were targeted and nearly 47% of them involved stealing intellectual property. Why? Because it’s able to be sold to other firms looking to replicate processes and products.
How do you resolve this? A multi-layered approach to cybersecurity is necessary. This means using firewalls, anti-virus software, encryption, web-content filtering, and a myriad of other solutions that keep all endpoints safe against unauthorized access that could lead to data disclosure or theft.
The reliance on outdated equipment
Unfortunately, many manufacturing firms still rely on outdated equipment, including hardware and software, to get work done. Atomik Research conducted a survey wherein they found at least 52% of manufacturing firm employees felt their outdated equipment lowers their productivity at work at least once per week. When you’re running outdated equipment, you’re unable to maintain productivity as systems tend to lag.
How do you resolve this? It’s vital to have a technology roadmap in place wherein you’re aware of what hardware or software is coming up to the end of its life and how you’re planning to migrate or upgrade away from those systems. This ensures you’re able to stay on top of technology advancements without breaking the bank.
The occurrence of software compatibility issues
There’s nothing more frustrating than software compatibility issues leaving you unable to get work done. This often results from the outdated equipment mentioned above, but in some cases, it’s simply a lack of cohesiveness within the environment. A network assessment can determine whether or not your environment needs an upgrade to support your existing and future software.
How do you resolve this? It’s vital to work with a technology partner that knows the manufacturing industry inside and out. This way, they’re able to ensure all of your equipment supports the use of various systems, including barcoding systems, CAD/CAM systems, ERP systems, and more.
Contact Acapella Technologies – The Top Manufacturing IT Support Company in Manchester, New Hampshire.
At the end of the day, a good technology partner will be invaluable in helping you keep up with industry 4.0 without facing a range of technical concerns that could otherwise slow you down. Acapella Technologies knows how the manufacturing world works. We’ve worked with all sorts of systems – from the development process software to product lifecycle management software and everything in between.
Call (603) 647-1784 to talk about alleviating your technology concerns so you’re able to embrace industry 4.0 now.