- 99% of mid-market manufacturing executives are familiar with Industry 4.0, yet only 5% are currently implementing or have implemented an Industry 4.0 strategy.
- Investing in upgrading existing machinery, replacing fully depreciated machines with next-generation smart, connected production equipment, and adopting real-time monitoring including Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are manufacturers’ top three priorities based on interviews with them.
- Mid-market manufacturers getting the most value out of Industry 4.0 excel at orchestrating a variety of technologies to find new ways to excel at product quality, improve shop floor productivity, meet delivery dates, and control costs.
- Real-time monitoring is gaining momentum to improve order cycle times, troubleshoot quality problems, improve schedule accuracy, and support track-and-trace.
These and many other fascinating insights are from Industry 4.0: Defining How Mid-Market Manufacturers Derive and Deliver Value. BDO is a leading provider of assurance, tax, and financial advisory services and is providing the report available for download here (PDF, 36 pp., no opt-in). The survey was conducted by Market Measurement, Inc., an independent market research consulting firm. The survey included 230 executives at U.S. manufacturing companies with annual revenues between $200M and $3B and was conducted in November and December of 2018. Please see page 2 of the study for additional details regarding the methodology. One of the most valuable findings of the study is that mid-market manufacturers need more evidence of Industry 4.0, delivering improved supply chain performance, quality, and shop floor productivity.
Insights from the Shop Floor: Machine Upgrades, Smart Machines, Real-Time Monitoring & MES Lead Investment Plans
In the many conversations I’ve had with mid-tier manufacturers located in North America this year, I’ve learned the following:
- Their top investment priorities are upgrading existing machinery, replacing fully depreciated machines with next-generation smart, connected production equipment, and adopting real-time monitoring including Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).
- Manufacturers growing 10% or more this year over 2018 excel at integrating technologies that improve scheduling to enable more short-notice production runs, reduce order cycle times, and improve supplier quality.
Key Takeaways from BDO’s Industry 4.0 Study
- Manufacturers are most motivated to evaluate Industry 4.0 technologies based on the potential for growth and business model diversification they offer. Building a business case for any new system or technology that delivers revenue, even during a pilot, is getting the highest priority by manufacturers today. Based on my interviews with manufacturers, I found they were 1.7 times more likely to invest in machine upgrades and smart machines versus spending more on marketing. Manufacturers are very interested in any new technology that enables them to accept short-notice production runs from customers, excel at higher quality standards, improve time-to-market, all the while having better cost visibility and control. All those factors are inherent in the top three goals of business model diversification, improved operational efficiencies, and increased market penetration.
- For Industry 4.0 technologies to gain more adoption, more use cases are needed to explain how traditional product sales, aftermarket sales, and product-as-a-service benefit from these new technologies. Manufacturers know the ROI of investing in a machinery upgrade, buying a smart, connected machine, or integrating real-time monitoring across their shop floors. What they’re struggling with is how Industry 4.0 makes traditional product sales improve. 84% of upper mid-market manufacturers are generating revenue using Information-as-a-Service today compared to 67% of middle market manufacturers overall.
- Manufacturers who get the most value out of their Industry 4.0 investments begin with a customer-centric blueprint first, integrating diverse technologies to deliver excellent customer experiences. Manufacturers growing 10% a year or more are relying on roadmaps to guide their technology buying decisions. These roadmaps are focused on how to reduce scrap, improve order cycle times, streamline supplier integration while improving inbound quality levels, and provide real-time order updates to customers. BDOs’ survey results reflect what I’m hearing from manufacturers. They’re more focused than ever before on having an integrated engagement strategy combined with greater flexibility in responding to unique and often urgent production runs.
- Industry 4.0’s potential to improve supply chains needs greater focus if mid-tier manufacturers are going to adopt the framework fully. Manufacturing executives most often equate Industry 4.0 with shop floor productivity improvements while the greatest gains are waiting in their supply chains. The BDO study found that manufacturers are divided on the metrics they rely on to evaluate their supply chains. Upper middle market manufacturers are aiming to speed up customer order cycle times and are less focused on getting their total delivered costs down. Lower mid-market manufacturers say reducing inventory turnover is their biggest priority. Overall, strengthening customer service increases in importance with the size of the organization.
- By enabling integration between engineering, supply chain management, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and CRM systems, more manufacturers are achieving product configuration strategies at scale. A key growth strategy for many manufacturers is to scale beyond the limitations of their longstanding Make-to-Stock production strategies. By integrating engineering, supply chains, MES, and CRM, manufacturers can offer more flexibility to their customers while expanding their product strategies to include Configure-to-Order, Make-to-Order, and for highly customized products, Engineer-to-Order. The more Industry 4.0 can be shown to enable design-to-manufacturing at scale, the more it will resonate with senior executives in mid-tier manufacturing.
- Manufacturers are more likely than ever before to accept cloud-based platforms and systems that help them achieve their business strategies faster and more completely, with analytics being in the early stages of adoption. Manufacturing CEOs and their teams are most concerned about how quickly new applications and platforms can position their businesses for more growth. Whether a given application or platform is cloud-based often becomes secondary to the speed and time-to-market constraints every manufacturing business faces. The fastest-growing mid-tier manufacturers are putting greater effort and intensity into mastering analytics across every area of their business too. BDO found that Artificial Intelligence (AI) leads all other technologies in planned use.
- There have been over 154,000 AI patents filed worldwide since 2010 with the majority being in health fields (29.5%), Industry-specific solutions (25.3%) and AI-based digital security (15.7%).
- The second- and third-fastest growing global AI patent categories between 2010 and 2018 are AI-based digital security (23.4% CAGR) and AI-based mobility (23% CAGR).
- 79,936 patents were filed in the United States between 2010 and 2018, with the majority being in the health field (32.6%) followed by Industry-specific solutions (20.5%) and AI-based digital security (18%).
- Machine learning dominates the AI patent landscape today, leading all categories of AI patents including deep learning and neural networks.
These and many other insights are from an excellent presentation recently given by Kai Gramke, Managing Director of EconSight titled Artificial Intelligence As A Key Technology and Driver of Technological Progress. EconSight clients include the Swiss Federal Council, German Federal Chancellery, leading European think tanks, research institutes and half of the German DAX-30 companies. The presentation and information shared in this post were generated using the PatentSight analytics platform. PatentSight is a LexisNexis company and you can learn more about them here. The following are the key takeaways from Kai’s recent research and presentation using PatentSight:
- EconSight finds that Microsoft leads the AI patent race going into 2019 with 697 world class patents that the firm classifies as having a significant competitive impact as of November 2018. Out of the top 30 companies and research institutions as defined by EconSight in their recent analysis, Microsoft has created 20% of all patents in the global group of patent-producing companies and institutions. The following graphic provides a comparison of the top 3o in the group. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.
- Machine learning dominates the AI patent landscape today, leading all categories of AI patents including deep learning and neural networks. Machine learning is based on the foundational concepts of Bayesian analysis, data mining, and predictive analytics. Machine learning algorithms and the applications they rely on are designed to find patterns in large-scale data sets, while also being able to solve complex, constraint-based problems by learning from the data. Enterprise software companies including Microsoft, SAP, and others are actively developing AI technologies that integrate into their existing platforms, streamlining adoption across their many customers. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.
- There have been 225,833 AI-based patents filed globally since 2000, with 30.7% being Industry specific (Industry 4.0 on the graphic below) followed by health-related patents (28.1%) 13.8% of all AI-based patents are for digital security and 11.9% for energy. It’s interesting to note that the fastest growing patents between 2000 and 2018 are for applying AI to marketing (22% CAGR) and AI-based digital security (18.8% CAGR). Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.
- 93% of global product leaders say that predictive maintenance combined with real-time equipment monitoring enabled by integration is a must-have for factory planning today.
- 75% of global product leaders plan to implement factory of the future initiatives and programs in the next five years or less, starting with Industry 4.0
- 67% of automotive executives expect that new technologies enabled by real-time integration will enable their teams to reach and exceed lean management and continuous improvement goals starting this year and accelerating through 2030.
Boston Consulting Group’s recent article, The Factory of the Future provides insights into a recent global survey the consulting firm conducted of more than 750 manufacturing product leaders from leading companies in three industrial sectors: automotive (which includes suppliers and original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs), engineered products, and process industries. The survey’s objective is to define the vision for the factory of the future in 2030. Determining long-term benefits and the roadmap to implementation are also goals of the study Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and its research partner, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, achieved. The Factory of the Future is a vision for how manufacturers should enhance production by making improvements in three dimensions: plant structure, plant digitization, and plant processes.
5 Ways Integration Fuels The Factory Of The Future’s Growth
Real-time integration based on intelligent objects that connect diverse enterprise systems including SAP, Salesforce and others is the foundation that manufacturing companies must adopt to excel in their Factory of the Future efforts. These real-time objects illustrate the future of Application Programmer Interfaces (API). APIs that will fuel and drive the Factory of the Future will enrich each real-time integration points across manufacturing networks. Intelligent Objects pervasively used today are the precursors to the most valuable APIs that will enable Factories of the Future tomorrow. With APIs continually improving and gaining the capability to provide insight and intelligence, the essential role of real-time integration in all factories of the future becomes clear.
The following are the five ways integration is enabling the Factory of the Future today:
- Real-time integration enables the value chains supporting the Factories of the Future to continually accelerate, excel and improve with additional insight that drives future growth strategies. Bringing greater intelligence into each integration point across the value chains supporting the Factories of the Future leads to new technologies delivering greater lean management benefits. Real-time integration will deliver strong benefits in the areas of lean management, predictive maintenance, modular line setups, and the orchestration and collaboration of smart robots.
- The Implementation Roadmap for the Factory of the Future shows how critical real-time integration is to the Factory of the Future’s vision being attained. Multidirectional layouts, modular line setups, sustainable production, the orchestration of smart and collaborative robotics and attainment of big data and analytics plans all are dependent on real-time integration. The following graphic from the study illustrates just how central integration is to the optimizing of plant structure and plant digitization.
- By integrating large-scale enterprise systems including those from SAP, Salesforce and others with legacy, 3rd party and homegrown systems, every area of production quality will improve. The most urgent need global manufacturers have is finding new ways to improve product, process and service quality without raising costs. Improving the quality of these three dimensions makes any manufacturer more trusted and successful in selling next-generation products. By aggregating data using real-time integration so that Big Data and advanced analytics can be used to find new patterns, some of the world’s most well-known manufacturers are excelling on product quality. To produce cylinder heads at its plant in Untertürkheim, Germany, Mercedes-Benz uses predictive analytics to examine more than 600 parameters that influence quality. Mercedes-Benz is an early adopter of using Big Data and advanced analytics to improve quality management and bring high precision to engineering. Bosch has implemented software that analyzes data about its production of fuel injectors in real time. The software monitors process adherence and recognizes trends. It automatically transmits information about deviations to operators, allowing them to improve the process accordingly.
- Real-time integration across and within manufacturing systems enables multi-directional layouts of production workflows. The Audi R8 manufacturing facility in Heilbronn, Germany, does not have a fixed conveyor so the teams there has greater multidirectional flexibility in building customized vehicles. Real-time integration across the Audi factory floor is essential to provide R8 production teams with the specifics of how they can best collaborate and deliver the highest quality vehicles in the shortest amount of time. Real-time integration is enabling driverless transport systems, guided by a laser scanner and radio frequency identification technology in the floor, which moves the car bodies through the assembly process. These systems enable assembly layout changes quickly with no impact on existing production. Enabling real-time integration often involves extensive field mapping between different systems, which is a lengthy and error-prone process. Integration technology provider enosiX has developed a unique, real-time integration technology that obsoletes the need for field mapping and supports bi-directional data updates.
- Enabling the Factory of the Future’s production operations to flex in response to rapidly changing customer requirements is entirely dependent on real-time, reliable integration of production and customer-facing systems. The implications of the study on the future of manufacturing underscore just how critical it is for manufacturers to be agile enough to create entirely new business models while gaining insight and intelligence into how they can continually improve lean manufacturing. When real-time integration unifies a value chain for any manufacturer, their speed, scale and ability to simplify the complex processes required to serve customers turns into a formidable competitive advantage.
- 35% of companies adopting Industry 4.0 predict revenue gains over 20% in the next five years.
- Data analytics and digital trust are the foundations of Industry 4.0.
- Cost-sensitive industries including semiconductors, electronics, and oil and gas are the most focused on adopting Industry 4.0, with 80% of companies in these industries saying it is one of their top priorities.
The recent article by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Sprinting To Value In Industry 4.0, provides insights into how real-time integration between enterprise systems is an essential catalyst for Industry 4.0 growth. Industry 4.0 focuses on the end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and integration into digital ecosystems with value chain partners encompassing a broad spectrum of technologies. BCG surveyed 380 US-based manufacturing executives and managers at companies representing a wide range of sizes in various industries to complete the study.
Industry 4.0 Is At An Inflection Point Today
Having attained initial results from Industry 4.0 initiatives, many manufacturers are moving forward with the advanced analytics and Big Data-related projects that are based on real-time integration between CRM, ERP, 3rd party and legacy systems. A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) study of Industry 4.0 adoption, Industry 4.0: Building The Digital Enterprise (PDF, no opt-in, 36 pp.) found that 72% of manufacturing enterprises predict their use of data analytics will substantially improve customer relationships and customer intelligence along the product life cycle. Real-time integration enables manufacturers to more effectively serve their customers, communicate with suppliers, and manage distribution channels. Of the many innovative start-ups taking on the complex challenges of integrating cloud and on-premise systems to streamline revenue-generating business processes, enosiX shows potential to bridge legacy ERP and cloud-based CRM systems quickly and deliver results.
There are many more potential benefits to adopting Industry 4.0 for those enterprises who choose to create and continually strengthen real-time integration links across the global operations. Recent research completed by Boston Consulting Group and PwC highlight several of them below:
- Manufacturers expect to gain the greatest value from Industry 4.0 by reducing manufacturing costs (47%), improving product quality (43%) and attaining operations agility (42%). 89% of all manufacturers see an opportunity to use Industry 4.0 to improve manufacturing productivity. Reducing supply chain costs (37%), enabling product innovation (33%) and attaining faster time-to-market (31%) are the next level of benefits manufacturers expect to attain. The following graphic provides an analysis of where manufacturers see Industry 4.0 having the greatest impact on their organizations.
- Manufacturers are gaining the greatest value from Industry 4.0 by creating pilot projects that create flexible, agile real-time platforms supporting new business models with real-time integration. Industry 4.0’s focus on enabling end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and integration into digital ecosystems relies on real-time integration to succeed. For manufacturers in cost-sensitive industries, the urgency of translating the vision of digital transformation into results is key to their future growth. The more competitively intense an industry, the more essential real-time integration
- Investing in greater digitization and support for enterprise-wide integration is predicted to increase 118% by 2020 in support of Industry 4.0. 33% of manufacturers surveyed report they have a high level of digitization today, projected to increase to 72% by 2020. The leading areas of these investments include vertical value chain integration (72%), product development and engineering (71%), and customer access including sales channels and marketing (68%).
- New product development and optimizing existing products and services are the greatest areas of growth potential for analytics and Big Data using Industry 4.0 technologies and integration strategies through 2020. Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the use of analytics and manufacturing intelligence, setting the foundation for greater optimization of overall business and control, better manufacturing, and operations planning, greater optimization of logistics and more efficient maintenance of production assets and machinery. By better orchestrating these strategic areas, manufacturers are going to be able to attain levels of accuracy and responsiveness to customers not achievable before.
- Globally, manufacturing enterprises expect to gain an additional 2.9% in digital revenues per year through 2020, with digitizing their existing product portfolios (47%) leading all other strategies, further underscoring the need for real-time integration. Introducing an entirely new digital product portfolio is the second most common strategy (44%) followed by creating and offering new digital services to external customers (42%). Just over a third (38%) plan to create and sell big data analytics services to external customers.