• Technology Innovation

Helping the Manufacturing Industry Modernize and Thrive in a Post COVID World

By James Destro

Recently, analyst firm McKinsey & Co noted that, in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the business recovery from the pandemic, leaders must be resolved and resilient and they must embrace reimagination and reform. In fact, in order to come back stronger, they suggested, organizations should rebuild operations and processes and accelerate the adoption of digital solutions to address manual processes and antiquated systems.

In the manufacturing sector, specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased concerns about worker health and safety on the factory floor. However, it has also exposed an overreliance on manual processes and operations and the lack of visibility leaders have into supply chains, which ultimately impacts organizational agility and production planning, particularly in the face of uncertain demand.

Hitachi has a 100-plus-year history as a manufacturing leader and has built upon the many changes the market has seen in that time. Our long experience tells us economic downturns are cyclical. Manufacturing will recover from this health and economic crisis and the manufacturers that come back strong will be the ones deliberately poised to do so. Those companies are taking this time to aggregate and act on the rich information stored in the operational side of the factories and the IT side of the business. They are marrying that data with the multitudes of sensor information gathered by the Internet of Things.

The future of manufacturing is reliant on the ability of these organizations to modernize, optimize and automate across health, safety and environment (HS&E), asset insights, predictive maintenance and service, as well as operations, supply chain, and production schedules.

With our powerful IT and OT experience, our industry-specific expertise within our new manufacturing practice and across Hitachi, and our and expanded portfolio of digital manufacturing solutions, services and consulting services, Hitachi Vantara can inspire, envision, architect and accelerate digital transformation that solves today’s challenges and prepares manufacturers for the challenges of tomorrow (see press release). Our solution domain capabilities include:

  • Digital and manufacturing consulting, where from the beginning, we analyze customer challenges, construct a hypothesis and verify the results before any solution is suggested.
  • Digital thread to connect the systems from design through production and product in use by customers to continually improve operations. The digital thread connects this entire chain from ERP system, for example, being connected to what is happening on the factory floor.
  • Asset insights to analyze machine operations, looking at reliability, availability and utilization to ensure customers are getting full value from their assets.
  • Predictive quality provides advanced analytics to predict and prevent defects in products while they are work in process, reducing scrap and rework.
  • Supply chain optimization can lower logistics costs to become agile and be ready to react to change, reducing inventory levels through shorter lead times by optimizing and enhancing logistics networks based on an overview of the entire supply chain.
  • Operations optimization and dynamic scheduling analyzes the production line to ensure customer commitments meet scheduling and operations goals, reduce inventory costs and cut production lead times.
  • Health, safety, and environment ensures worker safety by managing the plant environment This includes notification of the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), alerting to hazardous conditions, and managing safety incidents.

Many of our offerings are built upon our powerful and unique Lumada technology. Our customizable Lumada Manufacturing Insights solutions can be tailored to fit any specific manufacturing environment or process, allowing organizations to bust through OT and IT silos, consolidate disparate information, and provide advanced analytics and insights to drive change across engineering, plant and business operations. Or, as manufacturers consider the return to facilities, our Lumada Video Insights technologies can address concerns about worker health and safety as organizations can configure the solution for safety applications, such as elevated body temperature identification and hand washing detection.

As the industry turns its eye toward modernization, optimization and automation, Hitachi Vantara is ready to help. To learn how to modernize and thrive in a post COVID world, visit this webpage.

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