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FEATURE INDUSTRY 4.0


TO ADOPT INDUSTRY 4.0, WE MUST LOOK TO THE LIGHTHOUSES


globally as “Lighthouse Facilities”. The network has been selected based on their success in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, and represents a range of industries including automotive, additive manufacturing and consumer goods. For WEF, showcasing the 69 facilities as Lighthouses means they can point the way for the 70% of companies stuck in “pilot purgatory”. Lighthouse facilities are here to dispel the myths that make digitalisation seem hazardous. A McKinsey report suggests that


What makes a Lighthouse factory, and what can manufacturers learn from them? Dieter Heimerdinger Vice President of Supply, Sandvik Coromant at high-tech engineering group Sandvik, explains


L


ighthouses have been the key to maritime navigation for centuries,


emitting light to guide sailors across treacherous seas. Recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Lighthouse facilities can also act as a guiding light for the manufacturing industry, as it navigates the technologies of Industry 4.0. A study by WEF in 2018 found that over 70% of businesses are investing in technologies such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, but are not able to take these projects beyond the pilot phase. But, it seems that tides have changed. In May 2020, a Fortune survey found that 77% of chief executive officers believe the Covid-19 crisis will force their companies to speed up their digital transformations. However, how can they get it right?


HURDLES Before 2020, the manufacturing industry was slow to adopt digital technologies. It’s been typical for manufacturers across many sectors to rely on legacy systems to collect and analyse data, preventing them from realising the main benefits


18 MAY 2021 | IRISH MANUFACTURING


of digitalisation: data-driven insights to run equipment more efficiently, to react automatically and to boost operational speed. Countries like Ireland, which employs over 227,000 people in manufacturing, are already preparing for the transformation. Ireland’s Industry 4.0 strategy sets out a vision to position the country at the forefront of digitalisation between 2020 to 2025, helping it to sustain its established manufacturing base. The investment in reskilling, training and hiring new specialists can leave many manufacturers questioning whether digital transformation is really worth it. But, it is! Having 70% of manufacturers struggling to get new projects off the ground teaches us that – while many want to implement digital technologies – it’s difficult to find ways to prove their continuous benefits. It’s those manufacturers that are in need of a guiding light.


BEACON The WEF has identified 69 facilities


Sandvik AB www.home.sandvik


In 2019, Sandvik Coromant’s production facility in Gimo, Sweden, was awarded Lighthouse facility status


less than 5% of occupations consist of activities that are completely automatable, while over 60% of occupations have at least one third of automatable tasks. An evaluation of the facilities has uncovered that they are more agile, show greater customer centricity in the end-to- end manufacturing, and are quicker to recognise shifts in customer preferences. Increased automation and upskilling and reskilling efforts also means these facilities operate at speed, giving them a greater advantage over competitors. This speed and efficiency is also leveraged to make processes more eco-efficient, reducing waste and using fewer finite resources.


GIMO: FACTORY OF THE FUTURE


In 2019, Sandvik Coromant’s production facility in Gimo, Sweden, was awarded Lighthouse facility status. WEF praised Gimo’s ‘touchless changeovers’, which allow tool design patterns to be changed automatically, even during unmanned shifts. Gimo invested in smart automation with ultra-flexible robots, machines, tools and fixtures, which together perform complex, touchless changeovers without the need for any human oversight. This is just one example where digitalisation boosts productivity and takes the strain of performing monotonous tasks away from human workers.


Businesses looking to invest in


digital technologies should look to the Lighthouses for guidance. Their agility and resilience set them apart before the pandemic, and are part of a strong foundation to withstand the changes it has brought forth. With more businesses recognising the need to go digital, but perhaps not knowing how to sustain the benefits, having 69 guiding lights is key to industry’s future.


/ IRISHMANUFACTURING


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