Adapting to changing markets with an iterative approach to efficiency optimisation, enabled by technology and simulation

Adapting to changing markets with an iterative approach to efficiency optimisation, enabled by technology and simulation

Rockwell Automation and EY experts hosted their second Management Perspectives webinar on 29 May to share their advice on how manufacturers can adapt quickly to changing markets.

If you missed the webinar, see the recording online here (available after registration).

The second in a series of well-received webinars from Rockwell Automation saw an insightful discussion on how technology can be used to create flexibility and scalability in production, improving efficiency by testing and adjusting through simulation, and then implementing strategic changes which have already been proven. 

“We are living in an age where your time to market is crucial, more now than ever before. Manufacturers need to be flexible to ensure they can keep up with ever-changing demand,” began Paolo Butti, Director, EMEA Industry and OEM, Rockwell Automation. He explained that this requires facilities to honestly address the barriers and bottlenecks which are holding them back from achieving a seamless production process. “This goes beyond just having the right technology. It needs to be supported by a mindset and company culture which embraces the opportunity to do things differently.” 

Webinar co-host, Dr Adrian Reisch, partner, and global PLM leader, EY, said that the key to changing your processes without disrupting operations is to digitally simulate your entire manufacturing process. “You can simulate various scenarios and see where things can be better optimised, run a virtual proof-of-concept and then bring it to life, knowing what works and what doesn’t.” This is called a digital twin, and can also be used to ensure optimised productivity for new products. “Using this technology, you can see how best to set up your plant in alignment with the manufacturing processes you need to support the production of a specific product. The product itself, together with your digital twin, can help you establish the most efficient process.” Furthermore, using key performance indicators, you can continually assess the efficiency of your system and fine tune it on an ongoing basis. “This will ensure you can be flexible and adaptable, without having to halt your production process for troubleshooting,” said Reisch. 

However, flexibility goes beyond technology, said Butti. “There is no ‘magic’ method to smoothly implement new technology. You need a digitally-enabled workforce who can support the change, and management with the mindset to lead the change and empower their teams to react flexibly to new scenarios.”

The Management Perspectives Program is an online community resource designed to inform and inspire managers and executives through a collection of online content and educational materials, with a focus on digital transformation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It is free for any interested professionals seeking insight and peer-to-peer dialogue on IIoT, manufacturing and Industry 4.0. The next webinar in the series, Closing the IT/OT Security Gap, will take place on 24 June. Register online here.