A quick Google search on “digital transformation” this morning netted over 17,000,000 hits! Wow! There are quite a number of places to gain information regarding this subject. But where should one start when considering its implementation in manufacturing? More specifically, its impact on the shop floor? Or when sharing perspectives with executives about our efforts to “transform our operations”?
Digital Transformation Journey
ISE’s perspective is that digital transformation is a journey, much like continuous improvement or Lean manufacturing efforts. All these attempts take time for the process to assimilate within the company. It is something that changes, and adapts over time. As such, each manufacturing company could be in very difference phases within this process, that “digital journey.” One could argue that this digital transformation started many years ago, with the introduction of programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) and robotics. Using data and communications to reduce errors, improve efficiencies, and increase automation. We at ISE agree that this trend has been methodically transforming manufacturing over many years.
The common view of digital transformation now being through the use of connected devices; common PC’s, Tablets, scanners and cell phones; we are now able to communicate and monitor status across the plant floor. This system often is evolutionary as well. Starting with strategically placed devices, key work centers, shipping/receiving, machine-level interfaces, etc. This will progress with time and need, spreading to other areas and departments. The ultimate transformation occurs with company-wide access to information, with one version of the truth… and NO MORE PAPER on the floor – a true digital transformation. It is at this point that manufacturing visibility and velocity can truly expand and quicken.
Start Your Journey
As a leader on your shop floor, or someone considering how to implement a digital strategy, you shouldn’t let these concepts intimidate you. Ultimately, it is not where you start that’s important, but where you finish. From a starting point of “unconscious competence”, you’ve probably already implemented some of the technology above. ISE and Paper-Less offer many tools and resources, that can help ease and guide you through the transformation, gaining value at each step. We can help unlock the potential hidden (buried under paperwork) within your current shop floor.
At ISE we are transforming traditional manufacturing operations by providing digital intelligence and communications.