Rolls-Royce recognised for intelligent manufacturing
In an announcement made by Rolls-Royce, the company reported that it has been recognised by The US Department of Commerce/Select USA for its major investments made in intelligent manufacturing in North America.
“Rolls-Royce is delighted to be recognised by the U.S. Department of Commerce/SelectUSA for the continual investment and game-changing improvement in our manufacturing capabilities. Rolls-Royce is leading the way in digital manufacturing, and our over $600 million investment in facilities and technology in Indianapolis has resulted in one of the most modern and efficient facilities anywhere among our global operations. These intelligent manufacturing capabilities help us to provide state-of-the-art, cost-competitive solutions and products to support our customer’s critical missions day-in, day-out,” commented Phil Burkholder, Rolls-Royce, Executive Vice President, Global Defense Manufacturing, Assembly and Test.
Over the past five years, Rolls-Royce has made a wide variety of improvements to its manufacturing operations including new automated manufacturing, digital design and planning, and upgrades in manufacturing methods and planning, which have reportedly all led to increased efficiency and productivity for the automotive manufacturers operations in North America.
Presented to Rolls-Royce by Dina Beaumont, acting executive director of SelectUSA following the automotive manufacturers nomination by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
In modernising its operations, officials from both the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis have collaborated on the Rolls-Royce on its program. In addition to its modernisation program in Indianapolis, the automotive manufacturer has also launched a facility modernisation program in its naval locations in Walpole, Massachusetts, and Pascagoula, Mississippi in the past year.
Currently in its United States (US) operations Rolls-Royce employees almost 6,000 people coast-to-coast.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.