Jun 1, 2020

McKinsey: digital manufacturing, preparing for a new normal 

Technology
Industry 4.0
Smart Manufacturing
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Smart manufacturing, man holiding a digital tablet to control robotics
As COVID-19 continues to change the manufacturing industry like never before, we look at how digitalisation can provide a speedy recovery for the indust...

As COVID-19 continues to change the manufacturing industry like never before, we look at how digitalisation can provide a speedy recovery for the industry.

While the impact of COVID-19 is presenting many challenges to the industry, such as health and safety; supply chain shift impacting sourcing and distribution; supplier resilience and labour shortages, McKinsey highlights the importance of production facilities moving quickly to respond to new sources of supply and shifting customer demands when the crisis eventually resolved. 

“It is these types of pressures that make digital capabilities so critical, providing flexibility and resilience manufacturers need to mobilise and operate in unfamiliar territory,” says McKinsey.

In a recent study conducted by McKinsey, the organisation uncovered new insights into the challenges and success factors for European companies looking to implement digital manufacturing at scale. “The time for organisations to act and to implement digital is now,” states McKinsey who reports that only 17 out of the 44 members of the Global Lighthouse Network are in Europe, and only three are using industry 4.0 tools across their end-to-end value chains.

“Our research has revealed five fundamental principles that translate into tangible actions for scaling and sustaining digital technologies, regardless of a manufacturer’s starting point,” added McKinsey.

These five principles include:

Image source: McKinsey

The value of industry 4.0

Industry leaders within manufacturing are harnessing the capabilities of digital transformation to develop new or enhance the ways in which their organisations operate. These organisations are using a variety of capabilities including:

  • Data, computational power and connectivity: sensors, the internet of things (IoT), cloud technology and blockchain

  • Analytics and intelligence: Big Data, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge-work automation

  • Human-machine interaction: virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, automation, robotic process automation (RPA) and chatbots

  • Advanced production methods: additive manufacturing and renewable energy

By harnessing these types of industry 4.0 tools, companies have reported a 30 to 50% reduction when it comes to machine downtime; a 15 - 30% improvement in labour productivity; a 10 to 30% increase in throughput; and a 10 to 20% decrease in the cost of quality. 

“Although all of the manufacturers we assessed are transitioning to digital manufacturing, they are not deploying these technologies at the same rate. In fact, most organisations find themselves stuck in ‘pilot purgatory’,with no clear approach for quickly scaling up innovations across the manufacturing network,” commented McKinsey, who highlighted that according to findings from the Global Lighthouse Network, at least 70% of manufacturers are stuck in ‘pilot purgatory’. 

Among the most significant challenges, McKinsey reports that Culture is considered the highest when it comes to success at scale, in addition to the absence of several fundamentals: 

  • Strategic direction: where and how digital manufacturing will bring business value, as well as the incentives for people to make it happen

  • The required capabilities: technical, managerial, and transformational, in order to understand and execute the changes

  • Robust data and IT infrastructure: to mitigate bottlenecks when scaling successful pilots

To find out more about accelerating digital transformation to prepare for the new normal post COVID-19, click here!

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Jun 17, 2021

Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router

Siemens
5G
IIoT
Data
3 min
Siemens’ first industrial 5G router, the Scalancer MUM856-1, is now available and will revolutionise the concept of remote control in industry

Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age. 

 

Siemens Enables 5G IIoT

The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). 

Siemens presents its first industrial 5G router.
Siemens presents the Scalance MUM856-1.

The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.

 

Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance

 

  • Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
  • The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
  • A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
  • Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites

 

5G Now

“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.

 

Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said. 

 

Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future

Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’ 

 

And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.

 

The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.

 

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