Starters guide: Boost your operations with intelligent manufacturing

Written by Warren Jennings – Industry CTO – Agribusiness, Manufacturing, Logistics & Retail.

Intelligent Manufacturing is full of promise. But where do you start?

According to Mckinsey & Company, Industrial automation could increase Australia’s productivity by 50-150 per cent and add $1.1 to $4 trillion to our economy over the next 15 years. But while the economic promise is tantalising, the sector faces unique challenges.

From food and dairy processing to pharmaceuticals and paint production, companies are looking to intelligent manufacturing to lift productivity, address the skills shortage, reduce costs, improve safety and transform market responsiveness.

But, according to a World Economic Forum Report, while 75 per cent of global manufacturing execs agree that intelligent manufacturing is critical for success, they say key challenges are holding them back – from prioritising the right value-adding use cases to managing security or a lack of skills and know-how.

Ask the experts

To answer these and other questions,  Telstra’s Intelligent Manufacturing Forum on March 14 in Sydney will bring together business leaders and industry experts for a morning of discussion panels, innovative workshops and networking  with peers.

It’s a unique opportunity to explore the pathways and possibilities of Industrial Automation. Experts will lead a discussion based on the industry digital maturity roadmap that identifies four progressive automation stages, along with the technologies and capabilities required at each step. Plus, there will be helpful sessions on integrating end-to-end security, as well as driving innovation and productivity through human-centred design.

Places are limited, so register now to secure your place.

How could your company benefit most from intelligent manufacturing?

Converging data from your operational, information and Internet of Things technologies (OT/IT/IoT convergence) brings a wide range of benefits to Aussie manufacturers – from better productivity and operational efficiencies, through to improved safety, and greater responsiveness to consumer and market demands.  We’ve listed just some of the benefits intelligent manufacturing could bring below.

Boost productivity and reduce costs

  • Increase productivity with automated 24/7 processes that are typically faster with a reduced rate of error.
  • Reduce re-work through with quality assurance through automated processes with superior repeatability and better adherence to design specifications.
  • Optimise production with greater insight into supply chain issues, input stock levels inventory, delivery status and demand cycles.
  • Maximise your investment in plant through self-diagnostics that alert human operators to potential malfunctions, streamlining maintenance and repair.

Deliver a great customer experience

  • Give customers greater visibility and certainty about orders and deliveries.
  • Create value from new products and service streams based on predictive analytics, machine learning, and modelling.
  • Increase customer satisfaction with greater agility to develop personalised products.

Enable safe and sustainable operations

  • Improve worker safety through less exposure to hazardous environments or dangerous processes.
  • Improve wellbeing and mental health by assigning more creative roles in the place of repetitive and dull tasks.
  • Optimise energy, water and fuel efficiencies.
  • Meet regulatory, customer and investor demands with end-to-end traceability to support environmental, sustainability and ethical supply chain goals and reporting

The Path to intelligent manufacturing

Realising the true value of intelligent manufacturing – safe, efficient operations with predictive capabilities and ultra-fast responsiveness –requires thoughtful process and planning.  To help Australian companies take the next step, Telstra’s white paper ‘Getting smart about industry: Navigating the path to industrial automation’  provides a detailed look at the progressive stages of the digital maturity model with helpful diagrams and pop-up videos.

It steps you through:

  1. Designing a network that can support the sheer volume of connected and powered devices, the increase in data traffic and stringent requirements around ultra-fast response times and availability.
  2. Integrating IT, IoT and OT systems and using monitoring and control systems to automate tasks and processes.
  3. Leveraging analytics, AI and machine learning to introduce intelligent capabilities like predictive maintenance, quality control and asset tracking, as well as inventory and supply chain management.
  4. Using industrial automation to optimise manufacturing platforms, supply chains and business processes.
  5. Integrating end-to-end security into your manufacturing processes.

These topics will be discussed in depth at Telstra’s Intelligent Manufacturing Forum, in Sydney on March 14.

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