I can’t help but feel inspired after a day of inspirational presentations and conversations with manufacturing companies, including ABB, Atlas Copco, and BillerudKorsnäs who were all amongst the speakers at the Industri 4.0 event, covering digitalization, AI and IoT. I want to share with you my key take-aways from the event.
As Björn Jonsson from ABB Sweden talked about in his presentation, the manufacturing industry has just started their journey towards digitalization. But how do we move the conversation from talking about AI and IoT as a ‘shiny new technology’ to why you should invest in them in the first place and what value can be derived from that investment.
It was mentioned in the presentation that more manufacturers are undertaking the journey to servitization. They are adding recurring service revenue streams and new business models to augment their product-based businesses and move up in the value chain.
Eva Harström from BillerudKorsnäs shared her thoughts on how new alliances and changed value chains can transform the Swedish industry, and how we need to continue to develop our capabilities together to drive continued transformation that will fit with new service and business models. She even went as far as the possibility for them to actually own some of their customers brands – talk about moving up in the value chain!
It was interesting to hear docent Anne Håkansson’s take on how the manufacturing industry will make use of Artificial Intelligence and how it can be applied in so many different areas. It was refreshing to get some clarity around the most used buzzword of the moment—not everything is suitable for transformation by AI! For further confirmation you can read this McKinsey Global Institute report that confirms ”There will be plenty of jobs in the future: You just won’t be able to do them”. By 2030 million of workers will have changed profession as they will be affected by automation and need to find new jobs.
Software companies like IFS will need to offer some type of AI-layer in their product or service to stay relevant. Many manufacturing companies are constantly told that if they do not digitally transform they will not be able to compete in the future. To close I will share some essentials for any manufacturer considering a smart factory rollout:
- Build the business case
- Connect physical and digital technologies (IoT being an essential technology to any smart factory)
- Focus on people and partnerships
- Start with small, manageable projects
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to continue to conversation on how manufacturers can ride the wave to digitalization.
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