Data analysis and management are vital for the entire manufacturing sector, doing more than just optimising production processes and identifying the root causes of quality issues. For instance, another example is the significant role they play in reducing energy costs, allowing for more efficient and sustainable operations. Looking beyond individual assets, data sharing between information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT), enable the creation of interconnected facilities that enhance productivity even more.

In the videocast episode “Digital Journey – with a map”, Hartmut Pütz, President of Factory Automation EMEA at Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., explores the changing landscape of digitalisation and its opportunities for manufacturing. Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the manufacturing industry. With the rise in data, AI-driven tools are becoming necessary. They have the power to decode complex situations, to facilitate decision-making processes and offer a complete overview of production processes.

Additionally, data-driven technologies can help manufacturers to optimise customised production. In particular, they can support companies handle rapid shifts in demand by making forecasting methods more reliable.

AI and ‘smarter’ operations allow a more efficient and cost-effective factory operations. Making elements within a factory ‘intelligent’ and focusing on bottleneck applications can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, AI’s role in predictive maintenance is extremely valuable for operational cost savings. For example, it can help avoid costly unexpected equipment failure and emergency shutdowns.

While data-driven operations represent the future of the manufacturing industry, most data still isn’t used effectively enough. To address this, Hartmut Pütz suggests the Smart Manufacturing at Kaizen Level (SMKL) model. This uses small steps, like the Kaizen method, for manufacturing improvement and builds on the need for better data utilisation.

The future of factory automation lies in leveraging the power of data. By optimising data use and its management, by embracing AI, manufacturing organisations can benefit from the opportunities to stay ahead in a digitally evolving industrial landscape and quickly adapt to the ever-changing needs of the market.

You can learn more about these topics by watching Hartmut Pütz’s discussion on Mitsubishi Electric’s videocast episode, “Digital Journey – with a map”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcGwFmAPJrY.