The Journey to the Factory of the Future

While most people are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many are on the front line. Not just in hospitals, but our manufacturers who are essential to society and doing their part helping to stop the global pandemic. These manufacturers are on the factory floor continuing to build, construct, create and prepare. Their need is urgent and the vision for a better tomorrow continues. That vision begins with the factory of the future.

This is the first in a series based on the LNS Research Paper regarding the Factory of the Future.

Ask someone what the Factory of the Future (FoF) is and chances are that you’ll hear a myriad of answers on the topic. Most can agree, however, on its core definition: That the FoF is realization of Industrial Transformation. In this blog, I’ll explain how the FoF encompasses that journey into new technologies and modes of operation that will affect plants globally for decades to come.

Where do you start on your manufacturing transformation journey to achieve the Factory of the Future?

Most manufacturers have started some sort of digital transformation initiative to achieve their vision of the factory of the future.  Some are at the beginning of this journey and some are well underway.   Where to begin and what to focus on depends largely on your overall business goals and current state of digitization.  Having a long-term vision is just as important as is understanding where your organization currently stands.  For example, most of us have heard the old saying that you can’t improve, control or optimize what you don’t measure or have insight into. 

How do you obtain insight into a long-term factory vision?

A modern MES or MOM is one key foundation to drive manufacturing transformation as is having digital continuity across engineering manufacturing and supply chain within the organization.  Closed-loop optimization via a digital twin of the virtual product design and manufacturing process against the real world execution of manufacturing and continuous optimization of the supply chain optimization is a key goal for many manufacturers to achieve faster NPI, drive agility and efficiency.  

From a recent sponsored study by LNS Research and Dassault Systèmes on the factory of the future titled, “Industrial Transformation is Changing How We Run Our Factories,” it’s noted the FoF is not a checklist of emerging technologies to implement, nor is it a single point in the evolution of manufacturing.  Rather, FoF is the embodiment and realization of Industrial Transformation, encompassing a journey into new technologies and modes of operation that will affect plants globally for decades to come. FoF also does not stand alone. Its focus is inside the four walls of the factory, but its value is in creating a competitive advantage by flexibly and more cost effectively manufacturing smart and connected products that better meet the needs of consumers.”

Learn more on manufacturing transformation and discover key information such as where the industry stands, what steps and considerations to take into account for the Factory of the Future, how to empower and retain plant-level workers, and more. Download today!

Tom Muth

Tom Muth

DELMIA Industry and Roles Portfolio Director Orange County, California