4 Steps to Turn Your Plant Into a Smart Factory
By Elizabeth Consolante - May 29, 2019
Often times, implementing new technologies is seen as out of reach, too costly or too tedious by organizations. Contrary to popular opinion, it is more accessible than you may think. Quebec's Business Transfer Centre (Centre de transfer d'entreprise du Québec) proposes four steps to make the transition to a 4.0 factory. The trick: start small!
1. ANALYZE THE SITUATION OF THE COMPANY
How does production work? Are technologies already used? Is the process effective? Which information is digitized and which is non-digitized? We must also consider the needs of customers. Are they satisfied? Is it possible to improve the quality of products? Is it possible to facilitate the ordering process?
2. DESIGN THE DIGITAL STRATEGY
According to the CTEQ, the digital strategy must take into account the following elements: the technological existing, the available resources, the customer's needs, the deadlines, the dedicated budget.
To find out what elements to connect to quickly make your factory intelligent, we invite you to consult our checklist "What to connect".
3. LAUNCH A SMART FACTORY PILOT PROJECT
The pilot project has the advantage of visualizing the extent of implementation of the digitization strategy. Also, it allows to apprehend the following stages and to provide the necessary support to the employees to succeed the step.
Get inspiration from case studies of manufacturing companies similar to yours to better design the key aspects to be digitized to get the maximum ROI of your IIoT project.
4. DIGITIZE THE COMPANY
Finally, your pilot project has been fruitful and the employees are all involved in the digitization process, it is to extend the whole to the rest of the company to reap the benefits. In its Industry 4.0 report, BDC (Business Developing Bank of Canada) mentions that digital technologies have increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved product quality for an average investment of $ 250,000.
Despite applying these steps to a T, there are other components that remain essential for a successful deployment. When introducing new technologies in your organization, the human factor will play a crucial role. In order to avoid resistance as much as possible, your employees must be well informed and involved all through the transition. These new softwares and devices must be seen as tools to improve their work rather than a spying technique to increase productivity.
Furthermore, you must ensure to provide proper training to those directly affected by these technologies in order to prevent those who are less tech-savvy from feeling alienated. That way, all users will feel empowered and will be able to thrive with these new tools at their disposal.