COVID-19 has certainly shaken up every industry, including the manufacturing industry. The changes in the market were so drastic that some companies went broke, and only few of them adapted and could stay in business. In this article, we will explain to you the reality that manufacturing industries faced during the pandemic and what some of them did to prevail.
The Manufacturing Sector and the Pandemic
- Delays in delivery: Since many businesses took a break from producing during quarantine, the manufacturing process suffered many delays. These delivery delays kept happening intermittently due to preventive measures in case of COVID-19.
- Uncertainty: Only some manufacturers have been able to adapt to the new business reality. They have had to learn the importance of Industry 4.0 to succeed. But is this enough? Who can guarantee that their business will not plummet either way?
- Higher costs: In order keep producing, manufacturers have had to seek alternative suppliers in case their usual supplier was not available. They often cost more. These costs have been translated into more expensive final products.
- Changes in demand: On the one hand, the manufacturing industry has had to handle demand reductions. For instance, reduced demand in import and export facilities and related materials and reduced energy demand. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the demand of packaged consumer goods, electronics, and medical equipment. With the pandemic, there has been an unprecedented demand for masks and hand sanitizer, since they are essential for preventing the virus. There has also been an increased demand for electronics due to the many citizens that started working from home.
So, how can manufacturing industries keep up with this unsteady market? The answer is simple: they must look for digital strategies. Hereunder, we will explain how beneficial it can be to make use of Industry 4.0 technologies.
- The healthcare industry has taken advantage of technology and it uses robots to check the patient’s temperature. Robots also monitor the use of masks.
- 3D printing has allowed for low-cost manufacturing of masks and ventilators.
- Big Data has made it possible to receive all the patient’s clinical data in real time.
It seems that the use of technology has only helped with the pandemic, so why would it not benefit the manufacturing sector?
Road to Success
Change can be scary, but in order to succeed in this unsteady market, manufacturing industries will have to adapt to new technologies. Hereunder, I will explain some ways in which manufacturers can benefit from Industry 4.0:
- Tracking in real time: This will only make it easier to find the exact location of parts and products within the plant or while they are being delivered, thus reducing production times.
- Preventive maintenance in machines to ensure they never increase production times due to machine downtime.
- Planning: Use historical and real-time data to create potential scenarios so that a change in demand does not take you by surprise.
4i Platform: The Key to Digital Transformation
If you do not know where to start, we will help you. Put 4i Platform to good use and turn your factory into a smart factory.
Remember: “It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”