Digitizing to humanize
In recent years, digitization has become increasingly important in industrial sectors, to the point that it has sometimes been said that companies that do not digitize will eventually die. What has generated a great deal of controversy among some professionals reluctant about digitalization’s possibilities can offer their businesses. In many cases, myths generated around digitization are the basis for this reluctance.
One issue that seems to emerge periodically is the belief that digitalization will destroy millions of jobs. These claims are made from a mechanics perspective of what the factories of the future will be like, a factory in which automated solutions will replace humans.
Our approach is entirely the opposite: digitalization is for us an ally at the service of human beings, not an element that works against them. Software must cooperate with humans to improve the lives of those using it, simplifying processes, interconnecting systems, unifying data.
“Digitalization is for us an ally at the service of humans”
For us, the digital factory is the factory of the future. A factory in which systems are interconnected and cooperate. This interconnection makes it possible to break down the information silos in specific organizations, allowing information to flow in a transparent organization.
Consider a sales manager who receives a request for urgent order. Many tensions arise in the past because of the acceptance of this kind of order, which results in overtime. The commercial manager must discuss this decision with the production manager, who must spend some time calculating whether it is feasible to make this change in production. In a company with interconnected systems, the sales manager could access the planning, make the simulation himself, and determine its impact. Make a decision knowing whether it would be possible to undertake it and the consequences, without the need for other people to invest time in making this calculation.
Digitalization will enhance the capabilities of the various actors, foster teamwork mutual knowledge of different areas, and may even influence the perception that they perceive others.
This will enhance the capabilities of the various actors, foster teamwork mutual knowledge of different areas, and may even influence the perception that they perceive others. Knowing the tasks that other departments must solve to carry out a process helps us understand why these other areas require specific tasks to continue developing their work in the best way possible.
The software will solve processes and reduce specific administrative tasks that require a large number of resources with low added value and have a high risk of error. For example, let’s take the case of a production manager who has to collect worksheets from the shop floor workers and then enter the information into the system. This task can take up a large part of his shift. However, suppose the same production manager has the information on how many work orders have been completed in a given period through a system that allows each team member to enter the information during his shift. In that case, the production manager can focus on taking conclusions with the data he gets from the system. he could use these changes in planning. This won’t be possible if he is overwhelmed by the administrative work of entering the information into the system himself.
Our vision of the digital factory places the human being at the center of everything. The European Commission has launched a series of publications in which it has adopted the new term Industry 5.0. This approach aims to complement the current “Industry 4.0” approach by specifically putting research and innovation at the service of the transition to a sustainable, human-centered, and resilient European industry. Digitalization is a process that can bring enormous value to the sheet metal industry, but its implementation must be aimed at improving people’s lives.