THE nations within the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) have long been predicted to drive a new wave of smart manufacturing solutions. Although most of these producers have embraced new techniques to create differentiated products, only 40 per cent rate their manufacturing capability as advanced. The broad consensus among economists is that the manufacturing sector in Singapore will emerge as a key growth driver throughout 2018. The sector has in recent months notched up robust growth. With technology redefining new sectors and upgrading old ones, what directions should companies explore in an industrial landscape that is becoming dominated by robotics, Internet of Things (IOT) and artificial intelligence (AI)?
Intel is revamping its technology leadership in a bid to turnaround its manufacturing unit after announcing delays in its 7nm processes. Last week, Intel said on its second quarter earnings report that its 7nm products would be delayed. Rival AMD is already on 7nm as is TSMC. Since Intel's earnings report and market cap hit, analysts have been speculating that the chip giant may leave manufacturing. In other words, Intel needed to revamp its technology organization.
One of the most important, and most timely, is directly related to the tech industry and the products and services it enables. The problem is, it's hidden behind the scenes where most consumers would never bother to look: semiconductor chip manufacturing. While most everyone knows that chips from U.S.-based companies like Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Apple and others power the devices we all know and love – as well as the cloud-based servers that stream Netflix and Disney shows to our screens, deliver our emails, host our videoconferences and much more – very few people bother to think about where they all come from. Well, one of the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear is that supply chains – that is, the network of companies that make parts or help distribute a product or service – are not as robust as they need to be. In addition, they are far too reliant on foreign suppliers.
The adoption of technology in the Manufacturing Industry has been slow, but steady. Technology adoption has been relatively faster when it has helped improve productivity, boost quality, and reduce costs. Industry CXOs are convinced that IT has a major role to play in manufacturing, but less than 30 percent of manufacturers have adopted Industry 4.0 technologies.[i] Now, with COVID-19 disrupting supply chains, manufacturers are being forced to examine virtualization and automation opportunities for their plants and MES in a bid to make them more resilient. The problem is that many manufacturing organizations have created home-grown tools around Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM).
A Broadened Perspective of Manufacturing: The Knowledge Network In order to form a vision and a strategy, we took a broad new look at our manufacturing business. The perspective ranged from the customer at the point of sale through point of manufacture and point of distribution and back to the customer. In 1981 DEC coined the term knowledge network to represent this notion (O'Connor 1984) (see figure 1). In many of these "pockets of expertise, " within DEC or any other manufacturing business, the expertise and the reasons for making decisions are generally undocumented or are unavailable to all the parties needing the information. Two Views of the Business Within the knowledge network two major cycles are apparent: the order-process cycle and the product life cycle The order-process cycle (see figure 2) is oriented around taking, manufacturing, delivering, and servicing an order.