The 2020s have not started as anyone would have wished. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in supply chains and in global manufacturing, yet this could still be the most innovative decade ever.
COVID-19 exposed the need for evolution and perhaps even a revolution in the manufacturing and supply chain industries. Many founders and CEOs of technology companies, from large and small EMS players, to those that supply them with software and equipment are predicting a period of rapid innovation and digital transformation. A group of the most interesting and influential founders and C-suite executives in the manufacturing world offered their own insights.
Accelerating Toward Factories of the Future
It seems likely that the 2020s will see more adoption of Industry 4.0 and smart factory solutions as part of the general digital transformation of manufacturing. Carl Hung, CEO of The Season Group and SG Wireless, expects “a continuing adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies such as IoT, first for data collection and analysis, and then subsequently 5G deployments for no-latency control of manufacturing equipment. We’re designing products for customers to collect data and remotely manage their business.”
Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, founder and CEO of Instrumental, says, “For many engineering teams, the pandemic has clarified exactly what is most urgent about digital transformation. Having siloed product and process data, or no data, or data that’s only accessible from the factory floor, is a huge problem. Trying to engineer remotely through cell phone photos, Facetime and Zoom is untenably slow. There’s a clear data availability and access problem that digitization can solve, and solving it actually unlocks further innovation.”
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