How to Start Your Digital Transformation Journey
Anthony Murphy, Vice President of Product Management - Plex, by Rockwell Automation
"Oh, it was that easy?"
Anthony Murphy and his team are used to hearing this reaction from small-to-midsize manufacturers as they help them launch their digital transformation efforts.
In this era of Industry 4.0, many SMBs feel disconnected with smart manufacturing, unsure where to start, and doubtful of their ability to harness the capital and expertise they see the Fortune 500 manufacturers using on their digital transformation efforts. In truth, you don't need a team of engineers and data scientists, and you don't need to restructure your entire production environment.
Plex, now part of Rockwell Automation's solution ecosystem, has been helping small and midsize manufacturers digitize their processes, connect their systems, extract valuable data, and most importantly, enact cultural change that gets every employee involved in the digital transformation process.
In this episode, Anthony dispels many of the misconceptions about digital transformation and gives us actionable insights into how manufacturers can get started on their Industry 4.0 journey today.
3 Big Takeaways from this episode:
- Industry 4.0 is a journey, not a destination: Fully-connected smart factories, autonomous lights-out production...these are the pictures that conjure thoughts of enormous implementation teams and costly capital investments, preventing many SMBs from getting started on their digital transformation efforts. Anthony reframes the discussion for us: it's a journey, not a destination. Eventually, you'll want all MES, QMS, ERP, SCP systems, machines, processes, data and personnel connected in real-time. It's possible, but it starts with a single small project, like implementing production monitoring software or adding data visualization boards across your shop floor.
- Successful digital transformations empower every employee with a stake in the effort: Your biggest asset in your digital transformation journey will be the individuals working on your plant floor - the ones who know the ins and outs of every machine and have the most insight on opportunities for improvement. Anthony shares how Plex enables all employees - from CEO to engineers to operators - can have a stake in the implementation process using continuous improvement tools, automated workflors, employee suggestions and the ability to prove ROI on theories.
- SMBs who embrace digital transformation will attract the next generation of workers: Through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Connected Systems Institute, Plex is showing students how data-driven and digitized advanced manufacturing is today. From the PLC level on the digital manufacturing test bed to the SAP instance connected to this equipment, Plex is helping the next generation see what manufacturing can look like in this Industry 4.0 era. Companies who embrace digital transformation will attract a workforce of students who have grown up in a digital world.
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