Challenges & Traps of Digital Transformation
July 04 2022
THE CHALLENGES OF THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
Stressed in 2020 and 2021 during the health crisis, and faced with the recent international uncertainties brought about by the conflict in Ukraine, companies are redoubling their efforts to imagine new approaches to secure and develop their activities. At the heart of this transformation, the industry is now accelerating its vital digital shift.
Digital solutions – correctly defined, deployed and disseminated within the company – are a fundamental asset for an industrial sector driven by three key issues in 2022:
– Improving industrial performance
The challenges of improving industrial performance are multiple. In particular, it is a question of reducing costs and consequently maintaining or raising the level of competitiveness, reducing reaction times to markets, production and delivery and thus achieving better reactivity, controlling productivity and making profitability sustainable, or improving quality and raising customer satisfaction.
– The quest for energy performance
After construction and transport, the industrial sector is the third most energy-consuming sector in France, accounting for over 20% of final energy consumption. Controlling consumption, reducing energy losses, using renewable energy sources, and producing one’s own energy source are all ways of improving efficiency and profitability that companies are seeking today.
– Controlling the consumption of raw materials
Faced with increasingly scarce natural resources, environmental issues and unstable raw material prices, consumption and production methods must be rethought. The means are diverse, and the objective is to identify and design solutions adapted to the context of each industry to significantly reduce production waste and scrap, and to estimate the substantial gains that can be achieved.
THE TRAPS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
In the era of Industry 4.0, a large number of companies have undertaken their digital transformation. Identified as a key axis to meet the industrial challenges of our time, this transformation, as its name indicates, is not a walk in the park.
Deploying digital solutions efficiently is a real challenge, which requires framing, steering and supporting the user operators, the main players in the transformation. Without a method, what is intended to be the solution can become a real source of problems. In recent years, a number of digital pilot or « proof of concept » projects have not provided the expected value or have not been followed up on a larger scale.
Indeed, transforming the industry through digital requires a 360° analysis of the company, from its business processes to its information system and it & ot architecture, including its equipment and field teams. The digital solutions then come into play to meet the challenges and constraints of each industrial situation, particularly with a view to harmonisation and mutualisation. And at Percall Group we are convinced that an approach starting with the technological aspects is doomed to failure.
The advent of « connected objects » is an example of the need to master new technologies, which are now within everyone’s reach: if the recent evolution of the connectivity of machines, tools, equipment and even operators is a precious source of data, it is still necessary to know how to integrate, analyse and take real advantage of these innovations, at the risk of multiplying the different application solutions (specific to each connected object), losing the thread of the digital continuity sought, and missing out on the adhesion of the teams.