This week's Microsoft Envision kicked things off in New Orleans with the keynote from the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella.
“It is no longer just about procuring one solution and deploying one solution, it is not about one simple CRM or ERP or even office automation solutions that you get from us or others… it is really about you thinking as a digital company,” stated Nadella.
During the keynote he posed two questions:
1) “How is your business being digitally transformed?”
2) “How is your business model being digitally transformed?”
We are seeing this transformation in manufacturing – the beginning of manufacturing's digital age – where we are seeing a future driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), human friendly automation, additive manufacturing and simulation systems. Manufacturing is no longer seen as the old, dark and slow sector. These topics were discussed in a session called Manufacturing: State of the industry.
In manufacturing, we often refer to this transformation as “Smart Manufacturing”, which is not implying that systems before were unintelligent. Today’s manufacturing is full of technology - IT process, networking and computers.
So is this transformation an evolution or revolution in manufacturing? This question was addressed in a session titled What is a Smart Manufacturer? In reality, it is both! It is an evolution because manufacturers embrace change on a daily basis with continuous improvement by optimizing and improving production and information flow. Smart Manufacturing is the deployment of IT systems to drive these initiatives further than they could yesterday. As for the revolution, there are forces driving change to the core of manufacturing: decreasing time between new products and tailoring products to the desires of their consumers – this drives manufacturers to produce parts in quantities of one versus large runs. For more details, listen to the discussion here.