How 2020 has Changed Manufacturing

  Enquiry / contact me

George Walker, managing director of industrial automation specialist Novotek UK and Ireland, explains how industry can safeguard themselves from unpredictability in the years ahead

Automation, Covid-19

How 2020 has Changed Manufacturing
How 2020 has Changed Manufacturing

2020 is a year that most manufacturers would like to see as an outlier; a year the likes of which should not be seen again. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many manufacturers to rapidly adapt and introduce new ways of working, how will these new approaches shape the course of industry in the coming years?  

2020 was always set to be a year of unpredictability for the UK manufacturing sector, as it brought with it the end of the transition period of the UK’s exit from the European Union. However, where manufacturers initially planned for ways to secure international supply chains and improve productivity, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a new challenge in ways of working.

With reduced workforces, more staff now working remotely and a complete shift in market demand, manufacturers found themselves needing to rapidly adapt. From our view, UK industry demonstrated an impressive capability to adapt to sudden changes, which should restore hope for many manufacturers in the years ahead. For years, a sentiment that the Novotek team encountered from industrial businesses was that there was a need for reinvigoration in the sector. 2020 showed that industry can adapt to reinvigorate the sector and reap the benefits in the years ahead.

With so much of the workforce working from home, manufacturers need to be able to see what is happening in as many areas of the plant as possible to maintain uptime

However, 2020 did also highlight the shortcomings of many manufacturing operations, particularly in regard to remote monitoring and control of devices and systems. Manufacturers need to see what is happening in as many areas of the plant as possible to maintain uptime. Insight into operations, driven by field-level data collection, is imperative to inform maintenance — particularly with a reduced on-site workforce.

The prospective benefits of connected technologies and automation have been known for years, but 2020 made the value apparent to many. Every remote monitoring system relies upon effective edge technology that can efficiently extract data to a connected system and make that information as useful as possible. This often necessitates effective in-field industrial hardware that can provide edge processing of data, before communicating that data to an industrial data management platform for visualisation and analysis.

In the years ahead as we move through the pandemic, investments in improving remote capabilities will add value to manufacturers by finally allowing them to achieve the efficiency benefits of connectivity. Using field-level data to garner insights, whether that is for maintenance schedules or process improvements, is key to increasing overall plant productivity — something much needed in the wake of COVID, to ensure that operations are robust and safeguarded from future unpredictability.

George Walker

Posted on February 1, 2021 - (505 views)
Novotek AB
Höjdrodergatan 18
212 39 Malmö - Sweden
+46-(0)40 31 69 00
+46-(0)40 94 76 17
View full company profile
Location
Related articles
Automated Quality Control Solutions
No-code UniCloud specifically designed for Machine Builders
SPS 2021 - The Hybrid Exhibition Highlight
Cloud-based Solution for Service Management
Distributive IIoT Architecture
Ultra-rugged Computer-on-module for the Transportation Sector
Cobot MELFA ASSISTA. Human Touch. Industrial Performance
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Belt
Best Practices For Profitable Warehouse Management
Single Board Computer for Real-time Critical Applications
SPS Smart Production Solutions - November 23 to 25, 2021
MELFA ASSISTA Collaborative Robot from Mitsubishi Electric
Pepperl+Fuchs Series UC18GS Ultrasonic Sensor with IO-Link
JUMO variTRON 500 Central Processing Unit for an Automation System
When Automation Goes Digital
Unique IR Solutions
Achema 2021
Two/four-channel Process and Program Controller
Tailor-made Automation Solutions
Fastener Fair France
Ultra-rugged Computer-on-module for the Transportation Sector
Single Board Computer for Real-time Critical Applications
Global Survey Conducted by Molex Highlights Continued Progress in Industry 4.0
Semi-absolute Linear Encoder
JUMO variTRON 500 Central Processing Unit for an Automation System
Customized Membrane Switches for Demanding Applications
Versatile Industrial 5G Router
UniCloud – The Complete, No-Code, IIoT Cloud Platform for OEMs and Machine Builders by Unitronics
AC Servo Drives & Motors
Variable Frequency Drives
Cloud-based Solution for Service Management
Distributive IIoT Architecture
Ultra-rugged Computer-on-module for the Transportation Sector
Managed Service Suite Platform for Plant Asset Performance
Lilly Life Science Studio Automated Laboratory Goes Further in the Search For New Drugs
IERA 2021 Awarded to ABB's PixelPaint Solution
More Machining and Less Programming: ESPRIT Keeps the Success Flowing for WET
AC Servo Drives & Motors
Unistream®, the Award-Winning Programmable Controllers Series With Integrated HMI by Unitronics
Automated 3D Scanning and Inspection of Transport Stands