A key component that is driving industrial growth in America is Innovation.
Technology is constantly changing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Additive Manufacturing are all impacting manufacturing positively. These technologies are driving complex solutions.
Innovation begins with understanding needs of the marketplace. Design thinking methodologies and data analytics are used to understand trends and then use a platform development approach to develop solutions for a wide range of applications from a central core design. Additive Manufacturing helps accelerate the product to market. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality allow customers and manufacturers to interact without having to travel and meet in person. Remember, it is important to have meaningful data for decision-making and understanding trends and opportunities that exist. When looking at technologies, the issue is getting access to the right data, analyzing the data and providing meaningful insight to make better decisions in the moment.
An example of a use for Augmented Reality is in training and re-certifications. Training remotely through video conferences allow classroom access for people when traveling can be difficult. Virtual Reality creates the ability to view a product demonstration and see presentations as if in a live industrial environment. Large electrical equipment can be difficult to move and set-up so showcasing those solutions can be challenging. By utilizing virtual reality people can truly experience engaging with this equipment and gain the knowledge needed to make informed decisions without the expense of excessive travel. Equipment animations highlight how equipment operates and opens the window of imagination for implementation in the future.
One of the areas to focus for innovation is introducing a change culture into the organization.
Introducing a culture of change can be difficult and takes time. The quicker change is embraced, the faster the organization can adapt. Communication is key in helping the organization understand what issue or problem the organizational change is trying to solve. It is important to communicate a vision of where the organization is headed to accelerate the change curve. Clear vision aides in aligning teams which will ultimately positively impact the culture.
The pace of technology development is continuing to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Combine that with emerging technology trends such as energy transition and digital solutions, there is a need to develop solutions that meet market demands and get products to market faster than ever before. Innovation is our competitive edge in the global economy. The tools and technologies that have been discussed here help achieve innovation.