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The Foundations of Intelligent Manufacturing

The Foundations of an Intelligent Manufacturing Business

As the leader of a successful manufacturing business, you’re used to investing in technology to give you competitive advantage. It’s why you’re using robotics, automation and smart supply chains to drive your transformation to digital manufacturing.

You understand that you have to adapt to the way the market’s going, embracing new business models like manufacturing-as-a-service and subscription box services. In fact, it’s your commitment to continuously adapting, modernising and improving your business that’s behind your success so far.

But there are challenges… Maintaining operational efficiency, continuous production and high asset utilisation. Maximising right-first-time-through, on-spec and on-time delivery. Overcoming the skills shortage by increasing automation throughout your business.

To meet these challenges, you need every aspect of your business to be aligned, or you could run into trouble. Having all the robots in the world won’t help you if the computer that controls them goes down. Customer satisfaction’s going to go through the floor if a data breach stops production.

In other words, you need as much intelligence in the foundations of your business as in the rest of it. And by foundations I mean IT infrastructure.

What is intelligent infrastructure?

Intelligent IT infrastructure is a combination of three things:

  • Ultra-secure, energy-efficient servers and storage
  • Cloud-based, AI-driven monitoring and management
  • Highly automated operational services.

You may already be experimenting with artificial intelligence in other parts of your business, but having it at the foundations makes complete sense, as they support everything else. Using artificial intelligence to monitor the performance of your IT, means you can spot any potential issues in advance and sort them out automatically before anything goes wrong.

Using servers and data storage equipment that’s secure to the chip minimises the risk of downtime from cyber attack. Consuming IT as a managed service frees your own people from low value tasks so they can apply their skills to innovating your business.

This kind of IT puts intelligence into the foundation of your business, so that the intelligence you’ve put in place everywhere else keeps working and your business keeps moving forward.

What can intelligent foundations do for your business?

Intelligent IT infrastructure helps maintain your operational efficiency and avoid interruptions to production due to IT outages. It means you can extract maximum value from all the investments you’ve made in digitising your supply chain and inventory control, and automating the production line.

By applying automation to the management of IT itself, intelligent infrastructure helps you make better use of scarce skills. It allows your IT people to concentrate on implementing new innovations in your business instead of being tied up with merely keeping the lights on.

Some manufacturers neglected to update their IT infrastructure and were still using the Windows XP operating system when the Wannacry ransomware attacks occurred. They paid the price. Intelligent infrastructure helps avoid cybersecurity problems like this by having security etched into the silicon chip and by using AI to identify vulnerabilities and patch them proactively.

The truly intelligent manufacturer is one who invests in intelligent IT infrastructure ahead of the pack. By being one of them, and viewing IT not as a cost centre but as an enabler of innovation, you can secure sustainable competitive advantage for your business.

Let’s talk about it

If you’d like a chat, one leader to another, about how to align the intelligence in your business right down to the foundations, put in a call to 0333 015 8000 or send me a message and we’ll arrange a time to talk. Or you can read more about intelligent infrastructure here.

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