Reflections of Digital Manufacturing week 2019
It was great for VisualPM to attend the exhibition this year as exhibitors of our Advanced MES solution, courtesy of Innovate UK on innovation alley. A busy and potentially fruitful 2 days (once we freed ourselves of the traffic to actually get into Liverpool and the event)! Some fantastic products and services on show, along with some great and knowledgable speakers.
Over the 2 days, following several very interesting discussions with potential clients, consultancy groups and complimentary service providers - A few main points really jumped out to me.
Many "buyers" are still extremely confused as to exactly what Industry 4.0 / Digitalisation in the manufacturing arena is actually about, with numerous still struggling to equate the buzz words with what it actually means for them.
It would appear many manufacturing organisations (especially SME's) are still at the very outset of their journey and it became very clear, they do not understand where they are heading!
Almost all organisations which we spoke with do not have a clear (if any) understanding as to what the issues and opportunities are for their organisation and as such, how digitalised solutions can help them address these issues and opportunities. This is the point which concerned me most - As many appear to be getting "sold" extensions to their ERP systems, new pieces of additive manufacturing kit, advanced robotics and some very "sexy" looking products - without clearly understanding how these acquisitions are going to be properly implemented with their teams, so that they can fully materialise the benefits, short, medium and long term!