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Is intelligent industry enabling agility for new-product introduction (NPI) in the manufacturing industry? As the business world pivots its focus to new and innovative ways to retain customers and remain competitive, it is important to introduce disruptive and profitable products. As per a Capgemini Research Institute survey published in 2021, 72 percent of organizations in 2020 say employees can collaborate digitally with other employees, and 67 percent of organizations actively promote the exploration of new ideas and experimentation, compared to only 35 percent in 2018.
The NA manufacturing industry faces many challenges, including:
The future of NPI is a cultural shift towards disruptive ways of manufacturing, and successful organizations must master agility to generate rapid and continuous customer-centric innovations. Flexibility in digital technologies can lead to systematic change in manufacturing management, with a focus on customer delight, building self-managed teams, and valuing the need for continuous improvement. The results can be:
Intelligent industry addresses challenges that prevent agile new-product introduction. Manufacturing leaders can plan to overcome the traditional hurdles by digitally transforming manufacturing processes. Immersive technologies in virtualization, such as AR/VR and machine learning, can be leveraged for idea generation, tooling design, prototyping with sustainable materials, and assembly simulation for Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA).
Cloud technologies like IIoT, edge empowerment and cloud computing, predictive analytics, blockchain, and 5G can be adopted for new-product performance and quality validation. These technologies feature high speed and low latency to provide process automation and rapid decision making with actionable insights into connected operations, products, suppliers, and customers. Digital tools can enable faster time to market, ensuring speed and agility for fulfilling higher expectations of customers.
NA manufacturers require strategic focus on agility to introduce new products to market. This should start with integrating traditional systems like Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and so on. Further, by building digital twins, manufacturers can deploy digital versions of processes in the physical world, through digital convergence of edge sensors, systems, social-media platforms, and online marketplaces. Resulting cybersecurity risks to intellectual property can be addressed by implementing privacy-enhancing computation technology.
Intelligent industry solutions empower agile and virtual work with collaboration of cross-functional teams. This can elevate performance of NPI to previously unattainable levels, fueling a paradigm shift in the new product introduction process.
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