The idea that new digital technologies replace the manufacturing execution system is confusing and risky. A serious digitalization initiative should start with a good MES/MOM system.
In the past six months, we have been talking about digitalization almost every day. Going digital has become the main initiative of many manufacturing companies, and task forces and funds have been allocated to achieve the goal.
Digital transformation seems set to disrupt the way companies operate, creating totally different organizations. Frequently, the digitalization initiative is related to the adoption of some new and promising technologies like cloud computing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or machine learning. All of them promise to solve in an easy and cheap way problems that have affected companies for years—creating new opportunities along the way. Smart sensors and improved data availability will enable new technical solutions and business models, and any company that does not leverage these new opportunities will have a difficult time competing with those that adopt them faster.
This is why a serious digitalization initiative in manufacturing starts from considering the implementation of a good MES/MOM system. The technology to be used is just a collateral decision—important, but collateral.
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