The COVID-19 pandemic has put a microscope to the urgent need for operational modernizations in manufacturing that not only focus on workers’ health, safety and environment but additional challenges such as supply chain optimization and integration with parallel ERP systems for improved visibility and control throughout the production process.
As part of its new manufacturing practice, Hitachi Vantara has extended the Lumada Manufacturing Insights solutions into new domains that will help manufactures address these issues, while optimizing their supply chain, help improve their predictive capabilities and enhancing operations.
For many manufacturers, the pandemic has not only affected worker health and safety, it has impacted demand, interrupted production, exposed vulnerabilities in supply chains and driven an urgent need to modernize operations.
Dramatic variations in production capacity and demand illustrate the new stresses being placed on manufacturing supply chains and production planning: in March 2020, industrial production in the United States experienced the steepest decline since 1946, yet in approximately the same period, daily U.S. e-commerce sales jumped 49%.
Hitachi Vantara’s new manufacturing practice and its expanded portfolio of digital manufacturing solutions, services and consulting services aims to help manufacturers adapt to these immediate challenges. It also promises to help manufacturers lay the foundations for the digitalization of health, safety and environment (HS&E), asset insights, predictive quality and operations optimization.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing a litany of challenges for manufacturers that highlight how important unlocking data and digital industrial innovation is to the industry’s future,” said James Destro, general manager, manufacturing practice, Hitachi Vantara. “With our powerful IT and OT experience, Hitachi Vantara can uniquely inspire, envision, architect and accelerate digital transformation that solves today’s challenges and prepares manufacturers for the challenges of tomorrow.”
Enabling a safe return
Worker health and safety are primary concerns for manufacturers restarting their operations. The expanded portfolio of digital solutions for manufacturing from Hitachi Vantara includes health, safety and environment solutions leveraging Lumada Video Insights technologies which can be configured for safety applications such as elevated body temperature identification and hand washing detection.
Thermal cameras and Lidar technology can detect the temperature of a person from a distance, so that workers can non-intrusively be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and workspaces can be monitored for compliance with distancing recommendations.
COVID-19 has revealed many manufacturers’ over reliance on manual processes and operations, and the lack of visibility that many manufacturing line managers and executives have into their supply chains. Both hinder manufacturers’ ability to respond dynamically during and after times of uncertain demand.
Modernizing and digitalizing such capabilities will be essential for manufacturers to recover from the pandemic quickly, and to creating the more agile and resilient manufacturing operations needed in the future. This is another focus of Hitachi Vantara’s new manufacturing practice.
Hitachi’s manufacturing innovations, enterprise-class information technology, and intellectual property – coupled with deep, industry-specific consulting expertise and proven methods to accelerate time to value– enable customers to operationalize digital innovation in a secure, deployment-agnostic and end-to-end approach. Hitachi Vantara’s outcome-focused consulting process breaks down barriers between OT and IT teams to craft comprehensive solutions that deliver transformative outcomes.
Hitachi’s expanded Lumada Manufacturing Insights provides a portfolio of industrial IoT solutions to enable manufacturers to achieve operational improvements through data-driven insights. The portfolio delivers benefits such as improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), superior operations efficiency, and product quality optimization through predictive and prescriptive insights.
The new solutions coupled to Hitachi Vantara’s advisory and consulting services, enable manufacturers to connect production floor Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to create a ‘digital thread’ that provides complete visibility into the data of the organization.