This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
Digitalisation is continuously expanding the possibilities for optimising manufacturing processes. The digital factory is now an achievable goal for businesses of all sizes, embodying the optimum result of digitally empowered processes working together perfectly to make production efficient, integrated and intelligent. Intelligently extracting, processing and using data is at the heart of bringing all workflows together to achieve this goal.
However, the first step to digitalisation is often the hardest: production processes are increasingly complex, making the transformation a challenging step and often prompting companies to ask where, how and with whom to start. For small and medium-sized manufacturers, lack of in-house expertise and constraints on time and budget add to the challenge. Finding a partner they can trust to help them move towards digital production, while ensuring security and control of their data, is key.
Konica Minolta supports manufacturing companies with a wide range of solutions to successfully set up and run the digital factory by composing and orchestrating a digitally empowered production environment, where individual processes and solutions work together in harmony. For small and medium-sized industrial companies in particular, we have developed our SmartStart Package to help them quickly and successfully set up and manage their own digital production.
The SmartStart Package into the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a great example of that, offering a preconfigured and quick-to-implement IIoT solution to support small and medium-sized manufacturers on their journey towards the digital factory. It contains all the components required to seamlessly switch the existing production environment to a higher level of digitalisation in a very short timeframe, without affecting the running of operations. In doing so, it creates greater transparency through the company’s production processes.
Available as a fully managed software-as-a-service solution, the SmartStart Package is a valuable option that enables companies to limit the impact on their precious internal resources. It is customised to meet the exact needs of the company, and as business needs change, the package can be expanded to meet additional requirements.
With integrated data at the heart of the business, manufacturing firms of any size can digitalise all the steps of the production process. Our wide range of hardware and software solutions – from the AIRe Lens wearable augmented reality solution to our 360-degree security approach to our Konica Minolta Workplace Hub – enables manufacturers to introduce and optimise digital processes while empowering and unburdening their IT to focus on the core business.
Steve Rommel is Head of IoT Business Center Digital Manufacturing at Konica Minolta
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