Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

115 INDUSTRIALS & MANUFACTURING to anticipate impacts and adapt accordingly, while collaboration with stakeholders can be facilitated through AR and VR. Shell, the global energy firm, is leveraging digital twins and IoT to optimise its oil and gas production, refining and distribution processes, and to reduce its flaring, venting and methane emissions. The use of digital twins to monitor its performance will be key as Shell has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. For companies venturing into the industrial metaverse, defining sustainability goals, assessing technology readiness and selecting compatible partners are critical steps, as demonstrated by Shell’s approach. This helps to ensure that an organisation’s vision is aligned with sustainability and that progress is being tracked. It would be wise to identify current technology gaps and evaluate the organisation’s adoption maturity before choosing compatible technologies and partners that fit the budget and existing infrastructure. Implementing sustainable processes for intelligent manufacturing has to balance both the environmental and social impacts of production, while also improving the quality, efficiency and profitability of manufacturing operations. Innovative companies like Fero Labs are operating in this space, employing machine learning to minimise waste and costs, contributing to a more sustainable manufacturing landscape. Key strategies I would advise manufacturers to think about when balancing their sustainability goals with the need to turn a profit include using digital technologies to monitor, optimise and automate manufacturing processes; switch to renewable energy sources; and adopt circular economy principles. In summary, sustainable processes in manufacturing align environmental and social impacts with operational excellence, driving both profitability and environmental stewardship in tandem with technological advancement. And as an industry, we are making great strides already, but there is still plenty of room for advancement. Rohit Verma is assistant vice president and head of Microsoft Practice Europe at Infosys Siemens’ Xcelerator platform uses the industrial metaverse to increase productivity and sustainability in manufacturing processes