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It’s nearly impossible to ignore talk around Industry 4.0 – the digital transformation of industrial operations. Consulting firms like Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group have built entire practices around this convergence of information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT). Publications and news outlets have latched onto the message that advanced robotics and automation will “make humans obsolete.” The argument is supported by the significant growth of advanced technology in the industrial workplace – from robots to autonomous vehicles to virtual reality glasses.
Industry 4.0 Realized: The Factory of the (Near) Future
Robots and digital systems speak exclusively in absolutes – binary, ones and zeros – and human workers don’t. For advanced technologies to be effective in the factory of the near future, both humans and machines must evolve a lingua franca so they can truly “talk” with one another. This is where connected work changes the game. LEARN MORE
Humans are the Change Agents at the Heart of Productivity
In order for companies to keep manufacturing costs under control, humans and technology need to work in concert to deliver the maximum productivity from every shift, line and plant. Transparency, access and communication are at the heart of that productivity. As human workers are increasingly tasked with driving the overall orchestration of advanced machines and technology, it is vital that this communication happens quickly and clearly. LEARN MORE
3 Ways Connected Work Brings Together Humans and Machines
1. Connected Work Codifies the Process
Today’s production environment is marked by several factors that make systematizing the process of work more important than ever before. Production runs are considerably shorter, and made up of many individual SKUs. Legislation and worker preferences mean employees have different roles throughout the work day or week. And employees want to play a more active role in the overall success of the business. In this environment, rigid, paper-based processes do not work. LEARN MORE
“By introducing a number of changes to process – standard work, delivery of digital execution, collecting [data] and feeding it back into the system – we’re able to drive improvement to the organization.”
Operations Management System Manager, Schlumberger
Capture Powerful Insights
about Human Work
Beyond correcting a known issue, connected worker technologies can help uncover problems and inefficiencies you didn't even know existed.
2. Connected Work Helps Define Corrective Action
Connected work enables very specific corrective-action mapping and gives you the ability to create distinct responses to error conditions, effectively allowing machines and humans to communicate. Connected worker technologies can “listen” for the condition, automatically trigger an alert, and rapidly deliver clear, precise instructions to workers about what to do next. LEARN MORE
3. Connected Work Systematizes Continuous Improvement
When you digitize workflows and make work performed by both humans and machines more consistent and transparent, you begin to collect critical data about your operations. By combining the data that machines produce with the data related to human action, you get a true picture of the work’s “digital twin” – and can more easily and quickly identify and implement changes to improve productivity, quality and safety. LEARN MORE
Four Stages of Connected Work
Conclusion: Digital Transformation, Realized
The promise of Industry 4.0 is still a long way off for many large organizations. Connected work delivers a bridge to the future, enabling humans and machines to work seamlessly together. This means moving beyond guessing what’s going to happen next with a machine, to predicting outcomes and responding to situations in real time, based on data. It also means viewing the work as a system, surfacing the gaps, and closing them quickly with data-driven decisions. LEARN MORE