As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more industrial sectors are under pressure to reduce operational costs. As manufacturers adjust to a ‘new normal,’ they’ll need to think through the implications, including how to deal with reduced workforce, social distancing, low-revenue environment, and other critical issues.

In the US, according to the American National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a high percentage of American manufacturers are facing a negative impact on their business due to the COVID-19 crisis, due to supply chain disruptions, reduced sales, and more. According to NAM’s survey, 50% of American industries will have to change their operations in order to respond to coronavirus.

Here are four common problems the manufacturing industry faces today:

  • High demand driven by the pandemic, in some sectors

  • Disruptions across supply chains of parts and raw materials

  • Reduced workforce, social distancing, and employee safety measures

  • Sales cut in some areas and extreme pressure to cut operational costs

For some industries, the current crisis will accelerate the adoption of automation and Industry 4.0 technologies and create capabilities across the whole operation as never seen before.

Industry 4.0 technologies consists of all the technology pillars required for the digitalization of an organization. It’s a business turnaround that can help struggling manufacturers identify the most critical operational issues that will quickly improve efficiency, and reduce operational costs.

The adoption of a BI and analytics strategy, and specifically actionable insights that arise from data, provide the operational visibility to managers and engineers who are able to quickly and remotely diagnose problems on the floor, and solve issues that would impact the whole production line.

The complexity of data integration remains a challenge to most industries looking to implement BI analytics management, as manufacturing data is generated in several different formats. Most data integration systems still require hardware installation and necessary changes to existing data outputs and structures. Those changes would represent high investments, changing industrial protocols and extended months to implement the solution.

New manufacturing data integration systems can now collect and integrate any data source from any factory in the world that will be synchronized in a BI analytics dashboard. The system generates reports and alerts when something goes wrong on the production line, saving billions of dollars.

AI data integration can improve efficiency during COVID-19 and beyond

The complete visibility into all manufacturing data is a tremendous opportunity for improvement in times of crisis. Industrial IoT, data capture tools and AI-based insights across operations create the automatic data mapping of all production lines, identifying and analyzing the relevant data by algorithms.

“We have developed an unique solution that automatically integrates with all types of manufacturing data from any factory worldwide and creates an a advanced diagnostics analytics for customers. All done automatically by AI tecnology” says Eyal Kaufman, CEO of QualityLine.

For the healthcare industry, which has seen an increase in orders of medical products, trying to meet orders with fewer people on the floor is a struggle. The implementation of digital factory technologies that can remotely increase efficiency and capacity is a must at this moment. An analytics solution will safely increase their production capacity.