Unified manufacturing: unifying people, processes, machines and technology

Manufacturing is at a turning point. The industry is poised to become increasingly automated, with intelligent analytics at its core. Hyper-personalisation will drive production lines, and cognitive computing will hasten innovation. In addition, collaborative ecosystems will empower manufacturers to be far more responsive to customers, offering innovative services and sustainable products in a circular economy. 

Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to navigate the pandemic’s long-term impacts. Geopolitical and economic disruption have given rise to new challenges, particularly within supply chain management, and customers, investors, governments and regulators want manufacturers to use the power of technology not solely for profit, but also to become responsible leaders of the future. This shift requires accelerating digitisation and leveraging agility as a competitive differentiator, leading with sustainability objectives and ensuring humans and technology work together to support a digital, green future that offers:

Significantly higher worker value, innovation and satisfaction

– Hyper-personalisation and highly customisable offerings

– Sustainable manufacturing practices

– Collaborative ecosystems

– Agile, responsive and resilient production

Many manufacturers have only just begun implementing their Industry 4.0-driven digital transformation programs. 5G, which underpins this journey, is still in its infancy. Yet mounting pressure makes it critical for manufacturers to remodel their business to be more human-centric and turn challenge into opportunity. We believe achieving this transformation requires the right combination of leadership, culture, mindset and technology. 

Evolving business objectives to become future-ready

While strategies must continue to focus on sustained growth, cost reductions and operational excellence, manufacturers must now factor in the new goals of human-centricity and sustainability. This requires a complete rewrite of the rule book and a deeper understanding of production and business processes across the factory, as well as digital and physical supply chains. It also requires manufacturers to operate with a common commitment across business, operations and IT. 

Unified manufacturing is CGI’s vision for the future of the industry. It aims to unify manufacturers within their plants, across their value chain and their wider ecosystem to become more adaptive and responsive to stakeholder demands. Through deep digital connection, integration of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), and the application of proven business methodologies, unified manufacturing helps manufacturers realise their strategic vision and achieve an insights-led digital continuum. 

Unified manufacturing is based on five core building blocks:

1. It is digital and paperless: streamlining, automating and digitising processes to increase efficiency and improve throughput and quality

2. It is connected: leveraging wireless sensory technology and networks to connect machines, devices, systems and humans.

3. It is data-driven: unlocking the value of data to enable monitoring, simulations and predictions for insight-led decision-making

4. Factory cloud: hosting OT from the cloud to benefit from a global ecosystem that connects plants, people and partners across the entire value chain

5. OT security: assessing the risk of the IT/OT environment to implement the right security measures, preventing attacks before they happen

With this strong foundation in place, manufacturers can benefit from increased awareness and a 360-degree view of their operations, internally and externally. Together with integrated systems, this will enable them to act as one and become leaders of the future –resilient, responsive and adaptive to shifting landscapes.

For over four decades, CGI have helped leading manufacturers navigate and seize the opportunities of change. Our deep-domain expertise and technical know-how supports over 600 manufacturing clients worldwide across multiple sectors including automotive, chemical, high-tech, metals, mining and natural resources. Through strategic IT and business consulting services, systems integration, IT managed services and intellectual property solutions, we help you realize the promises of Industry 5.0 and beyond.  

Contact us today at [email protected] to learn how we can support your transformation.