Engineering: leader della Digital Transformation

Digital Industry

Five questions to...
Massimiliano Lunghi

Our Commercial Director of the Industrial Manufacturing market talks about the challenges for 2021. From the use of enabling technologies to create new digital ecosystems to the need to find the balance between production and sustainability.

1.

COVID-19 HAS OVERWHELMED ALL BUSINESS STRATEGIES AND TRIGGERED STRONG ACCELERATION IN TERMS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS. REGARDING THE DIGITAL INDUSTRY SECTOR, WHAT DID YOU LEARN AND WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT 2020?

2020 was an unprecedented year, and taught us a lot: all companies had to adapt within a very short time to the transition from physical to digital. Companies that had already embarked upon transformation pathways based on the Cloud and virtual collaboration tools, and had already invested in their networking infrastructure, were able to adapt quickly, enjoying benefits and even increased productivity. Others experienced difficulties and had to catch up very quickly.

Adaptation has been the word of the moment. The ability to re-set business objectives and define new strategies for communicating with customers, open new channels, and revisit the services they offer have enabledthe most prepared manufacturing companies to absorb and reduce the impact of the pandemic. In this perspective, for example, the use of AR/VR/MR solutions to provide remote assistance to customers or for virtual testing has allowed entire departments to continue carrying out their tasks in new ways.
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2.

WHAT ARE THE TRENDS THAT ARE REVOLUTIONISING THE SECTOR AND CHALLENGING WORKING METHODS, DESIGN PROCESSES, THE SERVICES OFFERED, AND VALUE CREATION?

Manufacturing companies are not just producers of goods and services, but must increasingly rely on technology to drive innovation. The trends emerging in this manufacturing context are:
  • The convergence between IT and OT: if in years gone by Information Technology (IT) and Operation technology (OT) have always been regarded as separate worlds, over the last few years they have come together more and more frequently. The integration of information required by digital transformation has played a key role.
  • The Industrial Internet of Things: the proliferation of sensors, within the factory and on the goods produced, has taken the ability to collect business information to a level that was unthinkable until a few years ago, the application of which can now be extended throughout the corporate value chain. The resulting benefits include, for example, a reduction in waste, thanks to intelligent stock monitoring, or the minimisation of time wasted due to equipment failures.
  • AR/VR/MR: Augmented and virtual reality can be used to facilitate expert assistance. Many manufacturers have distributed operations with inspectors and technicians who need to to travel between various physical sites to examine equipment or products. The mixes reality allows experts to help on-site technicians remotely, with huge potential for savings in terms of time and money.

3.

ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY, A GREEN APPROACH, ATTENTION TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIVERSITY: HOW IS THE FOCUS ON THESE NEW VALUES RESHAPING THE ASSETS OF COMPANIES IN THE SECTOR?

For some time now, consumers and governments have increasingly held companies responsible for the environmental impact of production. Companies are therefore optimising their plants and processes to reduce overall energy consumption.

This involves a series of technical interventions on the efficiency of production and lighting systems, which reduce both the environmental impact and overall costs. Other actions range from reducing waste production to investing in alternative energies.

Digital transformation is also playing its part, through the widespread collection of information and data from plants and machinery, helping to constantly monitor consumption, prevent critical issues, and automatically make their use more efficient. Finally, the pandemic has definitively cleared the way for new ways of working remotely, which, with cloud-based collaborative tools, document-sharing tools, and pervasive video conferencing, makes travel unnecessary and results in a lower environmental impact.
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4.

HOW WILL ENGINEERING SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN PLAYERS IN THE SECTOR IN TRANSFORMING CURRENT DIFFICULTIES INTO OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW SCENARIOS AND NEW BUSINESS STRATEGIES?

The challenges experienced over the last year and the many ways in which manufacturing companies have learned to consolidate their own resilience are the basis upon which a new way of organising work and rethinking business processes can be built. In this regard, digital transformation represents a phenomenal ally, which sees Engineering working alongside its customers with a particular focus on certain areas that are becoming increasingly important:
  • the improvement of the supply chain, adapting it to new scenarios and allowing it to monitor performance with increasing accuracy
  • the development of new forms of collaboration, fully utilising AR/VR/MR technologies applied to field service processes and remote testing
  • rethinking the way in which services are provided to customers, making full use of the information they get from IoT sensors combined with assets and products
  • the protection of the business from fraudulent attacks on the part of criminal organisations, with the use of the most advanced security technologies.

5.

WHICH ASSETS CAN ENGINEERING USE TO SUPPORT ITS STAKEHOLDERS IN TRANSFORMING THEIR BUSINESSES INTO DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS THAT INCREASE BOTH INTERNAL COLLABORATION AND COLLABORATION WITH OTHER PARTNERS?

Although the pandemic is accelerating integration between the different sections of companies and promoting closer collaboration with business partners, many businesses are still faced with application-related and organisational silos that do not permit the real-time sharing of information across the value chain. Without breaking down these silos, organisations will struggle to keep up with the accelerating pace of digital transformation.

Future-oriented companies must therefore use the transversality and 'liquidity' of data to make each user of information an active and central player in the ecosystem.

Engineering provides solutions and services for the creation of this digital ecosystem, exploiting new technologies (such as Cloud, AI & Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning algorithms, Digital Twin & IOT, Augmented and Virtual Reality) to break down traditional business silos and create an IT architecture that can help business organisations take advantage of a truly seamless business chain.
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Massimiliano Lunghi

With over 20 years of experience in Sales and Consulting in IT multinationals, Massimiliano is the Commercial Director of the Industrial Manufacturing market of Engineering, which helps companies in the sector to pursue sustainable growth and operational excellence.

Contact us

marketing@eng.it
Tel. (+39) 06-87591