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The importance of specialized IT solutions for manufacturing

Apr. 14, 2021 Business Insights

Explore the ways that technology is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry

For decades, technology has continually transformed and reinvented the manufacturing industry in the United States. Society’s current reliance on the digital world and a data-driven workforce has only accelerated the changes in manufacturing brought on by Industry 4.0 in recent years. 

Innovative technologies have also increased the need for specialized IT services for manufacturing. A company’s technologies must be properly established and protected or they’re essentially useless—that’s where specialized IT support comes in.

Continue reading to learn more about the importance of specialized IT solutions for manufacturing and what they can offer your business.

 

Advance with Industry 4.0

In 2021, Industry 4.0 is at the center of any conversation surrounding technology in the manufacturing industry.

As the fourth and most recent Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 is the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices through connectivity solutions that has allowed manufacturers to:

  • Increase operational visibility
  • Reduce costs and production times, and
  • Provide a better customer experience. [1,2]

At its core, Industry 4.0 highlights the immense importance of specialized IT solutions for manufacturing firms looking to be successful in the modern age. The most prominent of these solutions is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—the interconnection of unique devices such as sensors and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags with industrial machines within an existing internet infrastructure to collect real-time data about their condition and performance. [2,3]  

A study found that 34% of manufacturers plan to incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) technology into their processes and 32% plan to incorporate IoT into their products. [4] As it becomes more widespread each year, the IIoT market is expected to grow to $110.6 billion by 2025. [5]

 

Bolster IT infrastructure

An IT infrastructure that supports the rapid virtual revolution of Industry 4.0 is another aspect of the importance of specialized IT solutions for manufacturing. 

The manufacturing industry must be equipped with a comprehensive IT infrastructure that’s scalable, adaptable, and flexible to the changing needs of the industry. Establishing a strong infrastructure for your manufacturing company sets yourself to enable more efficient implementation of new models, analytics and software in the future that improve your overall production and operations.

 

Manage cyber security 

Cyber security has been a prominent issue in the tech industry for many years, and manufacturing is one of the most targeted industries with over 45% of manufacturers reporting they had been the subject of a cyber security incident. [6]

Additionally, with the face-to-face limitations brought on by COVID-19, the manufacturing industry had to pivot to a virtual business model with an increased reliance on tactics such as video conferences, online chats and generating leads through websites. A recent survey found that 84% of manufacturers are using their website to generate new customers as compared to 72% before the pandemic. [7]

The inherent security risk of the industry along with an increase in remote work proves that manufacturers need to improve cyber security measures at the minimum by:

  • Securing their website
  • Limiting employee access to sensitive data
  • Conducting regular backups, and
  • Educating employees on best cyber security practices.

 

Related resource:

How to: Educate your employees on online security best practices

 

Reduce unplanned downtime 

Discovering effective methods to minimize unplanned downtime is beneficial to most industries, but especially manufacturing with the issue costing an estimated $50 billion per year. [8]

Specialized IT solutions for manufacturing such as the IIoT are being used to better predict when equipment may fail with advanced predictive maintenance through sensors and machine learning.

Helps desks are another key aspect of IT solutions for manufacturing that aid in reducing unplanned downtime. Through online and on-site support, IT help desks can provide efficient solutions for manufacturing companies’ immediate needs. 

 

Support employees

Tailored IT solutions for manufacturing firms are an effective tactic for supporting your employees.

While the idea of automation and innovative technologies may feel threatening to your team, industry leaders are championing the idea that technology is not here to replace humans in manufacturing jobs, but to support them in doing their work better than ever. Manufacturing technology is streamlining processes and increasing productivity, but humans are still making the final decisions.

The best IT solutions and support from a trusted IT partner will empower your employees to achieve more and feel their most successful.  

 


“One of our clients in Novi, Michigan had just opened a new manufacturing operation when a new piece of equipment caught fire. Although the server closet was not harmed in the fire, our team was immediately dispatched to move staff to temporary offices and work areas. We loaned them PCs and laptops to get them working, and removed the bad wiring and equipment that was destroyed. We’re proud to share that the client didn’t have to pay extra for this—it was part of their fixed monthly price. We are proud to have been able to help this client during the crisis and to get them back up
and running as soon as possible.”

Rob Roche, President of NeverBlue IT


 

If you want to stay relevant during the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, you need to invest in specialized IT solutions. These solutions provided by a trusted IT service provider can effectively support your team, decrease unplanned downtime, increase productivity, streamline manufacturing processes, and so much more. It’s time for you to advance with Industry 4.0 and invest in your success. 

 

Looking for tailored IT solutions for manufacturing? 

We are proud to support leading manufacturing firms throughout Central Florida and Southeast Michigan with our proactive Managed IT Services and hands-on IT service management approach.

With over 30 years of experience, we’re well-equipped to handle the unique challenges faced by your industry. Our goal is to learn how we can support you in doing your job better than ever—and as your IT ally, we’re here whenever you need us. 

We are also proud members of the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF) who work to provide training, jobs, careers, and pathways for developing a skilled, talented workforce for their partners.

 

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Sources:

1: Forbes | Six Manufacturing Tech Trends To Look For In 2021

2: Hitachi Solutions | 11 Trends That Will Dominate Manufacturing in 2021

3: AMFG | Industry 4.0: 7 Real-World Examples of Digital Manufacturing in Action

4: The MPI Group | MPI Internet of Things Study

5: PR Newswire | Industrial IoT (IIoT) Market Worth $110.6 Billion by 2025 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™

6: Business Wire | Big Data Analytics in Manufacturing: World Market Outlook to 2025 – ResearchAndMarkets.com

7: Thomas | Manufacturer Interest in Reshoring, Hiring, and Apprenticeships Increasing During COVID-19 Pandemic [Report]

8: Deloitte | Predictive maintenance and the smart factory

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