Podcast: why connectivity is crucial for smarter manufacturing

One of the key talking points in manufacturing today is Industry 4.0. I would wager that when people hear about the fourth industrial revolution, one of the first images that springs to mind is of robots and machines operating autonomously on a factory floor, with AI embedded throughout the manufacturing process.

These technologies are a key aspect of why the Industry 4.0 era of manufacturing is going to be a whole lot smarter, more agile and more efficient. But equally important is something perhaps a little harder to visualise: connectivity for seamless, real time and secure transfer of data.

What do we mean by connectivity?

Fundamentally, we are talking about a manufacturing framework where its key elements are communicating with one another more effectively. This will largely be achieved with:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Big data
  • Cloud-computing

That means a kind of manufacturing where machines, people and processes are interconnected, with data and information flowing seamlessly end-to-end.

What does this connectivity mean for manufacturers?

For many organisations, increased connectivity is an opportunity to:

  • Remove departmental silos that prevent greater collaboration, product optimisation and productivity gains
  • Achieve complete visibility of a machine, its operational performance and the production process, helping to maximise uptime and output
  • Get the right data to the right people at the right time, driving smarter decision-making

Some manufacturers may well be in a position where processes and technologies are so optimised that they feel they have hit a productivity ceiling. In this scenario, increasing connectivity between machines and departments helps to unearth efficiency opportunities that are not visible when looked at from a more siloed perspective.

Furthermore, in leading organisations, connectivity will extend outside the four walls of a given plant, making factories within an enterprise (and even key players in the supply chain) interconnected. This is where connectivity is at its most transformative.

The human at the heart of connectivity

Of course, there are numerous factors manufacturers need to consider when looking to increase connectivity. This podcast between Hexagon and Ericsson explores a number of these factors, but there’s one thing that cannot be emphasised enough: people.

Generally speaking, improving people’s lives in some way is the ultimate goal of almost any transformation project. Given that we’re talking about digital transformation and increased automation towards autonomy, it’s crucial to put human needs and skills at the centre of connectivity improvement initiatives.

Listen to the podcast, as Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs at Hexagon, explores the importance of ‘humanising digital transformation’, securing buy-in for increasing connectivity, and discovering new opportunities as a business with IIoT.


  • Ignacio Blanco

    Ignacio Blanco is Product Marketing Manager for HxGN SFx Smart Factory solutions. Before joining Hexagon, Ignacio managed his own marketing agency in Prague and was Head of the Technology Section for a national newspaper in Spain. He holds a degree in Information Sciences, a Diploma in Law, and a Master’s in Marketing.

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