MANUFACTURING

IMPACT OF HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND NETWORK ON
MANUFACTURING

The rollout of a high speed broadband network offers significant promise to the business community, including manufacturing companies. Enhanced Connectivity Drives the Business Transformation.

In general, the advantages of a high speed broadband network are:
•   Increased internet speeds
•   Increased network reliability
•   Reduced operations expenditure

“Manufacturing industries face significant threats from regional competitors and from the elevated exchange rate, but may have opportunities to win greater market share by greater use of digital innovations. Even traditional industries like manufacturing will be reshaped by digital innovations.”

CEOs believe faster broadband speeds will lead to greater levels of innovation, productivity and business growth. Based on a survey 40% of CEOs anticipate large increases in the external exchange of information and data, across manufacturing, supply chains, transactions and customer relationship management.

For the majority of manufactured goods, there is still a physical product to be made and transferred to a customer and this cannot be circumvented by high speed communications, limiting the full impact possible. Future projections suggest however, that as distributed and additive manufacturing developed further, components will be manufactured at the site that they are needed, and the ability to instantly transfer design and manufacturing instructions will facilitate this.

In a Business Readiness Survey it is considered that manufacturing will experience a “long fuse, small bang” in terms of the future level of effect due to digital disruption. This is due to manufacturing having lower levels of total digital potential, combined with the fact that it has already experienced significant disruption in recent years.

A recent survey report on Malaysian businesses to determine their perception and preparedness for a high speed broadband network and found that manufacturing companies (68%) are the least likely to have made any preparations, followed by mining (60%) and construction (45%).

For the companies that have taken steps (40%), the following are the most common actions:
•   Investment in new technologies and equipment (17%)
•   Commencement of research (12%)
•   Digital business strategy (6%)
•   Allocation of staff (2%)
•   Allocation of budget (2%)

Enabling Digital Technologies

Digital manufacturing is the seamless use of digital data throughout the design and manufacturing process and has seen a continual adoption in the manufacturing industry over the last 15 years. The availability of higher speed, more reliable and cost-effective internet access will permit higher levels of data transfer between companies, their collaborators, customers and suppliers.

For smaller companies, a full scale adoption of digital manufacturing technologies may have been hindered by slow upload and download speeds and thus, we can expect that a transition to a high speed broadband service will remove these barriers.

E-Business

In a recent survey, 36% of CEO participants believe that faster broadband will create new e-commerce related efficiencies and business opportunities.

Survey of the manufacturing industry were asked how companies planned to make the digital transformation. The most popular strategies were:
•   Online purchasing and ordering (from 33% now to 65% intended)
•   Online self-service applications (from 6% now to 43% intended)
•   Online service delivery (from 9% now to 35% intended)

For companies in the B2C (business-to-consumer) environment, e-business solutions are a reasonable extension of current offerings, but in the B2B (business-to-business) environment, there are additional challenges to overcome as all transacting companies require an e-business platform. New B2B software for online transactions is available from a number of vendors, and there are many existing companies who already offer B2B e-commerce platforms including Office Works.

In more industrial applications, e-commerce solutions can assist companies to design and visualize their project and these can include the use of online configurators which translate customer designs directly into orders, generate invoices and define the bill-of-materials (BOM) required to manufacture the product.
PRE-CONFIGURED MANUFACTURING SOLUTION

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