Expert warns coronavirus impact will heighten need for Industry 4.0 solutions
3 Mar 2020
The economic disruption caused by global disasters such as the coronavirus outbreak would be tackled better with a more widespread adoption of Industry 4.0 innovationwarns a leading manufacturing consultancy.
Rafi Billurcu, partner, manufacturing at Infosys Consulting, said the virus effects had already had serious impacts on manufacturing and supply chain-dependent sectors, with longer lead times to get raw materials and less efficient performance.
“Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit the world with a big challenge. Not only is it disrupting the health and wellness of people around the globe, it is making a significant dent to the world economy.
“Given the rise of the servitisation agenda across most of the sectors, where organisations are looking at new growth channels via services, any impact on the delivery of these services leads to revenue leakage.”
A key message from the coronavirus outbreak, he suggested, was that events should be regarded as inevitable occurrences. Therefore, organisations needed to become more agile in terms of manufacturing and supply chains.
“Adoption of digital technologies such as 3D printing, blockchain and AI can definitely help ease the pain when in future, similar unanticipated events occur. For example, 3D printing can be used to manufacture required parts or raw materials, in order to ensure minimal impact on the supply chain, thereby reducing the impact on customer service levels.
He added that AI could enable automated insights about how to manage the logistics network in a fraction of a second, how to re-route a fleet and ensure delivery happen. Drones, meanwhile, could assist ‘last-mile’ logistics, ensuring deliveries happen even in the affected areas.
“Another key learning is to always have a focus on a localisation strategy, ensuring power of local supply base can be leveraged when needed.”