Digitalization, the defining megatrend of our age, has many forms, most notably integration, data analytics, the Internet of Things, platforms and artificial intelligence. And survival in today’s competitive global environment means seizing the many opportunities it offers. The benefits are immense: major gains in the speed and efficiency of product design, development, production and distribution. At the same time, the data that makes all this possible is morphing into a key commodity in its own right. Intelligently collected, analyzed and used, it can help generate new lines of business and strengthen relationships with customers.
Manufacturers are increasingly moving towards mass customization in order to meet growing demand for individualized products. They need the flexibility to reconfigure their design, development and production processes to the requirements of individual end-customers and are looking upstream to manufacturers of capital plant and machinery for the flexible, customizable products and solutions they need in order to make it happen. Individualization is modernizing and reshaping entire production processes and, indeed, the entire industrial landscape. The challenge, of course, is to individualize without sacrificing profitability.
Faced with climate change and the mounting political and social pressure that goes with it, manufacturers are shouldering their responsibilities and moving towards carbon-neutral production. For manufacturers, environmentally friendly production is becoming a key competitive factor, because conserving energy and resources is about so much more than just saving money.
The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Energy and Industry and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), today announced that the third edition of its Summit, #GMIS2020, will be converted into a series of digital sessions, inviting thought-leaders from the global manufacturing community to virtually come together, for the very first time, to discuss, debate and shape the future of the manufacturing sector.
The megatrends of digitalization, individualization and climate protection are the key drivers of industrial change in our times. The industrial transformation unfolding around us is moving at great speed and is immensely disruptive. It is bringing radical change to industrial communication, product development, production and logistics, and this in turn is driving demand-side behavior, with industrial customers now facing very different needs and challenges than only a few years ago.
#GMIS2020 was initially planned to take place in April alongside the Hannover Messe 2020 in Germany under the theme of #GermanyConnects – inspired by the country’s leadership in connecting the global manufacturing and industrial community with its transformational digital and technological solutions. The digital series was announced in coordination with its co-chairs, and alongside its partner in Germany, Deutsche Messe, following the evaluation of the growing economical and logistical uncertainly surrounding the escalating Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Reinforcing the physical and digital convergence of Industry 4.0, the ‘#GMIS2020 Digital Series’ will leverage technology to virtually convene a truly global, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder dialogue around issues that are at the heart of the manufacturing sector and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit said: “Our highest priority has always been to arrive at the safest and most practical outcome in light of the current situation while staying true to the vision and mission of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit. The #GMIS2020 Digital Series takes a transformational approach towards ensuring a risk-free environment for participants to engage in shaping the future of manufacturing. As the pandemic sweeps across the world, paralysing many aspects of normal life, attention must now turn to how the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be leveraged to restore our economies and our society, taking us from an era of ‘digital disruption’ to an era of ‘digital restoration’.”
There have been many debates around the disruptive, and in some cases, the destabilsing nature of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with regards to employment, business sustainability, and global prosperity. However, the crisis surrounding the current pandemic is casting a new lens on the power of technology to assess how it can be utilised as a force for global restoration, allowing businesses to continue to operate, providing communities with tools to keep them connected, and restructuring supply chains to overcome the recent disruption to global markets.
Companies such as Lonati SpA, an Italian manufacturing company, has 3D printed ventilator valves to address domestic shortages. Other examples include a robot named ‘Little Peanut’ that is being deployed to deliver food to people who have been quarantined; and Baidu, a Chinese technology company, is using artificial intelligence technology and computing resources to predict the secondary structure of the Covid-19 RNA sequence to help accelerate the development of a vaccine. Technology can also help restore normal business activities through the use of blockchain to securely and remotely sign and exchange documents, or enable workforce training and development, or even process certification and qualification, through widely used digital communication platforms.
As Badr Al Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit explains: “History demonstrates that innovation has proven to be an effective tool in solving the world’s toughest challenges time and again, while also being the driving force behind the advancement of humanity and global prosperity. In a world where many discussions are taking place around some of the negative implications of 4IR technologies, it is times like this that we should encourage policymakers to streamline and fast track regulations that allow certain technologies, such as autonomous mobility, to restore many parts of our daily lives and help us overcome unprecedented challenges.”
Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Messe AG said: “As a strategic partner to the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, Deutsche Messe fully supports the shift towards digital sessions that can continue to gather valuable insights from the global manufacturing community. Reinforcing the #GMIS2020 theme of Germany Connects, we look forward to hosting a digital gathering of global minds.”
Established in 2015, the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit is a global platform that brings together governments, organisations, NGOs, technologists, and investors to discuss, debate and shape the future of manufacturing. The Summit covers topics related to the digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and dives into subjects such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and value chains – discussions that, in today’s world, are more important than ever before.
The lead theme “Industrial Transformation” describes the effects that the megatrends of individualization, climate protection and − more particularly − digitization are having on industry.
We are in the midst of a transformation that encompasses all stages of the industrial value chain. That’s design, development, production, logistics, energy supply and related services – everything. This has major implications for the demand behavior of manufacturers as buyers of capital plant and equipment.
Increasingly, CEOs, production, logistics and supply chain managers, design and development engineers and energy managers are defining their individual requirements and sifting through the wide array of products, tools, components, integrated systems and cooperation partners on the market. They then carefully select the ones that will help them boost the competitiveness of their organizations and sustainably grow and develop their business models.
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