SVP and CIO at Oshkosh Corporation. Connecting machines and employees with technology and data to enhance safety, quality, and efficiency.
What Is Digital Manufacturing?
Digital manufacturing, also referred to as Industry 4.0, is an integrated approach to manufacturing, bringing together physical machines, data and human beings to transform the manufacturing process. As a key component of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, digital manufacturing uses sensors, connectivity and advancements in analytics and machine learning, propelling industries forward in a digital age.
This type of manufacturing offers an enticing opportunity for companies. By harnessing digital technology and applying it to existing manufacturing processes, companies can advance productivity in competitive markets while reducing costs. Through the capabilities of digital manufacturing, the potential to improve safety, be proactive in quality and increase operational efficiency has reached new heights.
A workplace equipped with digital manufacturing solutions to improve safety conditions ultimately boosts productivity. Prioritizing the safety of employees and utilizing technology to enhance their experience is a cost-effective solution with endless benefits.
• Smartphone utilization: A smartphone can become a safety tool in the workplace. For instance, companies may consider developing mobile applications to collect safety incident reports quickly and accurately, including near-miss data. Software solutions collect data and help simplify the process, leading to more reporting. Additionally, this data can help highlight areas of opportunity to improve safety in the future.
• Wearable devices: Wearable technology can also aid in workers’ safety on the manufacturing floor. For example, the Kinetic Reflex is a wearable device used to analyze posture and alert the user when they are performing high-risk movements. This safety component reduces lost workdays from injury. Other tools, such as smart wristbands and helmet clips, take similar steps to prevent injuries while keeping workers engaged in their safety.