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Manufacturing 5.0



Announcing the Digital Transformation for Manufacturers Assessment funded by NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and developed in partnership with the MPI Group and the Ohio Department of Development Ohio MEP program.

The Digital Transformation for Manufacturers Program was developed to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMEs) improve and accelerate digitization within their organizations. Digitization has rapidly become a competitive differentiator among manufacturers. The Digital  Transformation for Manufacturers Program enables small- and mid-size enterprises to more efficiently and effectively apply enabling technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence and remote. 

Research Background 

The Ohio Manufacturing Institute has investigated how manufacturing firms are evolving into digitally integrated enterprises. As part of that process, we developed a series of case studies of how leading manufacturing enterprises, both large and small, are investing in and implementing their digital strategies. The research will incorporate both human and capital equipment investments and adaptions. The muddle of terminology about the digitally connected enterprise is confusing to senior management and is 

a barrier to implementation. While the Internet of Things (IoT), both industrial and commercial, is an operational reality and digital manufacturing tools are being developed and deployed, Manufacturing 5.0 will follow the path of dissemination and adoption that has occurred in previous industrial revolutions:  

  • Manufacturing 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 operations technologies will coexist for a substantial period of time --- one to two decades 
  • Diffusion and adoption will take place in larger manufacturing enterprises and high technology manufacturing firms first and then migrate to mid-sized and smaller enterprises over this extended period of time 
  • Adoption will be motivated by workforce shortages and demographic realities, tracking and sourcing demands of OEMS, and internal sources of return on investment 
  • To succeed, operational technology systems will have to be able to integrate legacy capital equipment and legacy computer languages 
  • The benefits derived from investing in digitally integrated manufacturing operations technologies are: 
    • Safety 
    • Predictive downtime analytics 
    • Quality improvements 
    • Part and product tracing
    • Shrinking batch size leading to mass customization 
    • Multi-plant production integration 
    • Turning what are now considered to be fixed operating costs (such as power and materials) into variable costs and becoming part of the bill of materials 
    • Manufacturing 5.0 is the gateway to the next iteration of lean manufacturing, with the corporate and operations technology culture playing major roles in its implementation
  • Few small- and mid-sized manufacturing enterprises will be early adopters of digital operations technologies without open standards, clearly defined training certificates, and implementation advice that is not captive of companies that control the backbone of operations technologies systems.  

OMI has determined that the implementation of digitally integrated manufacturing enterprise will have major workforce implications: 

  • Firms will be making low- and high-road implementation strategies 
  • Low-road strategies will employ relatively large number of semi-skilled labor with much of the manufacturing intelligence located in the operating technology and capital equipment 
  • High-road implementation will have a much higher-skilled manufacturing workforce that is highly reliant on broadly skilled and educated applied engineers that understand production processes 
  • Firms will have to balance meeting immediate demands for Manufacturing 3.0 and 4.0 skills and longer term demands for Manufacturing 5.0 operations skills
  • An opportunity exists for strategic collaboration by manufacturing employers and educational providers to develop a broader and deeper pool of new and incumbent talent to meet rapidly changing needs 

Research Plan 

OMI recommends that the digitally integrated enterprise be thought of as three closely linked domains: 

  • Enterprise-wide Information Technology system based on the firm’s Enterprise Resource Planning System, which we equate with Industry 4.0 
  • Outbound, sales-oriented, Industrial and Consumer Internet of Things is included in the external, enterprise-wide culture. 
  • Manufacturing facility-centered, digitally integrated Operations Technology System, which we term Manufacturing 5.0.

The Ohio Manufacturing Institute is testing its previous research findings through existing survey research findings and company case studies of leading edge manufacturing enterprises, ensuring that small and medium manufacturing enterprises (SMMEs), are fully highlighted in the sampling. The research team will include participation, guidance, and case study identification from the NIST-MEP team and other members of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership network.

The goal of the research is to provide examples of companies, segmented by size and industry, adopting promising strategic and tactical approaches in digitally integrated manufacturing operations investments. Their successes in making the transition from Manufacturing 3.0 and 4.0 to 5.0 will help inform other firms. 

A version of a Manufacturing 5.0 research presentation is available by clicking here.