Industrial enterprises around the world are retooling their factories with advanced technologies to boost manufacturing flexibility and speed, achieving new levels of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), supply chain responsiveness, and customer satisfaction in the process. This renaissance reflects very real pressures industry players face today. For years, traditional factories have been operating at a disadvantage, impeded by production environments that are “disconnected”—at the very least strictly gated—to corporate business systems, to supply chains, and to customers and partners.
Managers of these traditional factories say the feeling is akin to flying blind. These are operations where plant floors, front offices, and suppliers operate in independent silos, where managers have only hazy visibility into downtime and quality problems, and where the root causes of inefficiencies are rarely understood or addressed.
The most recent decade has seen rapid advances in connectivity, mobility, analytics, scalability, and data, spawning what has been called the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. This fourth industrial revolution has digitalized operations and resulted in transformations in manufacturing efficiency, supply chain performance, product innovation, and in some cases enabled entirely new business models.
This transformation should be top of mind for quality leaders, as quality improvement and monitoring are among the top use cases for Industry 4.0. Quality 4.0 is closely aligning quality management with Industry 4.0 to enable enterprise efficiencies, performance, innovation and business models. However, much of the market isn’t focusing on Quality 4.0, since many quality teams are still trying to solve yesterday’s problems: inefficiency caused by fragmented systems, manual metrics calculations, quality teams independently performing quality work with minimal cross-functional own