The Case for Digitization in Manufacturing


The Case for Digitization in Manufacturing

We’ve all experienced airline delays due to bad weather. In many cases, weather events can impact thousands of flights at the same time, creating a logistical nightmare.

Fortunately, these major inconveniences are becoming easier to avoid with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and a process known as digitization. Airlines convert flight data into digital records, allowing AI to make decisions about the least disruptive responses to extreme weather events. 


But airlines aren’t the only companies benefiting from digitization. 

Many manufacturing services providers are working to build robust “digital twins” of their physical businesses. The purpose of this process is to transform tangible assets (e.g., equipment, engineering files, products, customer data) into data that can be leveraged to make decisions that impact productivity and operations. 

Digitization can be as simple as a shop or factory documenting their machines and equipment—or as involved as maintaining a digital record of data that is continuously updating in real-time.  

Building your digital twin might be challenging at first, but it will give you a starting point to analyze valuable data.

Where to Start with Digitization

It’s easy for manufacturing services providers to get lost in all the technicalities and complexities of digitization, so we recommend developing a plan and then taking the process one step at a time. 

Call a team meeting with the goal of creating a digitization matrix that identifies which equipment and processes are the highest priority and which are the easiest entry points for digitization. 

Here’s a simple 5-step process for creating a digitization matrix: 

  • Step 1. List all the significant pieces of equipment and core processes in your shop or factory.
  • Step 2. Next to each equipment and process, rate how important it is and how impactful it would be if the equipment or process failed. Use a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest impact and 5 being the highest.
  • Step 3. Rate how easy it would be to digitize each piece of equipment or process. Use a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the hardest to digitize and 5 being the easiest.
  • Step 4. Multiply the two ratings for each asset to see which ones scored the highest. The highest scoring items are the most impactful and straightforward to digitize, so it would be wise to start there.
  • Step 5. Repeat this exercise every quarter. 

You’ll quickly gain a better understanding of which assets are generally the easiest and hardest to digitize. The process might be frustrating at first, but it will give you an excellent starting point for documenting and analyzing valuable data. You can then begin leveraging that data to make decisions that impact productivity and operations.

Alchemy Industrial is here to help you get started with this initiative—whether you’re a manufacturing services provider or any other type of business. If you have a product you want to digitize, request a quote on our website. If you’d like our support digitizing your workplace on a large scale, contact us for more information.