Modern manufacturing industry – A site of digital evolution

Alie Ashryver

Dec 27, 2022

10 min read

The relationship between man and inventions dates back to the first wheel. The wheel that kick-started man’s ambition to turn anything and everything into something useful. Extracting something valuable and useful from something raw after undergoing a series of processes is the foundation upon which man has built the world. Well, that right there is the definition of manufacturing. From the clothes that you wear and the powerful cars that you race on the roads to most of the food that you eat, all these are part of the manufacturing industry in some way or the other.

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Quick skim across the manufacturing industry:

Not to be redundant, but the world dictionary defines manufacturing as the transformation of raw materials into usable goods of value, this we know. We also know that, more often than not, this transformation happens as a series of processes. So naturally, it is easy to guess that the output from each stage becomes the input to the next. Accordingly, it is a safe bet that each of these stages has to work in tandem and without a break in the chain for the industry to thrive. All these small but powerful observations hint at the crucial aspects of the inner workings of the manufacturing industry.

But before we jump to the workings of the industry, let us look at the different segments that make up the circle for a better understanding. Although the definition allows for placing a wide variety of industries under the mantle of manufacturing, the most important ones include:

  • Aircraft, ships, and automobile
  • Food and clothing
  • Computers, consumer electronics, and electrical equipment
  • Furniture
  • Heavy machinery
  • Refined petroleum products
  • Steel and tools

Notice how all of these industries stick true to the definition of mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials into final products? Manufacturers can range in size from a small business that hand-assembles products to a global corporation with plants all over the world. Organizations in the manufacturing sector classified as middle-market are those with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.


Moving on, some of these industries are also interconnected. For example, aircraft, ships, and automobile industries employ steel and aluminum for building their parts and components. The different interconnections and interdependencies allude to the most fundamental nature of the manufacturing industry – a microscopic margin for error. A minute error in any one stage of the process could mess up the entire final product.

Now that we have a general idea about the manufacturing sector, let us look at the new trends shaping its world.

Trends that push and pull the manufacturing sector:

Technology has left its impact on all spheres of life. Why should the manufacturing sector be left untouched? Here’s a look at the most significant ones:

Digitalization of the manufacturing industry:

Manufacturing industries across the globe are shifting to digital tools and technologies to improve the overall process of manufacturing. And why not! After all, these digital tools promise better productivity and efficiency minus the cost of human errors. This right here is the digitalization of the manufacturing industry.

Internet of Things (IoT):

Manufacturing companies have started using IoT devices. For instance, some manufacturers are adding sensors to their equipment to encourage networking and provide simple real-time data access. Consequently, manufacturers significantly reduce costs by improving the efficiency of their supply networks by having more data at their disposal.

Predictive maintenance:

Downtime can cost a manufacturer a lot of money. Manufacturers have historically avoided it by performing preventative maintenance based on a regular cycle without taking into account the actual state of the equipment. A more reliable approach is predictive maintenance, which uses IoT devices to monitor equipment performance and predict when maintenance is required. As a result, cutting down on unnecessary maintenance and other cost-related factors.

Renewable energy:

More and more businesses are embracing renewable energy sources mostly due to social responsibility. One advantage of using renewable energy is that it can lessen a company’s reliance on conventional energy sources prone to shortages, price swings, and other unfavorable trends.

3D printing:

Although 3D printing is not a new technology, it is improving by the day and enabling firms to produce prototypes more quickly. Additionally, 3D printing can produce goods relatively instantly. In the past, businesses had to create molds and store them. These molds would require substantial and expensive physical storage, thus not being too feasible.

Robotics and automation:

Since the 1960s, the manufacturing industry has using robots in one form or the other. But technological improvements have made them more accessible, effective, and adaptable. With the persistence of the shortage of manpower in manufacturing, the inevitability of more and more robots being employed is a fact.

As advanced as the sector is, it leaves wondering whether there are issues that hound the sector. Well, let us see, shall we?

Woes of the manufacturing sector:

Life is not a bed of roses, and so it’s kind of a given that even the thriving manufacturing industry will have its bed of thorns. Some of these ever-present challenges include:

Inventory management:

Despite being one of the biggest problems faced by the industrial sector, inventory management has gotten much simpler thanks to automated solutions – a perk of digitalization of the manufacturing industry! However, a lot of small manufacturers still manage their stocks by hand. Manual stock checks are ineffective and prone to mistakes leading to errors, shortages, excess, and unreported losses. Utilizing software helps speed up time-consuming chores like managing inventory.

Improving manufacturing plant’s efficiency:

It is imperative that manufacturers produce good quality products by efficiently managing their resources. This not only means cutting down on wastage but also wringing the maximum possible efficiency from their equipment and human resources.

Keeping track of sales leads:

Managing and analyzing sales leads is another issue that businesses frequently face. The majority of them manage their leads in the same manner, yet this is the wrong tactic. Each sales lead needs to be handled individually because they have different personas, interests, and needs. Additionally, manufacturers frequently struggle to recognize potential leads, which causes them to focus on unimpressive possibilities and neglect to follow up with high-potential leads.

Adapting to technological changes:

With all the technological advancements cropping up by the day, there might be slight hiccups in trying to adapt to them. The trials faced by digitalization of the manufacturing industry include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of clarity in the proceedings
  • Lack of governance and transparency in the reporting of results
  • The discrepancy between “acquiring technology” and “adoption of technology.”

We have quite a few issues there, but not all hope’s lost, my friends! Most of these issues can be solved by having a proper Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) system like Hexnode in place.

UEM to the rescue:

Over the years, UEM has been gaining a reputation for being a lifesaver when it comes to device management and security. UEM can effortlessly secure your organization’s data and provide you with an easy and relaxed approach to ensuring compliance with all types of devices.

The need:

Manufacturers are always under the heat to improve productivity at lowered costs. Quite the menace as customers expect greater production volumes in lesser time and workers demand a higher pay. Quite the pickle! But this pickle is what has directed countless manufacturers to adopt UEM solutions like Hexnode. Digitalization of the manufacturing industry – the revolutionary turn to mobile devices on shop floors and factories had opened up doubts regarding the security of these devices. However, a UEM like Hexnode efficiently secures all the devices employed while allowing the workforce to achieve better, smarter, and quicker productions, thus driving productivity without the cost of efficiency.

Rugged devices on the rise:

If you keep up with the trends and happenings in the different industries, then rugged device is a term you might be familiar with. Rugged devices are devices meant to work in the harshest of conditions and crudest form of handling. Manufacturers across the world are deploying rugged devices in their plants, factories, mills, etc. And why not? The best ROI conversions and easy management with UEMs like Hexnode is incentive enough to turn to these devices. Some of the benefits of using a UEM solution like Hexnode include:

  • Fast and easy enrollment of the different types of devices
  • Efficient device deployment and management
  • The iron grip on maintenance and quality control
  • Data analytics and insights from the different reports are easily handled from the dashboard
  • Ensure data and device security
  • Quick and efficient file distribution and app management
  • Increase productivity and efficiency by enabling kiosks – no room for distractions
  • Benefits and profit margins are things manufacturers across the globe understand and so it’s obvious why more and more of them are roping in UEMs to ensure better productivity and increased efficiency.

Benefits of choosing Kyocera ultra-rugged smartphones for rugged enterprise applications

Greatest gift to manufacturing industry – A connected workforce:

Amongst all these benefits, the best gift that UEM delivers to the manufacturers is securing the mobile devices that contribute to forming a connected workforce. A connected workforce, the driving force of increased productivity and efficiency, needs to be secure to derive any real profit. Otherwise, the efforts are all in vain. Fret not, though! As I’ve mentioned time and again, Hexnode more than steps up to save the day like a real hero. Transformation of operational processes in the manufacturing industry with supercharged efficiency and increased standard of work and safety compliance has been Hexnode’s agenda since day 1.

Final sweep across the factory floor:

Digitization has indeed struck all industries taking no prisoners. Transforming anything and everything into the digital space, the manufacturing sector is no exception here. Indeed, the digitalization of the manufacturing industry! With more and more industries shifting to mobile devices and rugged devices it becomes absolutely necessary for them to have a close eye on these devices to ensure there is no data leakage or compromises with devices’ security. A tough and tricky marsh to navigate without the right means and infrastructure. But, lucky for you manufacturers, Hexnode’s here to lift your yoke and improve your productivity and the efficiency of your workforce.

In today’s age and time data is not just about power but also the driving force that increases revenue and builds customer relationships while rooting for smart factories with mobile infrastructure. Hexnode is a dynamic UEM solution that caters to your requirement for quality device management and security while offering the taste of technological advancements.

Alie Ashryver

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Gimme a pen and paper and I'll clear up the cloud of thoughts in ma head...

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