Future of Manufacturing: How to Succeed in a Connective Industry World
Since its founding in 1910, Hitachi has always had a pioneering spirit, continually seeking new ways to integrate seamless solutions for manufacturing and factory needs, eventually adopting the goal of creating a connective industry to combine ordering, supply chain, and shipping solutions into one. It is no wonder that now, over a century later and now working in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Hitachi has made the mark that it has, with over 300 entities under its umbrella spanning from automotive, AI technology, aerospace, medical & life science, industrial, and infostructure industries. With their wide network of industries and expansive business knowledge, it is no wonder that Hitachi has quickly become a leader in a new industrial model, Connective Industry.
What is Connective Industry?
Connective Industry is the interconnectedness of data, value, industry, and society. It is about exchanging and sharing information to accelerate business growth and connecting the digital world to the physical. Fully utilizing technological innovation, including AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data, Connective Industry strives to create solutions and add value to various problems in society through this connectedness.
How Hitachi is Connecting Industries
JR Automation , Flexware Innovation, Sullair , Hitachi Industrial Equipment & Solutions America, and Telesis Technologies, known as Hitachi’s Fusion for Industry family, together bring this concept to life, connecting their unrivaled products to the digital world and offering them as solutions for Hitachi customers. It is through these three businesses, combined with over 100 years of experience, that four pillars of industry principles have been established: Human, Generational, Technology, and Factory. These principles uphold the quality, innovation, nimbleness, and resilience that have defined Hitachi for decades.
The merging goals of the Fusion for Industry family and the Connective Industry business model are simple: to accelerate growth, build resilient manufacturing processes, and cultivate a synergy between cyber and physical spaces, working smarter – not harder – to achieve manufacturing goals.
This can be seen across the Fusion for Industry family of products and services – from continuous inkjet printers; compressed air, dryer, and vacuum systems; warehouse automation through Lumada (multifaceted technology that provides insight into customer data); and 5G Smart Warehouse intelligence (permits optimal connectivity between machines, objects, and devices while delivering higher data speeds, more reliability, and more). AI in manufacturing is also playing a large role. Nathan Roggins, Business Development Manager with Flexware Innovation, mentions that deep learning tools are being utilized to analyze large amounts of data points that manually would not be possible, saving time and providing deeper insight into operations and efficiencies. Watch his interview video (below), for more.
Top-to-Bottom Solutions for Manufacturing
JR Automation, continually on the cutting edge of the automation sector, has automated both smaller operation-assisted systems and larger fully automated robotic lines for distribution and manufacturing facilities using digital technologies tied to enterprise resource planning and manufacturing execution systems.
Recently, JR Automation’s Robotic SI business joined forces with Peak Nano’s manufacturing process. Peak Nano, a company specializing in optical lenses for telescopes, microscopes, and defense applications, was able to garner real-time control and product tracking with JR Automation’s INGENOVA360, a suite of JR software that fully connects equipment with a planning and control system, delivering the information Peak Nano needed to make strategic decisions.
Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems (HIES), looking to optimize its position in the coding and marking industry, recently purchased Telesis Technologies, a U.S. marking technologies company. This purchase allowed HIES to expand and enhance its product portfolio to become an industry-leading solutions provider.
End-to-end solutions also are demonstrated in the form of Hitachi’s air compressor solutions. Hitachi Global Air Power/Sullair, a Hitachi Fusion for Industry company, looks to understand both the supply and the demand side from the customer perspective, linking customer challenges to solutions within the Fusion for Industry family. VP of Global Marketing and Communications, David Andrews, dives into the details in the interview video (below).
Manufacturing Plan of Action
The Connective Industry model goes beyond solely improving the manufacturing process. It also plays a crucial part in Hitachi’s Mid-Term Management Plan of 2024. The plan states that a target goal is to ultimately support people’s quality of life with data and technology that fosters a sustainable society.
The goal can be achieved by protecting the earth while maintaining social infrastructure, Growing Green, Digital, Innovative Technologies and building a society in which every individual is comfortable and contributes to the greater good. Connective Industries support this goal by creating resilient supply chains and propelling innovation in industries and cities through its products and services.
Faced with this new business model and progressive ideas, the Fusion for Industry family has not fallen behind the pack. Home appliances, elevators, and escalators are being built on IoT (Internet of Things) platforms; semiconductors, DNA sequencers, and electron microscopes are interacting with cloud-based platforms; and automated guided robots and air compressors are being monitored remotely.
A Sustainable Manufacturing Future
Hitachi has continually been keenly focused on sustainability and adding green value to society. Not only should their Fusion for Industry family be interconnected with one another but should also improve the well-being of the world and the people in it. Contributing to a zero CO2 society, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and conserving resources are all goals of Hitachi, and the Fusion for Industry family possesses a deep understanding of the necessity of these targets. Products that the Fusion for Industry family already produces include generators for wind power, hydrogen mixed-combustion power generators, rapid charging stations for electric vehicles, and more.
Connecting the digital space with the physical and in partnership with Lumada, Fusion for Industry aims to build a recycling platform that will improve recycling rates. Collecting statistics, such as the recycling rate; quantifying the number of recyclable products; and monitoring how products break down will bring recycling-oriented manufacturing to the forefront.
Sullair’s sustainable DSP series certified Class 0 rotary screw air compressor has become a leader in manufacturing sustainability. Featuring Electronic Spiral Valve Technology, a rotor coating that is engineered to protect the screw against heat and humidity, and oil-free machinery, the air compressor can save up to 30% in energy costs, results in less waste, and garners greater efficiency.
From creating solutions for a more sustainable, greener future to modernizing and automating the manufacturing process, the Hitachi’s Fusion for Industry family exemplifies Connective Industry. Through this highly effective business model, time is maximized, production is increased, and societal life is enhanced.