Recently I was flying from Singapore airport. Ready to check-in, I reached the airline counter looking for the check-in desk. But all I could find were a couple of kiosks to print the boarding pass and a big machine to accept the bags, provided they meet the size and weight restrictions. If anything is amiss the machine will simply deny accepting the bags.
Coming from a country where we have people even to hand out parking tickets from an automatic ticket vending machine, I was frustrated and irritated. How desperately I was looking for a human to talk to! That brief encounter with pure technology made me realize how much we crave human touch!
Human Touch is the essence of Manufacturing 5.0. In the current age, when everyone is talking about Industry 4.0 and it is still happening, is it too early to start talking about Manufacturing 5.0? Well, per industry experts, it is not. Manufacturing 5.0 is just around the corner!
The transition from Mass Production to Mass Customization!
Industry 4.0 is all about automation, connecting the machines to each other and the Cloud, so they can talk to each other and the data collected from them can make them even smarter. All the technological advancements happening under the umbrella of Industry 4.0 are focusing on making the machines smarter and operating them with less and less human interaction. The goal of Industry 4.0 is highly efficient mass production. While this approach is beneficial for some businesses but for significant others this might not work.
Today’s modern consumers are looking for customization in everything they consume from apparel to automobile, to furniture. Millennials are looking for something unique and customized. And no, the price is not the barrier.
According to a report by Deloitte, one in five consumers are willing to pay a 20% premium for products or services personalized for them. On an average 36% of the consumers indicated an interest in purchasing personalized products or services and 22% are even ready to share their personal details to avail a personalized service or product.
As indicated by the report, businesses can not afford to ignore this shift in demand from mass manufacturing to mass customization and are willing to offer customized products and services. They have developed the capabilities to measure what their customers want and are allocating needed resources for it. Businesses are postponing production to the latest time possible to facilitate customization.
Mass customization also is known as “build to order” or “made to order”, combines the personalization and flexibility of custom-made business manufacturing and takes it to another level of mass production, which offers a lower unit cost. Therefore, different mass consumer groups are targeted in mass customization instead of focusing on a single client. This concept is being used by many businesses such as software products that allow users to modify certain functionalities per their requirement.
Benefits of mass customization for businesses –
- Allows businesses to gain deeper insight into consumer behavior.
- Allows businesses to simplify their products and services.
- Improve consumer traffic and conversion.
- Opportunity to create a differential proposition which may command price premium.
- Opportunity to provide unique value for customers for their personal data being used.
Here comes Manufacturing 5.0!
Manufacturing 5.0 is the upgraded version of Industry 4.0 where interconnected systems, robots and advance manufacturing techniques from Industry 4.0 will collaborate with the cognitive, creative thinking skills of human mind. In other words, humans and smart machines working together for improved productivity and mass customization.
Smart machines and robots will continue to perform repetitive tasks such as day-to-day operations, data mining, scheduled maintenance etc. Human staff will take on higher level tasks such as managing these smart systems, customization via batch production, taking real-time actions to improve quality etc. More and more manufacturers are increasing human presence on the shop floors not only to ensure customization but also to increase efficiency.
Manufacturing 5.0 allows consumers to personalize products and services. For example, you can order a personalized storybook with your child as the protagonist. Or you can specify the type of the processor, kind of hard drive, amount of memory, color etc. for your new the laptop before it goes into production. One can even get an ear plug specifically designed to fit his/her ear!
To facilitate this level of customization manufacturers are looking for flexible manufacturing options to manufactures products on-demand while watching the bottom-line.
Chizel – A Manufacturing Platform to Facilitate Manufacturing 5.0
At Chizel we are building a first-of-its-kind online ecosystem to facilitate on-demand manufacturing with technology as its foundation. Chizel is a manufacturing portal where manufacturers can produce what they want when they want, and how much they want.
With a very idealistic approach, building a manufacturing Cloud system is highly challenging. To facilitate manufacturing 5.0, two major developments at Chizel are:
A deeptech enabled manufacturing platform called COCO which provides access to the manufacturing data, insights, and know-how to a design engineer. To learn more about COCO, please follow this link.
A standardized and digitally connected manufacturing infrastructure to manufacture custom parts at high volume.
Integrating the software and manufacturing machines or hubs, we have created a seamless manufacturing ecosystem where a user has to simply visit www.chizel.io, upload the 3D CAD files and select the desired process and machine. An instant quote and timeline will be provided to the user based on his/her need, hub location, machine availability etc. Once the order is confirmed, the hub will receive the order in a structured manner. The hub will then manufacture the parts, quality inspect them and ship it to the customer. Security is our top-most concern. Therefore, the confidential files shared over the cloud platform will be in an encrypted format and will be directly fed into the machine at the hub.
Chizel is a new generation manufacturing company which is faster, secure, agile, and cost-efficient.
Manufacturing 5.0 is the next level of Industry 4.0 where manufacturers will continue to use the industrial automation from Industry 4.0 but will be able to offer more personalized experiences to the end user by employing the critical thinking skills of human staff. Thus, bringing the human touch back into manufacturing!