Petrochemical plant

Design Insights: Demystifying Digital Transformation; Making the Transition

July 19, 2021
A review of the day’s top trending stories from Machine Design editors.

Demystifying Digital Transformation

We use the phrase “digital transformation” all the time, but without a clear definition, it becomes one of those pie-in-the-sky concepts rather than something real and attainable.

A new Machine Design article on the topic cuts right through the wordplay and gets straight to the heart of the matter: “To some, the term ‘digital transformation’ may sound cryptic and complicated, but it really is about taking practical steps to make operations clearer, easier and more concrete. By definition, digital transformation is a process that a facility, system or piece of equipment undergoes that allows end-users to see real-time data, make decisions based on it and act based on those decisions,” write authors Amit Patel and Jason Maderic of Emerson. “Digital transformation puts the right information in the hands of the right expert, no matter where they sit, which improves the speed and accuracy of decision-making and action.”

Digital transformation is really just using the tools you have to turn guesses and hunches into solid business decisions.

Making the Transition

Manufacturers have been transforming their work environments for decades now, so what makes this digital transformation different? It’s the challenge of tying all those other changes into the digital technology available.

A recent Top Tips from Machine Design and Advantech took a look at those challenges. In the introduction, it’s noted, “Traditional manufacturers are tasked with integrating technologies that weren’t even around 20 years ago. However, proper interfacing with management software and pre-integrated solution packages can help them implement digital IoT analysis and management practices to improve productivity.

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