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Stuart O'Brien

$1.5 trillion global economy boost from ‘smart factories’

Smartfactories could add at least $1.5 trillion to the global economy through productivity gains, improvements in quality and market share, along with customer services.

However, two-thirds of this overall value is still to be realized: efficiency by design and operational excellence through closed- loop operations will make equal contributions.

According to new data from the Capgemini Research Institute, China, Germany and Japan are the top three countries in smartfactory adoption, closely followed by South Korea, United States and France.

The report entitled Smart Factories @ Scale, identified the two main challenges to scaling up: the IT-OT convergence and the range of skills and capabilities required to drive the transformation including cross-functional capabilities and soft skills in addition to digital talent.

The report also highlights how the technology led-disruption, towards an ‘Intelligent Industry’, is an opportunity for manufacturers striving to find new ways to create business value, optimize their operations and innovate for a sustainable future.

Key findings of the study, which surveyed over 1000 industrial company executives across 13 countries, include:

Organizations are showing an increasing appetite and aptitude for smart factories: compared to two years ago, more organizations are progressing with their smart initiatives today and one-third of factories have already been transformed into smart facilities. Manufacturers now plan to create 40% more smart factories in the next five years and increase their annual investments by 1.7x compared to the last three years. 

The potential value add from smart factories is bigger than ever: based on this potential for growth, Capgemini estimates that smart factories can add anywhere between $1.5 trillion to $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next five years. In 2017 Capgemini found that 43% of organizations had ongoing smart factory projects; which has shown a promising increase to 68% in two years. 5G is set to become a key enabler as its features would provide manufacturers the opportunity to introduce or enhance a variety of real-time and highly reliable applications.

Scaling up is the next challenge for Industry 4.0: despite this positive outlook, manufacturers say success is hard to come by, with just 14% characterizing their existing initiatives as ‘successful’ and nearly 60% of organizations saying that they are struggling to scale.

The two main challenges to scale up are:

·       The IT-OT convergence – including digital platforms deployment and integration, data readiness and cybersecurity – which will be critical to ensure digital continuity and enable collaboration. Agnostic and secure multilayer architectures will allow a progressive convergence.

·       In addition to digital talent, a range of skills and capabilities will be required to drive smart factory transformation including cross-functional profiles, such as engineering-manufacturing, manufacturing-maintenance, and safety-security. While soft skills, such as problem solving and collaborative skills will also be critical.

According to the report, organizations need to learn from high performers (10% of the total sample) that make significant investments in the foundations – digital platforms, data readiness, cybersecurity, talent, governance – and well-balanced “efficiency by design” and “effectiveness in operations” approach, leveraging the power of data and collaboration.

Jean-Pierre Petit, Director of Digital Manufacturing at Capgemini said: “A factory is a complex and living ecosystem where production systems efficiency is the next frontier rather than labor productivity. Secure data, real- time interactions and virtual-physical loopbacks will make the difference. To unlock the promise of the smart factory, organizations need to design and implement a strong governance program and develop a culture of data-driven operations.” 

“The move to an Intelligent Industry is a strategic opportunity for global manufacturers to leverage the convergence of Information Technology and Operational Technology, in order to change the way their industries will operate and be future ready,” he further added.

The report also details that PLM, MES / SCADA and robotics are key components of industrial architecture. However, the main areas of investment for at-scale deployments are IoT and AI, which support data-driven operations, as well as remote and mobile capabilities.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: FSI

Established in 1990, FSI is a global-leader in CAFM / IWMS solutions, with headquarters in the UK, offices in Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong and Canada, plus an international partner network. 

The portfolio includes Concept Evolution CAFM / IWMS, Concept Advantage workplace apps, and FSI GO mobile workforce apps.

To discover more, visit: www.fsifm.com

CASE STUDY: How to set up 5 star office conferencing facilities

By Shure

With more than 50 destinations across Europe, Event Hospitality Management Holding GmbH & Co KG currently operates more than 80 business and conferencing hotels in Germany, Italy and The Netherlands under its ‘EVENT Hotels’ brand. 

In order to ensure that its high standards are met across all its 3-, 4- and 5-star facilities, the group’s corporate management regularly liaises with the directors of each hotel, with the focal point of these important meetings being the large conference room at the corporate headquarters situated in Cologne on the banks of the River Rhine.

In February 2019, work finished on an ambitious installation which featured Shure’s Microflex Complete Wireless Solution, complemented by an IntelliMix P300 Conferencing DSP Processor. The system was planned and installed by systems integrator TASCAN.

Due to the conference room being an oblong shape, the previously installed conferencing system was unable to guarantee speech intelligibility during large meetings, affecting participants both in the conference room and at external locations, which led to a negative impact on internal and external collaboration and wider teamwork contribution. 

Having opted to comprehensively modernise its on-site media technology, the company also decided to bring the audio system up to date with a new, state-of-the-art solution.

Given the challenging room shape and dimensions, Cologne-based integrator TASCAN needed a flexible conferencing system that was also user friendly and simple to operate. With The team at TASCAN designed and implemented a solution that would improve not only speech intelligibility at the main conferencing venue, but also provide off-site meeting participants with high-quality audio streams.

With the project brief specifying a wireless system, the system would be required to operate error-free, despite the large number of technology and media companies in Cologne and the rising use of wireless frequencies nearby.

Another requirement was that the system allow integration of analog AV hardware codecs as well as ensure that laptops and other computers could connect with the central control unit.

TASCAN Systems installed a total of 16 MXCW640 Wireless Conference Units in the room, each fitted with an MXC420DF/C condenser gooseneck microphone catering for up to 32 meeting participants. Using an MXCWAPT Access Point, the wireless signals are routed to an IntelliMix P300 DSP processor via Dante before being provided to the video and audio conference.

A 4.3” colour touchscreen situated in the rooms displays the speaker order and can also be used for voting. The MXCW640 Wireless Conference Unit offers flexible configuration options and can be placed on surfaces anywhere in the room. The integrated speaker of the MXCW640 also provides additional advantages that help meetings run smoothly – with each unit functioning as a loudspeaker, the system provides significantly improved communication between participants around the elongated conference table.

“The flexibility of the automatic frequency management, paired with the excellent audio quality, was the clinching argument for us to select the Shure Microflex Complete Wireless System,” explained Abdelaziz El Jaouhari, Projects & Sales Manager at TASCAN Systems.

“The management team at Event Holding was also impressed at the way the P300 DSP processor was integrated quickly and easily into the video conferencing system via Dante.”

Jaouhari concluded: “The customer has reported back to us on the uniformly positive user experience with the Microflex Complete Wireless system.”

You’re invited to join ByBox at the FM Christmas Party!

There’s just weeks to go until the FM Christmas Party, hosted by the team at the Facilities Management Forum and the FMJ – with help from our Partner ByBox.

ByBox believes that with the right technology, we can help keep the world working. Its software platforms and physical lockers enable you to operate with less inventory, and to reduce your costs.

FM Christmas Party

Wednesday 27 November – BEAT London – 6pm till late

Join friends, colleagues, suppliers and peers for drinks and canapes, and toast the start of the festive season. But act swiftly if you want to ensure that your name is the on the guest list, as we have a limited number of tickets left.

They’re priced at just £40 +VAT which covers your entrance, drinks and canapes.

Don’t miss out! Book today!

Our partners for the evening include the CSHAFSI, ByBox and Sanderson Cleaning Services.

Secure your reservation at the FM Forum

There’s a free VIP place reserved for you at the Facilities Management Forum – claim it today!

You can confirm your reservation here.

27 & 28 January 2020 – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

This unique event is entirely FREE for you to attend – and gives you a unique opportunity to:-

  • Source new innovative and budget-saving suppliers
  • Learn from inspirational seminar sessions hosted by industry thought-leaders
  • Network with like-minded FM professionals who share your challenges
  • Enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation, plus all meals and refreshments

Don’t miss out – Register today!

IWFM teams with Microsoft for smart workplaces

The IWFM has begun a research and development collaboration with Microsoft to explore a shared vision for the role of technology in high performing workplaces.

A new programme themed around connected and smart workplaces will see the partners collaborate on new research that could influence workplace performance.

The collaboration will be launched during Workplace Week on 14 November 2019 with an industry event, while ongoing research, insights and guidance content being shared throughout 2020.  

The IWFM says advancements such as the Internet of Things, AI and big data, combined with existing technologies such as building information modelling, analytics and workplace design can contribute to improved building and business outcomes. 

As such, exploring the theme of workplace transformation in the technological age, the IWFM and Microsoft will jointly introduce new research to equip workplace and business leaders with tools and insights that could to transform their organisations into connected high performers.

The move follows research published by the IWFM last year, Embracing Technology to move FM forward, which explored the disruption and opportunities presented by technology and highlighted the opportunity cost of missing out on the digital upgrade.  

It suggested that the opportunities to be derived from creatively combining existing and new technologies to support better outcomes leave workplace professionals well placed to help businesses to stay competitive and efficient.

The IWFM says its alliance with Microsoft will combine the know-how of its own industry experts with the cutting-edge capability of the tech giant’s Smart Buildings team to explore the opportunities and challenges facing technology and workplace development. The programme will generate further insights to help individuals and organisations understand and navigate the technology and experience matters which can combine to create people centred workplaces capable of driving better outcomes.

Chris Moriarty, IWFM’s Director of Insight and Engagement, said: “We are taking, shaping and making future-ready the workplace technology conversation so its relevant to today’s businesses environment. The collaboration with Microsoft Smart Buildings team will harness our rich knowledge and resources to offer workplace optimising insights for the future, building on IWFM’s established research base. Working with Microsoft will not only speed that up, it can help us to understand the innovation most relevant for workplace leaders whose businesses will need a tech transformation to compete effectively.”

David Williams, Innovation Architect – Microsoft Digital, Smart Buildings Worldwide Community Lead, said: “Technology innovation is a gamechanger to drive new models and transform today’s businesses and workplaces. Working with IWFM, we have a unique opportunity to increase awareness of technology within the workplace. This partnership will enable us to empower workplace leaders to elevate the workplace conversation to senior levels and do more with the technology and innovation available. 

Kari Allen, Head of Partnerships at b2b partnerships Ltd, who led the development of IWFM’s collaboration with Microsoft, said: “This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to jointly produce market leading research and insights that are unique and impactful. This collaboration boosts both IWFM and Microsoft’s aspiration to inspire and equip workplace and business leaders to transform their workplaces today into high performing organisations for the future”.

The drinks are on Sanderson Cleaning Services at the FM Christmas Party!

There’s under a month to go until the FM Christmas Party, hosted by the team at the Facilities Management Forum and the FMJ – with help from our Drinks Partner Sanderson Cleaning Services (SCS).

Sanderson Cleaning Services offer tailored, innovative cleaning solutions. Their focus and commitment is to deliver an excellent service. Since 1990 they have developed a wealth of experience and a reputation for providing a discerning and personalised cleaning service to ‘blue chip’ customers in London and the Home Counties.

Excellent service can only be achieved by fully understanding your needs and requirements and by appreciating that a flexible approach is essential in an ever changing business environment.

FM Christmas Party

Wednesday 27 November – BEAT London – 6pm till late

Join friends, colleagues, suppliers and peers for drinks and canapes, and toast the start of the festive season. But act swiftly if you want to ensure that your name is the on the guest list, as we have a limited number of tickets left.

They’re priced at just £40 +VAT which covers your entrance, drinks and canapes.

Don’t miss out! Book today!

Our partners for the evening include the CSHAFSI, ByBox and Sanderson Cleaning Services.

FSI invites you to the FM Christmas Party!

There’s under a month to go until the FM Christmas Party, hosted by the team at the Facilities Management Forum, the FMJ and our Headline Partner FSI.

FSI is a global-leader in CAFM / IWMS software, with Headquarters in the UK, offices in Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong and Canada, plus an international partner network.

The portfolio includes Concept Evolution CAFM / IWMS, Concept Advantage workplace apps, and FSI GO workforce apps.

FM Christmas Party

Wednesday 27 November – BEAT London – 6pm till late

Join friends, colleagues, suppliers and peers for drinks and canapes, and toast the start of the festive season. But act swiftly if you want to ensure that your name is the on the guest list, as we have a limited number of tickets left.

They’re priced at just £40 +VAT which covers your entrance, drinks and canapes.

Don’t miss out! Book today!

Our partners for the evening include the CSHAFSI, ByBox and Sanderson Cleaning Services.

Abloy debuts Escape Door System (EDS) course

Abloy UK has launched a training programme to further extend its Academy portfolio – the Escape Door System (EDS) course.

Led by Duncan Rigby, Technical Sales and Specification Manager, the one day course is designed to give delegates practical training and guidance to install the potentially life-saving EDS to the required industry standard.

The sessions, which are held at Abloy UK’s dedicated training facility in Willenhall, West Midlands and can also be arranged off-site, provide thorough coverage of the system installation and software set up, including hands-on practical training to ensure attendees leave the course knowing how to install the EDS.

In fact, Abloy’s EDS products will only be available to customers who have successfully completed the training, ensuring that the critical performance of the products is fully understood by the people who install them.

Delegates will also learn more about how EDS ensures compliance, security and the ability to implement dynamic lockdown procedures, which can vitally assist evacuation during emergency scenarios such as a fire, gas leak or terrorist event.

The components of the EDS must all be installed to be compliant with BS EN 13637, the standard for electrically controlled exit systems for use on escape routes, and it is the first stage to control egress on an escape door while complying with relevant standards – as it can immediately restrict access in response to threats, allowing specific at-risk zones to be cordoned off, while still allowing escape.

The EDS is suited for a variety of busy venues including arenas, stadiums, theatres, cinemas, commercial, education, retail, nurseries and museums.

Rigby said: “The development of industry standards means emergency escape access control specifiers must continue to refresh their knowledge. We’re proud that Abloy provides training of the highest standard and is sharing the very latest in best practice.

“This course will enable engineers to install EDS where they are needed. Emergency escape is a vital part of any public building, and though thankfully they are rarely needed, installing the wrong products can lead to loss of life, substantial fines and even custodial sentences.”

The Abloy Academy has recently celebrated 10 years of training end-users and major businesses to raise awareness of compliance. Certification from the Academy gives reassurance of a person’s competence and specialist product understanding to provide industry-leading solutions.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers’ Association (CHSA)

Our Standards. Your Guarantee.

The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers’ Association (CHSA) operates the highly respected Accreditation Schemes for Distributors and Manufactures of Plastic Sacks, Industrial Cotton Mops and Soft Tissue.

Each is designed to make sure buyers of cleaning and hygiene products can be certain ’what’s on the box is what’s in the box’.    

The Schemes have substance and bite. To join members must pass a rigorous audit of products and internal quality procedures, conducted by the CHSA’s Independent Inspector.

Annual inspections thereafter make sure standards are maintained.  

Companies that consistently fail to meet the standards facing expulsion.