25 Jun 2024

Embracing digitalisation amid global challenges

Manufacturing optimism 2024

In a world marked by constant change, adaptability is the key to thriving in any industry. The hydraulics and pneumatics sectors are no exception. As global challenges continue to mount, from climate change and supply chain disruptions to significant geopolitical conflicts, companies in these sectors must transform to remain competitive and sustainable. Smart Machines & Factories discusses further.

One path toward this necessary transformation is through digitalisation and investment in technology. Although the hydraulics and pneumatics industries play a key role in various sectors, they face increased scrutiny in an era marked by heightened environmental concerns, resource scarcity, and geopolitical instabilities.

Mitigating the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change is one of the most critical global problems. Both hydraulic and pneumatic systems have historically been associated with high energy consumption and emissions. Digitalisation has the potential to help by allowing for precise control and monitoring of hydraulic equipment. Advanced sensors, IoT connectivity, and data analytics enable companies to optimise their systems, reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

Moreover, supply chain disruptions and economic instability have been particularly pronounced in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities of global supply chains. Companies relying on traditional, manual processes found it challenging to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Digitalisation and technology investments can enhance supply chain resilience, allowing companies to predict and mitigate potential disruptions, ensuring a consistent flow of materials and components.

Digitalisation also isn’t merely about efficiency and sustainability; it also brings new capabilities. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can empower predictive maintenance, minimising downtime, and repair costs. It is also no understatement to say that augmented reality and virtual reality technologies can help revolutionise training and troubleshooting, improving workforce skills and operational efficiency.

In the context of global problems, investing in digitalisation has an additional advantage, it helps attract and retain a talented workforce. The younger generation is increasingly concerned about environmental and social issues. Companies that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and technological innovation are more likely to attract these individuals.

To stay competitive, the hydraulics and pneumatics industries must navigate the challenges of our time by embracing digitalisation and investing in technology. This transition will not only enhance operational efficiency, sustainability, and supply chain resilience but also position companies to cope with the instabilities of the global economy and take advantage of new opportunities.

Company info: Smart Futures