itive. These pressures remain true today but
are amplified by the fact that any competitive
advantages gained by the adoption of new
technology are short-lived due to the increasingly faster pace of technology innovation.
Besides the more obvious or direct ways
to increase the productivity of manufacturing operations (digitizing manufacturing,
reducing waste, optimizing supply chains,
introducing automation), collaboration –
the theme of this issue of the
Manufacturing Leadership Journal is a critical factor
for productivity. Basically, collaboration
reduces waste and improves quality by allowing everyone involved in the value stream
of the product development lifecycle to have
the right information, at the right time, at the
right place -- without wasting time hunting
for, translating, collating, and duplicating
information across siloed applications and
data stores to do their jobs.
Collaboration comes in four main flavors:
1. Collaboration among software
2. Collaboration among machines.
3. Collaboration among people, and a new
form that is generating a lot of buzz.
4. Collaboration among people
The cloud is a natural environment to
enable all of these types of collaboration
because it makes it much easier to develop
distributed, interconnected, secure, highly
available, scalable, and performant applica-
tions than with on-premise environments.
Cloud platforms remove the need for developers to worry about these plumbing
considerations, allowing them to focus on
developing their core applications.
Soft ware Applications
Software applications often need to talk to each other to exchange data or execute each other’s functions.
This collaboration among software applications is often referred to as Enterprise Application Integration. Examples of this soft-ware-to-software communication include:
1. A PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) system that needs to communicate
with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to synchronize part numbers when a new part is created in PLM.
2. A CAD (Computer-Aided Design) system that sends the 3D model of a part to
a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) system to generate the NC code. The
NC code is then sent to the machine tool
to make the part.
MANUFAC TURERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AMONG THE EAR- liest adopters of technology. Investment in digital transformation technologies is being widely recognized as the number one priority for manufacturers to remain competitive and, accordingly, this invest- ment is accelerating.
Technology adoption in manufacturing has always been driven by the
need to increase productivity, either by increasing the outputs (throughput) or decreasing the
inputs (costs), and the push for growth by capturing new customers in order to remain compet-
is Manufacturing Industry Lead, Industry
Growth & Ecosystems
– Cloud & Enterprise, at
Microso; Corp. Prior to
this position,Tambu-rini worked in manufacturing industry
strategy for Autodesk,
product planning for
ERP, technical evangelism for Microso;’s
Global ISV team, PLM
research at the Georgia
Institute of Technology,
and as a consultant implementing enterprise
PLM systems for SDRC
(now Siemens PLM).
Tamburini is a member
of the Manufacturing