Capgemini: a 5G roadmap for the manufacturing supply chain
Pascal Brosset, Chief Technology Officer of Capgemini's Digital Manufacturing services discusses the potential impact of 5G technology on the manufacturing supply chain, and how digital manufacturers can avoid falling behind the market.
Recent Capgemini research found that three-quarters of industrial companies (75%) believe that 5G is going to be a key enabler for their digital transformation in the next five years, as the opportunity for faster connectivity, greater security, lower latency and network slicing has spurred significant demand within the manufacturing world. 5G is now being hailed as the solution for a myriad of manufacturing challenges: coping with the exponential growth of connected devices and data traffic, communication latency, and increasing security and connectivity performance.
This isn’t surprising when you consider the numerous use cases for 5G across manufacturing – both for facilitating operations on the shop floor and for extended traceability across the supply chain. On the shop floor, for example, the increased speed of wireless communication, improved reliability and ability to connect 10–100x more devices can allow for thousands of sensors to send a constant stream of data to the cloud. Meanwhile, wireless transmitters can ensure superior coverage while allowing easy reconfiguration of production flows. This robust network ecosystem will help managers improve quality and speed, as well as react to supply changes. 5G will also enable remote maintenance, due to its low latency and high reliability, boosting operational efficiency and reducing downtime.
To exploit 5G’s potential to digitally transform manufacturing, industrial companies must now identify the areas where 5G can add strategic value - both in the immediate future and longer term - to design the right implementation road map. Below, are four key factors for manufacturers to consider when creating this roadmap:
Assess key connectivity requirements: Connectivity is a well-known and significant challenge in manufacturing. Capgemini research found that 44% of industrial organizations say it affects their overall digital transformation, with problems including lack of coverage and signal robustness through to the difficulties of achieving real-time interactions. Organizations need a clear picture of where their current technology portfolio would be challenged by the use cases they want to pursue. This means identifying the specific connectivity pain points for prioritized use cases, analyzing which connectivity parameter is causing the problem, and building a full understanding of whether 5G holds the answer.
Build 5G use cases and solutions in close collaboration with the 5G ecosystem: Operationalizing a new technology is always challenging. Problems range from device compatibility and network management to skill gaps. Building use cases and undertaking pilot programs in tandem with organizations from the 5G ecosystem can overcome these challenges. For example, collaboration with equipment vendors can provide access to compatible devices, while collaboration with telecom operators can help identify the ideal connectivity parameters for prioritized use cases.
In line with this, manufacturers should expect telecom operators to evolve from being service providers to digital transformation partners. They must work to understand the business needs, translate those into solutions and take the lead in implementing these for manufacturers.
Identify the appropriate implementation model for 5G: In order to realize 5G's full potential at speed, Capgemini’s research shows that a third of industrial organizations are planning to apply for licenses and set up private networks. Before deciding whether or not to do this, companies must think carefully about a few factors. First and foremost, they must assess whether a private or public network is more aligned with their strategic objectives as an organization.
If they choose to go down the private network route, the company must then consider the cost and time implications of running a network, and ensure they acquire the capabilities to do so - this includes checking local regulations as they differ across countries. Organizations must also carefully evaluate the cost of setting up a private network, as this will require initial capital expenditure.
Adapt the connectivity strategy to changing digital transformation goals: An Organization’s digital transformation goals are far from stagnant and will change over time. Organizations must therefore re-examine their connectivity requirements at regular intervals. This will allow them to identify potential connectivity pain points and possible solutions fluidly.
Because of its features, versatility, and flexibility, 5G can eventually become the standard communication technology, replacing older technologies (both wireline and wireless) currently in use. However, companies need to bear in mind that 5G is an emerging technology, and features such as network slicing or guaranteed quality of service will not be immediately available.
While anticipation for 5G is rife in the manufacturing sector, it will take time for all benefits to be available. In the meantime, manufacturers should be prepared and ready to act: collaborating closely with telecom operators, identifying areas where 5G can add value, and designing the right implementation roadmap. Those who don’t, are at risk of falling behind.
New speakers announced for Procurement & Supply Chain Live
Two leading executives in supply chain transformation have been confirmed for this year's Procurement & Supply Chain Live event.
Procurement & Supply Chain Live is the perfect opportunity to hear from prominent executives at the world’s leading procurement and supply chain businesses. The event will be streamed live from Tobacco Dock, London via the leading networking platform Brella.
The three-day show, running 28-30 September 2021, is an essential deep dive into the industry, with influential speakers sharing insights and strategies from their organisations, group roundtable discussions, and fireside chats.
We take a look at the latest additions to the already amazing lineup of speakers announced so far, and what they will bring to the flagship event.
VP Global Supply Chain at Macmillan Education Ltd
Shaun Plunkett has over 30 years of supply chain leadership experience in FMCG, entertainment and media sectors, supporting multi-billion euro businesses including Universal Music, EMI, Sony Music, Harper Collins and Associated British Foods. He has a track record of successfully delivering transformational change coupled with award winning operating models and developing and coaching global teams. Plunkett says that challenging the status quo is at the heart of what drives him on a daily basis - and encouraging others to continuously push the boundaries.
Read more about Plunkett’s involvement in Macmillan Education’s supply chain transformation HERE
Digital Transformation Lead, Oracle UK and Board Member, CILT at Macmillan Education Ltd
Vikram Singla is digital transformation director at Oracle, UK. He helps supply chain and finance business leaders leverage technology to deliver meaningful business outcomes for their organisations. He also serves on the board if CILT (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) – UK and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at Anglian Ruskin University. Singla has more than 25 years’ experience in the technology sector, and in global supply chain transformation, including deploying business transformation programmes for Fortune 500 firms. In his spare time, Singla is a passionate brand ambassador for Cancer Research.
Plunkett and Singla join a growing line-up of speakers, including: Sheri R. Hinish, IBM; Robert Copeland, G4S; Daniel Weise, BCG; Mark Bromley, Mastercard; David Loseby, Rolls Royce; and Ninian Wilson, Vodafone Procurement Company.