Flex president: What makes an industry smart?

Sept. 25, 2023
Hooi Tan discusses the four pillars of a smart factory, and the growing role that culture will play in digital transformation.

Smart manufacturing, smart factories, heck, we call ourselves Smart Industry. But, what do those terms really mean? 

Different things to different people and system vendors, in most cases. However, Hooi Tan, president of contract manufacturer Flex's operations, says there are four major building blocks to consider:

  • I. Automation
  • II. Connectivity
  • III. Intelligence
  • IV Culture

Right now, most of the industry has the first two down pretty nicely, but there's a lot of work ahead of producers to get to pillars three and four. Tan recently sat down with Smart Industry Editor-in-Chief Robert Schoenberger to discuss what smart industry really is and how to accelerate its adoption.

About the Author

Robert Schoenberger | Editor-in-Chief


LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/robert-schoenberger-4326b810

Twitter: @Rschoenb 

Bio: Robert Schoenberger has been writing about manufacturing technology in one form or another since the late 1990s. He began his career in newspapers in South Texas and has worked for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland where he spent more than six years as the automotive reporter. In 2013, he launched Today's Motor Vehicles, a magazine focusing on design and manufacturing topics within the automotive and commercial truck worlds. He joined IndustryWeek in late 2021 and took on responsibility for Smart Industry in 2023.

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