Webinar Preview: Continuous evolution of smart industrial practices

March 5, 2021
But can new technology actually be problematic?
In April we connect with William Webb, CEO of Webb Search, during the webinar “This Whole Digital Transformation Thing...
Where We Stand & Where We're Headed.” Today William previews his presentation, touching on problematic technology, continuous evolution and 5G applications at small shops. Take a look… 

Smart Industry: What recent / forthcoming advancements in wireless technology are fueling smart manufacturing? Who can most benefit from this technology? 

William: Actually, it may be the advances in technology that are the problem, not the solution. Broadly, we already have all the technology we need—multiple types of connectivity, big data analytics, broadband networks. Adding more technology risks making it harder to standardize and to choose...and 5G may be an issue in this respect. Why deploy a system now when a better 5G system might be available is a few years? It took the iPhone to deliver mobile data—which was a low tech but beautifully integrated phone (the first iPhone was 2G only even though 3G was widespread). We need the same for smart manufacturing.

Smart Industry: Our recent State of Initiative Survey found that scaling digital efforts remains a problem; adoption of these approaches does not match the enthusiasm for what they can deliver. What is a reason for slow adoption of IoT / IIoT approaches? 

William: They are often very difficult to implement, requiring widespread change in working practices, skills, machinery and more. And the benefits are often nebulous or far in the future. What is needed are simple, complete solutions and clear evidence that the benefits are worth the difficulty of going through the change.

Smart Industry: Is continuous evolution in the industrial space really possible? What's the trick?

William: Yes, continuous evolution is certainly possible. Car production, for example, evolves year after year. Some steps are large, such as the introduction of robots, others smaller such as the use of digital cameras to record stages of car build. I don’t think there’s any trick—this is just the natural state of things.

Smart Industry: Does 5G hold potential for even the smallest enterprises?

William: Probably not. 5G is complex and it’s hard to see how anything but the largest and most IT-savvy companies could usefully deploy it. There may be exceptions where MNOs provide service and companies just look like subscribers on the network. But for most small companies 4G could provide all they need.

Want more with William? Click here to join us at the webinar. And bring your questions!