Manufacturing Group


Welcome to the Manufacturing Industry Group

Our IDC Manufacturing Insights community has been created to enable you to engage with our manufacturing industry analysts, share your knowledge and best practices, and connect with your colleagues.

  • Participate in the manufacturing discussions in our Blogs or Forums
  • Learn about and share best practices, tips, tricks and tools related to business/technology alignment
  • Network with your colleagues within your industry
  • Provide feedback to IDC's industry analysts and your peers

We welcome your participation! 

analysts blogging about manufacturing

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Engage with IDC Industry Analysts

This past week, I came across an article which explored how one luxury auto manufacturer looked to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. To me this seems like a goal off a billboard or one found on a motivational poster in a contact center. But this manufacturer truly believes it can and should have this as its target to be measured and be held to account.

Automation is a clearly a top reason for companies looking into the use of robotic technology within their business processes. However, it is important to realize that, while many robots are designed for automating tasks, there are others that are designed to augment human capabilities rather than automate tasks. We tend to think of robots as either robotic arms or autonomous mobile robots operating autonomously in business settings. Such devices often focus on improving productivity and efficiency in business operations. On the other hand, there are several elements of robotic technology that are focused on improving human safety or giving humans increased strength, stamina, or precision. This post will take a look at a few examples of how robotic technology is enhancing human operators rather than automating tasks.

Everywhere you walked inside and outside the grounds of Hannover Messe 2018 last week in Hannover, Germany, you were greeted by digital twin messaging and technology. It's an exciting time in manufacturing today for many reasons, including the increasing usage of digital twins, or virtual copies of products and assets for innovation, collaboration, and operation.

New beginnings are exciting. The promise of something fresh, new things to explore, and a rejuvenation of outlook and energy. In my new journey as the Program Director for Service Innovation & Connected Products within IDC’s Manufacturing Insights group, I feel all those emotions. For the last ten years, I have researched the trends and the opportunities for growth that impact the field service and customer support leader. In my next decade of exploration, I am excited to hone in more specifically on the future for the manufacturer within service.

The evolution of robotic technology is, in part, a function of the related technology ecosystem and the rapidly improving capabilities of the technology areas that are being built into robots. One of the most influential technology areas that is helping to deliver modern intelligent robotics is Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this sense, I am considering Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Cognitive Computing, and such under the umbrella of AI. AI is not just about technology that can think for itself, in fact, AI is more a function of a robust set of inputs and outputs that allows a machine to make intelligent decisions based on a deep data base of existing knowledge, coupled with the ability to continuously add to that data set and respond to its environment in real time. In January, IDC spent time visiting with, RightHand Robotics, and Nvidia to discuss the role that AI plays in the evolution of modern commercial service robotics. One particular use case, which was the focal point of several of these conversations, is the use of robotics for picking and handling eaches within the fulfillment process.

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