Digitization is a vital tool for the sustainability and survival of the manufacturing sector


technology is a vital tool so that the manufacturing industry is more efficient every day, especially if the companies in the sector want to face the current challenges where sustainability, efficiency and profitability go hand in hand. In other aspects, digitization Implemented across the entire value chain, it reduces production and logistics costs by approximately 20%, and breathes oxygen into the functioning of any business organization, ensuring its future sustainability.

These are just some of the conclusions reached during the conference “Transformation and new digital solutions for the manufacturing industry” organized by Telefónica Empresas and held at the headquarters of Escuela 42 in Urduliz (Bilbao) at the beginning of October. A conference attended by experts from Telefónica, customers such as Gestamp, DBSchenker, Celsa, Duro Felguera, Solt Sea Farm, Tubacex and the Basque Government and partners like Teamviewer and Nozomiwho told in the first person his experience on digitization in the industrial field, as well as the projects that are currently underway.

The day began by analyzing the impact of the pandemic on the manufacturing sector and the acceleration of the scanning process Yes technological revolution that had to be tackled almost at a forced march, as well as the new challenges for the future that were put on the table and the need to find the right allies to achieve a transformation that will guarantee the industry survival and, therefore, the country’s economic competitiveness.

On the importance of digitalization throughout the value chain of an industrial company, he focused Javier Benito, director of Telefonica Euskadi: “The Industry 4.0 model, where the entire industrial process is digitized, from planning to logistics or after-sales, makes it possible to obtain real-time information that makes the value chain every less linear day and give experiences at the height of product customization this will impact the increasing flexibility of production, as well as advanced planning in low predictability environments, as was the case with the pandemic”.

Digitized processes, the key to transformation

And it is that in the current context, where everything is going at breakneck speed, digitized processes interconnected by data and the subsequent advanced processing of these are the keys to transforming the manufacturing sector. A manufacturing sector, on the other hand, which has a significant weight in our GDP and it has always been quite stable since 2014, being around the twenty%; although after the arrival of Covid-19 it suffered a sharp decline to around 18% and even 15% at the bloodiest time.

On this path to digitization, which has great advantages, Benito points out that several catalysts that will mark the change of skin in the industry will be the “critical connectivity” through which “reliable, real-time and guaranteed” data and information will be obtained, as well as “platforms” which process the information obtained and “transfer it to the business model” through the tools of “Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will increase the value of the information obtained”. Of course, the director of Telefónica also warned that it is essential to have effective cybersecurity services that protect data and the results obtained, which they had not needed until relatively recently.

And it is that, as he exposed Dario Cesena, CEO of Geprom, a company owned by Telefónica Tech in 2021, the industry “is still far from the desired digitization” and “has too much information on paper that generates errors and inefficiencies”. Therefore, he said what is “desired” is the existence of tools that “enable plant processes to have a single data model that avoids having islands and a tower of control where there is visibility of the main processes”.

The importance of allies

Moreover, the vast majority of the industry is made up of medium-sized companies that need specialists. in digitizationsince they do not have specialized areas dedicated solely to the implementation of technological tools that help them in their transformation and companies such as Telefónica play a fundamental role in it, a relevant player when it comes to apply the “enablers” mentioned in the industry, taking into account It also takes into account the specificities of the sector to cover all your needs.

Telefónica, in this sense, and thanks to the knowledge of Geprom, has the ability to integrate highly industry-oriented tools, thanks to the great knowledge of industrial companies. It also fosters a highly competitive ecosystem of partners that creates synergies and contributes to the growth of the industrial fabric by being able to provide a 360-degree vision and strategy, end to end.

First person scanning process

And it is that digitization must be performed in order to solve the daily problems of industrial companiesas evidenced by the block on the experience of Telefónica customers and partners.

In this sense, since Stolt Marine Farm, a company that grows turbot and then processes, processes and packs it for shipment to the customer, explained that for “short and long-term planning in sales forecasting, being able to replace our turbot in fish farms is an essential aspect for the company”. For this reason, and to solve this problem, they have promoted an ambitious development project Dedicated to turbot farming and digitalization that controls the entire process through a control tower: from fish farming to the end customer.

For its part, the logistics company DB Schenker He commented on how they improved the efficiency of entering packages into warehouses with arcs with artificial vision they can perform a volumetric measurement of the entire load as well as associate it with the corresponding customer thanks to the automatic reading of the tag. Thanks to this, they have managed to be more efficient in optimizing means of transport, reducing delays and improving customer satisfaction.

He also explained how 5G or automation via AGVs, among others, have transformed intralogistics processes. In this case, Gestamp, a company from the auxiliary automotive industry, had the opportunity to share with the public how it digitizes intralogistics, makes it much smarter and how it streamlines decision-making thanks to the Smart Factory highly connected and digitized. .

Another success is team viewer, a software for remote access, as well as remote control and support of computers and other devices, which highlighted the impact that the use of augmented reality had had on its business model. This has enabled them, among other things, to be more efficient in maintenance processes thanks to remote assistance, to improve quality thanks to operator guidance and to train better and better qualified personnel.

Don’t neglect cybersecurity

And, finally, the importance of protecting companies in the sector in the field of cybersecurity was exposed. From Telefónica they offer a factory protection service that inspects network traffic to visualize the assets connected to it, analyze vulnerabilities and detect possible threats in the environment, all based on technology Nozomi Networksa leading company in cybersecurity for industrial environments and the Internet of Things.

It ends with a round table in which Anna Casals, Director of Innovation at CELSA; Fernando Riaño García, director of intelligent systems at Duro Felguera; Juan Carlos Moro, CEO Iberia at DB SHENKER; Javier González, Digital Director at Tubacex; Manuel Rey, CIO of Stolt Sea Farm, and Leyre Madariaga, Director of Digital Transformation of the Basque Government.

The conferences of the Escuela 42 de Bilbao have addressed the progress of the digitization and efficiency projects underway in the sector, such as that of the steel companies CELSA or the tubular structure manufacturing company tubacex. Two companies that implement data analysis in their productions, optimize your investments and increase their cybersecurity plans to protect their factories.

Closing put it Iván Vidal, director of European projects at Telefónicawho explained the challenges faced by the manufacturing sector in a context of international instability, particularly marked by the ukrainian warthe increase in the cost of energy, or even its lack, jeopardizing the arrival of raw materials and the ability to process them.

The manufacturing sector is the key to the economy

Faced with this scenario, Vidal believes that a “strong and resilient manufacturing sector is one of the main keys for the economy to not only recover, but to project itself firmly into the future”. Therefore, he believes thatDigitalization must become one of the allies that allows companies to be more sustainableby reducing production costs, adding value to the product and generating new business models through customer knowledge, which will improve sales”.

And Vidal ended up giving some real figures on the proven effectiveness of the digitization of companies in the sector: “Decision-making is faster with data collection. This is how, for example, thanks to the reduction of lead times, production logistics costs are reduced by up to 20%, and stocks by 30 to 50%”.


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