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Sustainability at Scale: 18 New Factories of the Future Drive Impact in the 4IR

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The World Economic Forumwelcomes 18 new factories to its Global Lighthouse Network of advanced manufacturers that are showing leadership in applying the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to drive operational and environmental impact.

Now with 44 factories, the network, established in 2018, serves as a platform to develop, replicate and scale up innovations, creating opportunities for cross-company learning and collaboration and for setting new benchmarks for the global manufacturing community. The goal of this community is to share and learn from best practices, support new partnerships and help other manufacturers deploy technology, adopt sustainable practices and transform their workforces. A new white paper, “Global Lighthouse Network: Insights from the Forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” published today, outlines some of the main findings and impacts.

The 18 new factories bring increased diversity to the network, with new countries, including Brazil, Japan and Singapore, as well as new industries, including semiconductors and agricultural equipment. Almost one-half of the new lighthouses are end-to-end factories, driving value outside the four walls of the factory to effect change throughout their value chains.

The new lighthouses are:

Asia

Baoshan Iron & Steel (Shanghai, China): This 40-year-old factory adopted digitization early. Its extensive implementation of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics has allowed it to maintain its industrial competitiveness in the digital era, creating value of $50 million.

Foton Cummins (Beijing, China): Foton Cummins has self-deployed internet of things and artificial intelligence throughout its end-to-end product life cycle in its design, production and after service. By doing so, it has improved product quality and customer satisfaction by 40%.

GE Healthcare (Hino, Japan): This GE factory, with more than 30 years’ experience of lean manufacturing, used Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to transform into digital lean manufacturing. This has resulted in achieving the next level of performance, for example, cutting costs by 30% and reducing cycle times by 46%.

Haier (Shenyang, China): The Haier Shenyang refrigerator factory is an example of a user-centric mass customization model. Achieved by deploying a scalable digital platform that connects end-to-end with suppliers and users, it has improved direct labour productivity by 28%.

Hitachi (Hitachi, Japan): By leveraging a range of industrial internet of things technologies and data analytics in engineering, production and maintenance operations, Hitachi Omika Works has reduced the lead time of core products by 50% without undermining quality.

Infineon (Singapore): Enabled by a digital backbone and people development, Infineon has used data, advanced analytics and automation in its manufacturing plant and supply chain network to reduce direct labour costs by 30% and improve capital efficiency by 15%.

Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes (Suzhou, China): This site has scaled up standardized digital solutions developed in other Johnson & Johnson sites to drive performance improvements, including increasing productivity by 15%.

Micron (Singapore): This semiconductor fabrication facility has integrated big data infrastructure and industrial internet of things to implement artificial intelligence and data science solutions, raising product quality standards and doubling the speed at which new products are ramped.

Procter & Gamble (Taicang, China): This young site leveraged Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to build the first lights-off operation in P&G Asia and connect its E2E supply chain. It increased productivity by 2.5x, boosted its production agility enabling e-commerce growth and improved employee satisfaction.

Weichai (Weifang, China): Weichai digitally transformed its entire end-to-end value chain to accurately understand customer needs and reduce costs. Powered by artificial intelligence and internet of vehicles, it shortened its R&D cycle by 20% and improved operating costs by 35%.

Europe

AGCO (Marktoberdorf, Germany): By combining digital solutions with intelligent line design, AGCO/Fendt can manufacture nine series of tractors – ranging from 72 to 500 horsepower – on a single assembly line with a batch size of one. This has increased productivity by 24% and reduced cycle time by 60%.

GSK (Ware, UK): This pharmaceutical site has applied Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies throughout its manufacturing operation, exploiting advanced analytics and neural networks to use existing datasets. It has improved line speed by 21%, reduced downtime and increased yield, delivering an overall equipment effectiveness improvement of 10%.

Henkel (Düsseldorf, Germany): Henkel has developed a cloud-based data platform that connects more than 30 sites and more than 10 distribution centres in real time. This helps meet growing customer and consumer expectations on service and sustainability, while achieving double-digit cost and inventory reductions.

Latin America

Groupe Renault (Curitiba, Brazil): Renault Curitiba approached Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies with a focus on improving employee accountability and E2E connectivity, engaging its workforce and developing a connected ecosystem throughout value-chain players including dealers, customers and workers. Results include improving its productivity by 18%, without major capital deployment.

MODEC (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): Leveraging advanced analytics for predictive maintenance, a digital twin of its process plant, and a proprietary data platform to accelerate development and enable the exponential scale-up of new algorithms across oil production vessels, this offshore facility has reduced downtime by 65%.

Middle East

Petkim (Izmir, Turkey): This 35-year-old petrochemical facility embarked on a digital journey to drive value creation. Self-developed artificial intelligence algorithms optimize process and product pricing by analysing billions of production scenarios, resulting in an earnings before interest and taxes improvement of more than 20%.

Unilever (Dubai, UAE): In a drive to improve cost competitiveness, a local entrepreneurial team established a factory data lake and developed and deployed at scale Fourth Industrial Revolution use cases. With limited investment and in a short period of time it achieved a cost reduction of more than 25%.

North America

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Jacksonville, USA): Vision Care has digitally connected its value chain end-to-end from suppliers to consumers, as well as implementing reconfigurable manufacturing, to achieve double-digit cost reduction and sales growth.

Shared Learning Journey

“Not only does the Global Lighthouse Network celebrate leaders and best practices in effective technological deployment, but more important, it also creates a shared learning journey for the industry to accelerate the transition to the future of manufacturing,” said Francisco Betti, Head of Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production, World Economic Forum. “This transition must focus on sustainability and efforts dedicated to reskilling and empowering people.”

The Global Lighthouse Network is managed in collaboration with McKinsey & Company.

“The 44 lighthouses are trailblazers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Manufacturing is often the starting point for innovating a new, company-wide operating system powered by the latest technology to achieve new levels of sustainability, agility, speed-to-market, and productivity. The value doesn’t stop at the factory door: instead, lighthouses find impact across the entire end-to-end value chain, from suppliers through to customers. This year, we believe the Global Lighthouse Network has found the secret sauce to overcome pilot purgatory and generate impact at scale. Moreover, by now the frontrunners have two to three years’ head start compared to their peers. That should set off alarm bells for all manufacturers that are still busy trying to prove technology’s value instead of using technology to change the way they work,” said Enno de Boer, Partner and Head of McKinsey & Company’s Global Manufacturing Practice.

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Maintenance Tips for Second-Hand Cars

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With a shortage of semiconductors continuing to plague the automotive industry, many are instead turning to the second-hand market to source a bargain on their next car purchase – resulting in a boom in second-hand car sales. Second-hand cars, while cheaper to purchase initially, can present problems quicker without proper maintenance. Here are some simple ways to maintain your second-hand vehicle.

Read the Manual and Service History

The first thing you should endeavour to do with any second-hand car purchase is to scrutinise your car’s service history book and user manual. The former will give you crucial information on prior issues that have cropped up with the car, either giving you an idea of what may fail next or what not to worry about, while the latter gives you important details regarding points of maintenance on your car: where your oil pan is, where the safe anchor points for trolley jacks are, and the location of various parts of the engine.

Keep Your Oil Fresh

One key way you can ensure the longevity of your second hand vehicle’s engine is to learn how to replace its engine oil, and to replace its engine oil regularly. The oil cleans and lubricates the engine, preventing debris from clogging moving parts and causing wear. Over time, the oil becomes dirty with this debris, and can eventually pose a threat to the engine’s safe running itself. New oil ensures the engine stays clean, and keeps it running for longer.

Keep a Regular Service Schedule

As with any vehicle, taking your second-hand car in for regular appointments with a mechanic can keep on top of potential problems before they cause more issues; booking a car service online makes managing your car’s service schedule easy, and can make sure that your car remains healthy and well-maintained thanks to regular check-ups via a professional pair of eyes. Regular servicing can also reduce the potential incurred costs from failed MOTs.

Clean Your Interior

Keeping your car’s interior clean might seem like a relatively insignificant task with regard to your car’s overall maintenance, however taking car of the surfaces and fabrics in your car can increase their lifespan, reducing the need for potential re-upholstery and preserving your personal comfort while driving. Regularly vacuuming footwell mats and seat cushions can stave off wear and tear, while regularly cleaning and polishing trim can preserve their condition.

Drive Safely

Lastly, but by no means least, your driving habits can have a profound effect on the life span of your vehicle. Those who drive fast and brake hard are sure to encounter more issues quicker than those who adopt safe driving techniques and approach the road with a sense of calm. Simple things like coasting into corners and accelerating at a steady pace can ensure your brakes, suspension and engine live their longest possible life, giving you a great run with your new second-hand vehicle.

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Choosing the Best Engine Hoist for your Garage

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An engine hoist is an extremely valuable piece of equipment. It will allow you to remove an engine from a vehicle easily, without putting yourself or others in danger. People have been using ropes and pulleys for centuries to lift heavy objects – and some modern engine hoists work via the same principles. However, there are a few alternatives which offer distinct advantages.

So, what’s the best kind of engine hoist for your garage? Let’s look at choosing the best engine hoist for your next car repair job.

Manual

The manual hoist uses old-fashioned pulleys and cords to lift a heavy object. These tend to be the simplest option, and therefore the cheapest. Simply pull on the chain, and the other chain will move. The main drawback here is that the manual hoist needs to be suspended above the room. That means that you’ll need a suitably-rated ceiling that’s capable of carrying the load.

A manual chain can allow a single person to lift tonnes of weight, since the arrangement of pulleys will result in a larger transfer of force. The cost is that you’ll be moving the chain a large distance to move the engine just a small one.

Hydraulic Hoists

Hydraulic hoists work using fluid, spread over multiple vessels. By reducing or increasing the amount of fluid in one vessel, you can change the amount of fluid in another, attached by a length of hose. In this way, you can push or pull heavy loads. A telescopic boom arm actually does the lifting, with the help of pumps, cylinders, and oil.

Hydraulic hoists are positioned on the ground rather than the ceiling, and they tend to come with plenty of castors so that they can be moved from one side of the workspace to the next. The relative mobility of the hydraulic hoist puts it at a considerable advantage over the mechanical one in situations where you need to be flexible. You can even use a hydraulic hoist outdoors.  

Electric Hoists

The electric hoist is similar to the manual one, except that you don’t have to pull on the chain – an electric motor will do that for you. This makes life much more convenient – though you can expect to pay a little extra for the remote-control console. Electric hoists tend to be underpowered in comparison to hydraulic ones, which might be something to consider if you’re lifting loads heavier than a few hundred kilos.

Electric hoists tend to be operated by a single dangling button, which means that you might not have the same degree of precise control as you do on a manual hoist. For most applications, however, this won’t be an issue.

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Tech Start-ups Key to Africa’s Digital Transformation but Urgently Need Investment

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The World Economic Forum’s latest report, “Attracting Investment and Accelerating Adoption for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa” analyses the challenges Africa faces in joining the global knowledge-based digital economy and presents a set of tangible strategies for the region’s governments to accelerate the transition.

The Forum’s report, written in collaboration with Deloitte, comes just weeks after the announcement by Google of a $1 billion investment to support digital transformation across Africa, which centres on laying a new subsea cable between Europe and Africa that will multiply the continent’s digital network capacity by 20, leading to an estimated 1.7 million new jobs by 2025. Africa’s digital economy could contribute nearly $180 billion to the region’s growth by the by mid-decade. Yet with only 39% of the population using the internet, Africa is currently the world’s least connected continent.

Tech start-ups such as Kenya’s mobile money solution Mpesa and online retail giant Jumia, Africa’s first unicorn, represent what the continent’s vibrant small business sector is capable of. Despite raising $1.2 billion of new capital in 2020 – a six-fold increase in five years – this represents less than 1% of the $156 billion raised by US start-ups in the same year. Meanwhile, Africa’s investment in R&D was just 0.42% of GDP in 2019 – less than a quarter of the global average of 1.7%.

“African governments urgently need to drive greater investment in the tech sector and the knowledge economy,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Africa Division at the World Economic Forum. “Policy-makers can make a difference by reducing the burden of regulation, embedding incentives within legislation and investing in science and technology skills.”

The report breaks down these three policy enablers:

  • Pass legislation such as “Start-up Acts” designed to spur private sector innovation, reduce the burden of regulation and promote entrepreneurship, in which Tunisia and Senegal are leading the way.
  • Embed incentives for start-ups in legislation, such as start-up grants, rebates on efficiency gains through technology implementation, co-investment of critical infrastructure, tax-free operations for the early years, and incentives for R&D.
  • Invest in workforce education, skills and competencies. Currently, only 2% of Africa’s university-age population holds a STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree.

However, the analysis of 188 government incentives for business across 32 African countries finds that just 14 incentives – fewer than 10% – facilitate investment in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology. And most of these incentive schemes lack an efficient monitoring and evaluation system to gauge their effectiveness.

Delia Ndlovu, Africa Chair, Deloitte, believes that digital transformation promises to boost economic growth in Africa: “Connecting the region to the global digital economy will not only open new avenues of opportunity for small businesses, but will also increase intra-Africa trade which is low at 16% compared to markets such as intra-European trade which is approximately 65% to 70%.”

African governments have much to learn from each other. In Côte d’Ivoire, an R&D tax incentive has been created to direct investment away from commodities and into innovation. In South Africa, the Automotive Investment Transformation Fund created by the largest manufacturers in the country is facilitating the development of a diverse supplier base to realise the 60% local content target set by the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP). In Tunisia, the government offers state salaries for up to three start-up founders per company during the first year of operations, with a right to return to their old jobs if the venture fails.

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