Transitions Technologies PSC is a global IT solutions integrator that specializes in new technologies. With more than 800 technology specialists in Cloud, PLM, IoT, AI, AR, SDS, and other value chain technologies, our main task in TT PSC is to create coherent environments that increase the production efficiency of the industry and facilitate everyday work in business-oriented organizations.
The multitude of solutions causes difficulties when it comes to presenting them – and that is why we have come up with a new initiative, the objective of which is to present topics related to digital transformation and the concept of Industry 4.0. These will include short interviews with TT PSC specialists. Thus, I would like to invite you to read the first of them. In an interview with Amanda Furtek, Business Analyst at TT PSC, I ask, to name just a few: is sustainable development a trend or a necessity? What are the challenges that modern manufacturing companies are struggling with? And also: what is the Green PLM concept and what are its assumptions?
Sustainability is a laudable idea that also raises a number of challenges for manufacturing companies. But what do companies do to reduce environmental degradation?
Amanda Furtek: Climate change and environmental degradation are threats to the world; it is a problem we can no longer ignore. Some of the measures taken by governments, organizations, and companies to reduce environmental pollution include the European Commission’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. This implies changes in EU climate, energy, transport, and tax policies. The European Green Deal focuses mainly on greater energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy, reducing transport emissions, measuring carbon footprints, and tools to protect and develop natural carbon sinks. These changes imply a transformation, not only socially but also industrially although, importantly, some companies were already following this path.
How can you define a product that complies with the European Green Deal and is sustainable?
AF: Society’s environmental awareness is growing. Customers pay much more attention to whether products have a negative impact on our environment. They are ready to pay more for goods that have been manufactured in line with the concept of sustainable development. This changing consumer mindset is driving companies to make strategic changes in their approach to production. Sustainable product development involves designing and manufacturing a product to minimize its environmental impact during its entire life cycle (from the design stage to its retirement from the market). This is achieved by but is not limited to, reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing processes or using recyclable materials.
So, how can manufacturing companies adapt to increasingly new requirements?
AF: The manufacturing industry is facing enormous challenges. Constraints such as stricter environmental regulations and higher energy costs are hitting hard. In such a dynamic environment, companies are forced to constantly search for new business models that would ensure increased competitiveness while bringing financial benefits. Companies should focus on improving product quality, creating an efficient supply chain, and optimizing production processes. This requires the right tools to analyze data more effectively and plan activities more consciously.
Based on the Digital Thread concept, all product information can be linked and tracked across all corporate IT systems. For manufacturers, this means more efficient workflows. With the Industrial Internet of Things, potential machine problems can be monitored and predicted. Augmented Reality enables remote maintenance of machines and devices based on information data from the PLM system. With the help of artificial intelligence, processes are optimized and automated. Green PLM is a perfect complement and answer for sustainable production.
Could you please elaborate what are the basic assumptions of Green PLM concept?
AF: The Green PLM project is about creating an innovative solution to manage the product lifecycle in a sustainable way, considering environmental issues in particular. Legal regulations, depletion of natural resources, and changing customer requirements pressure manufacturing companies to consider environmental matters in the process of creating their products. Companies use PLM systems to manage the product life cycle, but the current generation of these systems is generally not properly adapted to the issues related to product sustainability. The existing solutions do not support managing the entire product development using a single integrated platform and monitoring environmental indicators from a single view.
Can you please specify more differences between a conventional PLM system and Green PLM and also provide a specific example of use?
AF: The Green PLM concept involves extending the classic PLM system with functionalities related to environmental protection. By implementing the principles of Green PLM, it is possible to manage the product life cycle, taking into account and tracking selected environmental indicators, which can include carbon footprint, water footprint, energy consumption, or type of materials used. Let me illustrate it with an example from the design stage – the designer will be supported by additional information from Green PLM system already during this stage. Thanks to that, he will be able to make optimizations on the fly. Analysis and evaluation of the product in terms of environmental issues already at the design stage supports conscious decision-making so that the final product doesn’t violate the ecological balance.
What would you recommend to those in charge of product sustainability?
AF: Digital transformation is the key factor when it comes to growth. In this case, it is important to leverage existing IT infrastructure including PLM system smartly; effectively scale the development of digital initiatives. Green PLM streamlines the design process, manufacturing, product data management, and information sharing to meet sustainability requirements. It can support progress while reducing production costs. Companies not only need to comply with environmental regulations but should also define a long-term strategy for sustainability. The market is flooded with the latest technological solutions. At first glance, each of them seems right. However, it is hard to evaluate them reasonably not being an expert. Moreover, each business is different and has its own unique goals and needs. I believe that the digital transformation stage requires substantive consulting and a holistic approach that ensures that the organization’s goals are well defined.
Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.
Interviewed by: Aleksandra Kalinowska, eMarketing specialist.