The Days of Digitalization

These are the days of digitalization – for manufacturers, digitalization means using digital tools such as IoT devices, AI, and edge/cloud computing to gain better visibility into their processes and outcomes. But, digitalization doesn’t just mean more technology on the manufacturing floor – it extends all the way from product development, factory optimization and back-office operations to supply chain functions and data analytics.


Why embark on the digital journey?

The benefits of embarking on a digital journey can be seen throughout the manufacturing floor – and beyond – through increased efficiency and quality, reduced costs throughout the product lifecycle, faster decision-making with fewer unknowns, and even an improved customer experience. And in most cases, manufacturers see a combination – or even all – of these benefits.


Could you benefit from a digital transformation?

We understand that not every company will reap significant benefits from digitalization. But many will – especially if you have a problem that can’t be solved with traditional methods. Let’s face it, developing a hypothesis and testing it out by trial and error can be costly and time-consuming. Here are some of the signs that digitalization can help you:

  • Operational efficiency is lower than expected (or desired)
  • Equipment isn’t running at full or expected capacity
  • Downtime – whether planned or unplanned – is extensive
  • Scrap and rework costs are too high
  • Product development time is too long
  • Product implementations and changeovers are plagued with last-minute changes
  • You have a wealth of data but don’t know what to do with it all
  • Revenue and growth are stagnant or falling below benchmarks

We also know that digitalization is a journey – it starts with a first step and continues with a well-defined outcome and plan to reach that outcome. Patti Engineering is a trusted advisor throughout your digital journey, helping you define the path and take those steps. Contact a Digitalization Expert here!


In this podcast with Clayton & McKervey, Patti Engineering CEO Sam Hoff discusses digital transformation. Highlights of the episode are below!


What benefits have digital transformation brought to your company?

As a system integrator, when we commission a project and start up the system, you have to be there. So that requires a lot of travel. With digital transformation, we can reduce the amount of onsite time by virtually commissioning, and monitoring customer systems remotely by performing data analytics offsite. Patti Engineering has had a remote employee policy for many, many years, but digital transformation has helped us utilize our remote employees even more.


How do you manage your customer’s expectations when they come to you saying they want to do digital transformation?

My first question is why do you want to do the digital transformation? I want to hear why. Most of the time it’s my boss is telling me that we need to implement it. Then my next question is, what is your biggest problem? What keeps you up at night? And then listen to what they have to say. From there, we can get into what we can do, the different strategies available, and the different digital technologies to work to solve that problem that hasn’t been fixed when going the traditional way. All digital transformation projects have to start with solving a problem.


 How has digital transformation been embraced in manufacturing?

Most systems that are out in manufacturing, and even most of the systems that are being built today, are not being built with Industry 4.0 in mind. Companies are building these large automation lines using tools like SOLIDWORKS and NX to simulate the mechanics, but once they go and mechanically start building the lines, they throw all of that work out. They Build the lines over here and then have the programmers program over there. Instead, let’s take those files, those tools, and use them to program against. That is the basis of the digital twin. As with all things, it takes time to perfect the digital twin as simulations can be off. But once the digital twin is set up, you now have something that you can test and commission the system with before it is even built.


Listen to the full podcast here or learn more about digitalization below!


Related categories: Blog Industry 4.0 / Digitalization

Sam Hoff's Bio


Samuel M. Hoff, Chief Executive Officer, started the company from his home in 1991. Since then he’s expanded his business to more than 35 college-degreed engineers. Patti Engineering has engineering offices in Auburn Hills, MI, Austin, TX, and Indianapolis, IN.