Digital is the glue

The world of manufacturing is moving into the digital era with full speed. Sandvik partnered with Microsoft to give international journalists and influencers the chance to visit Sandviken and dig deeper in to some of our many digital activities.

What will the future of manufacturing look like?

Petra Sundström from Sandvik was one of the Keynote Speakers opening the event held on May 16, and she emphasized that new technologies in itself is nothing new. What´s new is that the digital technologies we see today, like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, work as a glue that connects several different areas.

“What I mean is that before we basically could produce hardware – unique and highly skilled products – and then we could leave them with the customers. Now we must keep doing that, and at the same time understand that the products need to tie in to services, to aftermarket, to brands, to customers and to a lot of different stakeholders. It´s becoming one big solution product, that´s what we need to handle today,” says Petra Sundström, who besides being Head of Digital Business at Sandvik´s division Crushing and Screening, also is Chairman of the Board of Directors for IoT Sweden.

Petra Sundström, Head of Digital Business at Sandvik´s division Crushing and Screening.

Petra Sundström doesn´t see any lack of ideas in most organizations today, it´s rather the lack of sharing the ideas that creates a challenge.

“The engineers shouldn´t keep the ideas for themselves and decide on what products to go for – you need to share and collect ideas with other functions like marketing and sales,” she said.

Three important factors

Another speaker from Sandvik was Magnus Ekbäck, Vice President Strategy and Business Development at Sandvik Coromant.

He talked about the increased use of sensors, providing data; improved connectivity and an increased demand for data in the decision-making process.

Magnus Ekbäck, Vice President Strategy and Business Development at Sandvik Coromant.“These three factors are important in explaining the automation of the manufacturing industry that we see today, they are the enablers,” he said.

All employees should feel invited and be active in identification of new opportunities

For Sandvik Coromant, digital solutions are both a way of expanding beyond the core business – traditional machining and metal cutting – and a way of strengthening the core with, for example, solutions for advanced process control. Tool libraries, tool guides, and sensor embedded tools are just some of the digital products and solutions that help Sandvik Coromant customers improve their productivity.

And just like Petra Sundström, Magnus Ekbäck underscored the need to collaborate and share ideas.

“Our vision for idea management is that all employees should feel invited and be active in identification of new opportunities. Managers and employees should feel that they have support when it comes to realizing some of these ideas. In our approach to idea creation and realization of ideas we strive for an open working climate with as much room for creativity as possible,” he said.