The entire supply chain is being redefined by transformative technologies, turning on their heads old notions of manufacturing and shipping. Change is coming from multiple angles, all aimed towards a single, common goal: making the warehouse obsolete. The main reason is to address a greater need for production agility, being locked down by large inventories of items that are expensive to maintain and risk getting surpassed before even being used. The future is geared towards high customization and rapid delivery. By inching additive manufacturing closer to being a production technology, items can be produced on-demand and in-situ, jumping over a large chunk of a logistical nightmare. Speaking of which, IIoT networks are making it easier than ever to analyze the data necessary to maintain a high operational awareness, enabling pro-active planning instead of reactive.
The Rise of the On-Demand Warehouse
In China the expectations are even more demanding [than Amazon’s] — JD.com (a huge Chinese online retailer) makes 90% of its deliveries within 24 hours, with 57% arriving within 12 hours. Experiences like this are delightful for the customer and fascinating for the investor. What allows such a supercharged supply chain to exist? What hurdles have to be overcome? And, more importantly, what are potential future opportunities and what would it take to get there?
Read the full article at Medium.
3D Printing Is Finally Ready For Its Close-Up
“Zero inventory” has been mostly unobtainable for manufacturers. But cutting-edge 3D printing technology is giving managers renewed hope. Carbon announced Tuesday it raised $260 million in growth funding. This San Francisco company is developing a platform executives claim will bring 3D printing to high-volume production. This would mean the end of inventories, and the beginning of new business models.
Keep reading at Forbes.
Why logistics scenarios matter for the future of the industrial IoT
We will see faster speeds throughout the chain, which will become more efficient, convenient and sustainable by orders of magnitude. That’s because 5G will power the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), enabling large-scale, real-time connectivity all the time. What if all of these devices could interact with one another without human intervention? What would this type of constant connectivity look like at scale, in complex logistics operations, for example?
Read the full article at World Economic Forum.
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