Discrete Manufacturing

Accelerating the shift to personalized services

Megatrends in Discrete Manufacturing: Why you should prepare for a fundamental shift?

Today’s complex discrete manufacturing industry is looking to the new digital world to optimize fast-changing global supply chains and plants’ operations. Meanwhile, transformations taking shape under the surface are driving disruptive change.

Innovation is accelerating, driven primarily by growing consumer expectations. The disruptive advances in how products and services are designed, made and used will require agility, partnerships and more. Companies that reinvent their technology and business strategies have immense opportunities ahead…

Download Discrete Manufacturing Look Out 2020+ PDF

of manufacturers find digital business models a major challenge


of manufacturers’ revenues from services by 2020


aim to build new industrial value networks & digital ecosystems


of European manufacturers considering 3D printing

B2Me is a vital driving force for change, impacting the entire Discrete Manufacturing value chain. Only those who adjust to address the needs of the B2Me world will succeed.

Thilo Stieber

Group VP, Global Head of Discrete Manufacturing, Chief Digital Officer Manufacturing, Retail & Transport, Atos

Four transformation challenges for the future of Discrete Manufacturing

B2Me – toward mass

Digital can help manufacturers increase agility to fulfill evolving demands rapidly. The move to B2Me is an opportunity to strengthen relationships with consumers.

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end-to-end digital capabilities

Boost benefits of existing PLM, MES and ERP systems with IIoT, advanced analytics and AI. New digital competencies are required, for example for Digital Twin and advanced analytics.

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business models

Data and networks may together radically transform discrete manufacturing business ecosystems, and open new revenue streams.

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security & compliance at the core

Businesses must put native security and compliance at the heart of their strategies. The reward: trust becomes a differentiator.

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Take a look at the key technologies set to impact discrete manufacturers over the next 5 years:


Industrial IoT (including edge) increases the amount of data coming from connected products and assets. In combination with robotics, advanced analytics and AI, it enables next-generation automation on the shop-floor. Manufacturers should also explore how it boosts the benefits of PLM, MES and ERP systems.


Digital Business Enablement Platforms allow data and services to be distributed across third parties. Discrete manufacturers should put these platforms at the heart of their digital strategy to attract ecosystems partners and create multi-sided marketplaces.


Predictive/Prescriptive Services analyze the streams of data coming from industrial assets and consumer products to identify when these might fail. Maintenance processes can then be optimized to reduce downtime. Manufacturers should explore for boosting productivity and customer experience.


Additive Manufacturing or ‘3D Printing’ facilitates rapid prototyping and low-volume production. Beyond its current potential in new model design and testing acceleration, manufacturers must consider its broader adoption for small series manufacturing, delivering spare parts more quickly and product personalization.


Artificial Intelligence promises to second human cognitive capabilities with virtual assistants, chatbots, knowledge engineering and smart machines. It will impact customer experience, business models and operations along the entire value chain. Manufacturers must prepare for the business, human and legal impacts.


Digital Twin closes the loop between continuous quality control, process optimization and insight into how products are used and perform in the field. In combination with HPC and HI, they could enable digital testing and simulation to replace time-consuming and costly physical prototyping.


Augmented and Virtual Reality are blurring real and virtual worlds, allowing users to engage with digital services within the context of their current environment. Discrete manufacturers should explore potential use cases, allowing service technicians to work hands-free and accelerating time for repair for instance.


Blockchain is a potential game-changer for conducting business with parties without prior trust relationships. Beyond product identity management and history audit, it could ensure transparency, traceability and authenticity throughout the entire supply chain.


Prescriptive Security uses real-time dark web monitoring, AI and automation to detect potential threats and stop them before they strike. Applications range from cyber-protection to product safety, fraud management and compliance. Manufacturers should explore integrating it into their IT/OT/IoT Security Operation Centers and the products themselves.


Quantum Computing promises to break traditional combinatory analysis limitations, bringing advances in High-Performance Computing for product design and manufacturing. It will also elevate risk by potentially breaking current cryptographic standards. Manufacturers must start preparing for both quantum computing and quantum-safe cryptography.

1Industrial IoT 2Digital Business Enablement Platforms 3Predictive/Prescriptive Services 4Additive Manufacturing 5Artificial Intelligence 6Digital Twin 7Augmented and Virtual Reality 8Blockchain 9Prescriptive Security 10Quantum Computing
  • Mainstream
  • Early Adoption
  • Adolescent
  • Emerging

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