The impact of disruptive technology on products and production

The impact of disruptive technology on products and production

Belgian companies put artificial intelligence and big data analysis on top of their list of most disruptive technologies for their processes. This appears from a study among 122 companies that we performed at the end of 2019. We are definitely not alone in this. Worldwide, 92% of the companies indicate that their expenditures will mainly focus on the collection and analysis of in-house data – for instance from production and logistic processes, the use of their product at the customer and suchlike – and the subsequent actions resulting from this.

Investments in smart sensors and the Internet-of-Things complete the top three. These three technologies are clearly linked to one another and all contribute to the digital transformation.

The digital transformation is the incremental and disruptive adaptation of products and/or production to the digital age. The use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence or smart sensors leads to new business processes and new customer experiences. In this way, organisations can meet changing market demands and, in the end, create new business models. On the other hand, equal attention should be paid to a new corporate culture and the recruitment of digital talent. This is necessary to be able to reap the long-term benefits of the comprehensive digital opportunities that are available today.

In this article, we will tell you more about these three disruptive technologies.

3. Smart sensors

To connect systems, they are equipped with sensors. Their role is detection, in the broadest sense of the word: they detect a change in the system or in the environment and send this information to the cloud or another system, such as a processor. Therefore, sensors are one of the building blocks of any smart, cyber-physical system. Other building blocks are the actuator, the energy system (e.g. a battery) or the controller.

Sensors are not only becoming less expensive (cf. Above), their performances have also improved significantly. An example are hyperspectral cameras used for quality control in the food industry. As they combine spectroscopy with digital image processing, they can "see" much more than an ordinary camera and can detect certain deficiencies and even quasi invisible fungi.

To optimally prepare companies for all these changes, we’ve worked out a roadmap, enabling them to start making their products and production future-proof. The use of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, IIoT and smart sensors is of crucial importance here.

More information?

Do you want to know more about this roadmap and on how Flanders Make can help companies to make the switch to the products and production of tomorrow? Download our white paper about digital transformation or get in touch.

Dirk Torfs, CEO

Dirk Torfs is CEO of Flanders Make since 2014. Dirk is a Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer as well as a Doctor in Applied Sciences (KU Leuven). He has over 20 years of experience in management positions in the Flemish industry and is Professor of Quantitative Decision-Making for the Executive MBA programme of the Flanders Business School.