The world has changed. Diagnostic teams at GE, for example, now have information on every process and every quality check performed on every part of every machine right at their fingertips. And that's just one piece of the high-tech toolbox they have on hand to help create operational efficiency and performance -- just one of the countless high-tech tools coming out every day to help them make better high-tech goods.
"We are at an inflection point from a technology perspective where we have the opportunity to do things we've never been able to do before and to manufacture things better than we ever could before," Don Busiek, general manager of Manufacturing Software at GE Intelligent Platforms explains.
What's more, this inflection point marks a significant change in the manufacturing leadership hierarchy.
Efficiency and productivity, maintenance and quality have always been operational issues -- what we have always looked to the COO's department to bring. But as manufacturing gets digitized, the new time-saving and efficiency-boosting tools are now coming from a powerful new (or newly powerful) manufacturing leader: the CTO.
"We're no longer looking to operations for help," Busiek says. "It's the CTO that has stepped up as the new hero on the plant floor."
Read more about this important trend in manufacturing in IndustryWeek.