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Digitization could drive manufacturing beyond Industry 4.0



Digitization could drive manufacturing beyond Industry 4.0

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By Sef Tuma, global lead for Engineering & Manufacturing at Accenture Industry X

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is outpacing Industry 4.0. What looks like a paradox actually isn’t, as the two things aren’t the same. The term “Industry 4.0” typically means digital technologies, like the internet of things, artificial intelligence and big data analytics, applied in factories and plants to make the business more efficient and effective. The Fourth Industrial Revolution goes beyond that. It implies significant shifts driven by these technologies and their usage – new ways of working, communicating and doing business. Just consider how significantly smartphones, social media, video conferencing and ride-sharing platforms have changed our work and private lives. 

Digital in manufacturing is still a mixed bag

Has manufacturing witnessed this kind of fundamental change over the past decade? Many companies are definitely experimenting with the disruptive potential of Industry 4.0 technologies.

Take industrial equipment maker Biesse, which now sells production machines that send data to a digital platform, predicting machine failure and deploying maintenance crews. Or Volkswagen, which used AI-powered generative design to reconceptualize its iconic 1962 Microbus to be lighter and greener, ultimately creating parts that were lighter and stronger and reducing the time spent getting from development to manufacturing from a 1.5-year cycle to a few months.

The other side of the coin: There’s a lot of digital white space in manufacturing. Compared to other parts of the enterprise, like marketing, sales and administrative processes, manufacturing is far from being as digital as it could be. A survey revealed that, in 2020, only 38% of companies had deployed at least one project to digitize their production processes. According to another study from the same year, most companies were still somewhere between piloting digital capabilities in one factory or plant and deploying these pilots to other sites.

This hardly paints the picture of a revolution. However, change is underway. 

Three developments are driving manufacturers toward a tipping point

Companies across the globe see and act upon the need for compressed transformation to remain relevant while becoming more resilient and responsible. This includes the transformation of a core piece of their business – manufacturing. Three burning platforms are driving them toward the next digital frontier:

1. The ongoing pandemic is accelerating change. 

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption and implementation of digital technologies in manufacturing, as it shed an unflattering light on the digitization gaps. Many companies had to shut down production because they couldn’t run their factories remotely or couldn’t adjust their production lines to supply and demand that changed overnight. 

To maintain social distancing in the workplace, companies introduced intelligent digital workers solutions to ensure their workers could maintain production lines, whilst rallying around the critical purpose of protecting employees. During this shift, forty-eight % of organizations invested in cloud-enabled tools and technologies and 47 % in digital collaboration tools to support their remote workforce, according to an Accenture survey

The pandemic also created a need for more agile manufacturing than ever before. Many companies united on the shared purpose of aiding the front line. Pivoting factory production from alcohol to hand sanitizer or fashion to PPE is no simple task. Still, these businesses transformed almost overnight with the right data, connectivityand intelligent machines.

2. Software redefines physical products. 

Whether it’s cars, medical devices or even elevators – physical products that used to be relatively dumb are becoming even smarter. Some are even becoming intelligent. 

What now defines many tools, devices and machines aren’t nuts and bolts but bits and bytes. Software enables and controls their functionality and features. Already in 2018, 98 % of manufacturers had started integrating AI in their products. In 2020, 49 % of companies reported that more than half of their products and services require subsequent software updates. And by 2025, there could be more than 27 billion connected devices generating, sending and computing information all over the planet.

Consequently, making a successful product has become a primarily digital job, but that doesn’t mean the mechanical and physical requirements have become obsolete. In many areas, the look and feel of things are likely to remain the decisive factor for customers and consumers. And while a few people may see advantages in eating with intelligent forks and wearing smart socks, in all likelihood, those will remain a minority. 

A significant and growing number of ‘things’ in manufacturing, however, are already being designed and engineered from their digital features. It means a massive change in the engineering process and skills required. It also means: Manufacturers need to become software-savvy. Relying on their traditional competitive advantages isn’t enough. They need to keep and strengthen those and add software expertise to the mix.

3. The sustainability imperative depends on digital. 

Stakeholders are increasingly demanding companies to make more sustainable things, in a more sustainable manner. Investors’ appetite for so-called impact investing—seeking to generate a positive impact for society along with strong financial returns—is growing and could total as much as US$26 trillion. Regulators are demanding greater sustainability commitments as well, for example, the European Commission whose Sustainable Products Initiative will ban the destruction of unsold durable goods and restrict single-use products. And consumers are willing to pay for sustainable products, with products marked as “sustainable” growing 5.6x faster than conventionally marketed products.

This pressure to become more sustainable will be a crucial digitization driver in manufacturing. For example, 71% of CEOs say that real-time track-and-trace of materials or goods will significantly impact sustainability in their industry over the next five years, according to the United Nations Global Compact 2021 study.

Digital twins will also play a pivotal role supporting sustainability efforts. These data-driven simulations of real-world things and processes can reduce the equivalent of 7.5Gt of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, research shows. Johnson Controls, a global leader in smart and sustainable building technologies, has partnered with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Microsoft on the implementation of Al Shera’a, the smartest net zero-energy government building in the world. Through digital twins, AI and smart building management solutions, the building’s total annual energy use is expected to be equal to or less than the energy produced on-site.

Two crucial steps will help manufacturers achieve their next digital frontier 

All three developments are landmarks of the next digital frontier ahead for most manufacturers. They pose significant challenges to how customer and employee-relevant manufacturers will remain, how resilient they will be and how responsibly they can act. 

They should address these challenges by focusing their efforts on two things:

1. Don’t stop at implementing technology – connect it intelligently. 

As described at the outset, Industry 4.0 and the fourth industrial revolution aren’t the same. To foster meaningful change, companies need to connect Industry 4.0 technologies in a way that allows them to see much clearer and farther ahead – allowing them to act and react much quicker according to what they see. For example, cloud platforms to share and process data; machine learning algorithms to analyze this data and build various scenarios and digital twins to experiment with these data-driven scenarios. 

If connected intelligently to act in concert, the technologies form a digital thread, enabling information to flow between people, products, processes and plants, running all the way from a company’s research and product development to factory floors, supply chains, consumers and back again. This thread makes the product development, production process, market demands and customer behavior more visible and transparent. One can picture it as a virtuous loop of digital copies of every aspect of the product development, engineering and production process – allowing companies to predict, monitor and address the consequences of almost every action. 

2. Don’t expect change to happen. Manage it wisely. 

The people agenda is as important as the technology agenda, perhaps even more so. Digital means new ways of working, just like the steam engine and conveyor belt did. As more and newer technologies enter the workplace, traditional roles will move from executing manual tasks to monitoring, interpreting and guiding intelligent machines and data. This means jobs will require more innovation, creativity, collaboration and leadership. 

Companies that don’t recognize this and act on it are in for a disappointment. For example, in a 2020 survey, 63% of companies admitted that they had failed to capture the expected value from their cloud investments. The major roadblocks of their cloud journey proved to be the people and change dimensions. Similarly, only 38% of supply chain executives felt that their workforce was mostly ready or completely ready to leverage the technology tools provided to them. 

Manufacturing is lagging when it comes to digitization — as a sector and within the enterprise. But more and more companies have come to realize that manufacturing is their next digital frontier and are focusing their efforts on this core part of the enterprise. 

The technologies are available and have proven their worth and both the need and the benefits of digital manufacturing are obvious. Companies that connect technology intelligently and manage the change it brings wisely can go well beyond the efficiency and effectiveness scenarios that Industry 4.0 provides.

Sef Tuma is global lead for Engineering & Manufacturing at Accenture Industry X.


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AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall



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Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.

Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.

In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.

“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-

performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors

The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.

During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.

In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.

AMD Socket AM5 Platform

The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.

And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.

Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.

The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores



AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.

Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.

AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.

Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.

While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.

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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront



Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.

Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.

However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.

“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.

Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”

One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.

“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.

Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers. 

Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”


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