Local manufacturing and supply chain resilience are crucial in the current geopolitical context

The World Economic Forum has added 13 new sites to its Global Lighthouse Network, a community of 103 world-leading manufacturing facilities and value chains using Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to increase operational performance and environmental sustainability.

Local manufacturing and supply chain resilience are crucial in the current geopolitical context, as organisations strive to engage their workforces and sustain operations amid international unrest and economic headwinds.

There are also new pressures to maintain sustainability commitments and accelerate the transition towards renewable energy, while addressing more immediate energy market disruptions.
Members of the Global Lighthouse Network are applying advanced technologies to increase supply chain resilience, augment green measures and boost workforce engagement while bolstering productivity. 
“As the world grapples with many challenges, it is remarkable to see how lighthouses are yielding sustainability benefits while achieving business goals, which we call eco-efficiency,” said Francisco Betti, head of Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains, at the World Economic Forum.

“We need them to continue illuminating the way forward for the global manufacturing community by shaping a responsible future of manufacturing that works for people, society and the environment.”

Enno de Boer, partner, McKinsey & Company and Global Lead of its digital manufacturing work, added: “The 103 lighthouses show how digital technologies drive value chain resilience, growth, and environmental and people sustainability.

“In the past, sustainability and resilience have often come at the cost of efficiency, but that is no longer true. Companies now have a digital playbook and tech tools at their disposal to make their operations more flexible, more agile and more sustainable.

”With these tools, they can amplify human capability, achieve sustainability breakthroughs and accelerate technological innovation – the recipe for smart manufacturing.”

In Asia, the new lighthouses include: 

BOE Technology Group (Fuzhou): It has widely adopted AI and advanced analytics in a fully automated production system to achieve best-in class quality excellence, equipment efficiency and energy sustainability with a new product yield ramp-up period shortened by 43%, cost per unit reduced by 34% and output increased by 30% without major capex investment.
Bosch Automotive (Changsha): It has implemented 45 Fourth Industrial Revolution use cases with automation and AI to increase competitiveness, maintained the market position with 100% NEV (new energy vehicle) customer portfolio penetration and reached carbon neutrality.
Haier (Zhengzhou): Facing a booming market for water heaters and increasing requirements of high-end products and services, Haier Zhengzhou, leverages big data, 5G edge computing and ultra-wide band solutions to build a close connection with suppliers, plants and customers. 
Johnson & Johnson Consumer (Thailand) Ltd. (Bangkok): Facing agility, profitability and cost to serve challenges, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health site in Bangkok adopted Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as collaborative supply chain control tower, computational fluid dynamics, AI energy optimisation and advanced data analytics on logistics. 
LG Electronics (Changwon): Facing growth of its product portfolio complexity by 70%, rising quality expectations from customers and labour shortages, LGE redesigned an old factory in Changwon, South Korea, into a digital plant leveraging flexible automation, digital performance management and AI to improve productivity by 17% and field quality by 70%, while reducing inventory by 30% and energy consumption by 30%.
Midea (Jingzhou): Due to consumer expectations with higher product complexity, Midea Jingzhou, as a 30-year-old factory, adopted flexible automation, IoT and AI at scale to transform the manufacturing system, increase labour productivity by 52%, reduce production lead time by 25% and eliminate 20% utility consumption per unit.
Midea (Hefei): Targeting domestic high-end product segments and oversea market expansion, Midea Hefei Laundry Appliances widely deployed AI and IoT technologies across end-to-end value chains to form a faster response and higher efficiency supply chain, which resulted in a lead time reduction by 56%, customer report defect rate reduction by 36% and labour productivity improvement by 45%.
Procter & Gamble (Guangzhou): To meet 45% increased e-commerce demands, P&G Guangzhou leveraged AI, flexible automation and digital twins to integrate multi-systems across its value chain to serve omni-channel consumers. This increased the responsiveness of their supply chain with 30% reduction of inventory, 15% reduction of logistics cost and 99.9% on time delivery within three years.
Schneider Electric (Hyderabad): Facing changing customer demands and a 54% business growth, Schneider Electric implemented Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IIoT infrastructure, predictive/prescriptive analytics and AI deep learning. This has resulted in reduction of field failure by 48% and lead time by 67%, while manufacturing efficiency improved by 9%.
Unilever (Dapada): Driven by the need to accelerate the pace of innovation and speed of response to consumer demand while augmenting cost competitiveness in an increasingly challenging market, and acting on sustainability goals, Unilever Dapada deployed digital, automation and AI-ML across its end-to-end value chain to shorten product development lead time by 50%, reduce manufacturing cost by 39% and energy by 31%.