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Industrial digitization: advances at Thales showcased at IDC "Future of Manufacturing" virtual event

Mar 29. 2021  Alain Chêne, VP Industry for Thales’s Flight Avionics business line, spoke at a virtual event organized on March 23 by the International Data Corporation (IDC) on the theme of the "Future of Manufacturing", as part of a series of talks focusing how to modernize the production chain by applying Industry 4.0 methods.

Alongside (albeit at a distance!) counterparts from companies as diverse as Hitachi, Bosch, LVMH and Confluent, Alain Chêne's keynote talk was entitled "Mastering data for efficient and secure industrial digitization".

He particularly highlighted the progress made by Thales in terms of harmonizing practices, tools and processes in our industrial activities, as well as the progress made in order to facilitate the work of employees by enabling them "to have access at the right time to the reliable data they need".

The key challenges of the digital transformation of industry

Alain Chêne explained how industrial digitization is playing a fundamental role in these two major areas, raising five major challenges. These are "making the data we have available to all of our employees; automating as many low added-value tasks as possible; demonstrating great agility to adapt to the market; ensuring that our suppliers also engage in a dynamic of digital transformation; and, probably most important of all, making sure to always position the human at the centre of the process."

In addition, Alain mentioned the issues around data, stressing how "one of the challenges of industrial digital transformation lies in the awareness of the existence of the large amount of data at our disposal (technical, commercial and financial data) coming from a wide variety of internal and external systems and stakeholders. These data represent colossal sources of efficiency and performance." He also recalled how cybersecurity is an essential condition for success, while recalling the Group's strengths in this area.

He concluded by recalling how "the concepts of data, connectivity and intelligent systems make it possible to significantly increase end-to-end industrial performance both at the technical, financial and human level and to build new standards of excellence, both for our teams and our customers. This translates into reducing non-quality costs, improving reliability and punctuality levels, optimizing the time to market of a product, and more generally by strengthening our agility."

The deployment of increasingly digitized methods and processes, as part of a wider continuous improvement drive, is producing excellent results at Thales. The most notable impact has been on delivery time, responsiveness and on-spec quality levels. Over the past four years, this has driven a six-fold reduction in Thales’s flight avionics industrial production rejection rates. Customers have acknowledged this best-in-class performance; for instance, within the framework of their Supplier of the Year awards, Gulfstream has recognized Thales as a benchmark supplier for on-time and on-quality deliveries. 



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