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Experts seek technology adoption for manufacturing sector

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Worried by lack of automated processes in the manufacturing sector of the country, technology experts have advocated for a collaborative approach in ensuring that the sector adopts the use of cutting-edge technologies in their processes, even as they will be facing stiff competition with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Engr. OlutayoAdeniyi, national president, Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) said technology is the tools that help manufacturing industries to survive the increasingly globalised market of today to maintain their market share and even have an edge in the ever competing world,

“With the implementation of new technology, the manufacturing industry will become incredibly more efficient. Machines like intelligent computers and robots will track system maintenance, inspections and breakdowns, reducing system downtime or even eliminating it resulting in fewer repairs and lower maintenance costs,” he said.

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Adeniyi spoke at a webinar organised by Lagos chapter of ITAN on the theme, manufacturing sector: Unlocking the potentials of technologies.

He identified some technologies that are now disrupting manufacturing processes for factories of the future which include; Blockchain, this according to him“is the latest technology trend to follow in the wake of IoT and AI and promises a new model for traceability, supply chain transparency, compliance monitoring and audibility.

“It is a method of recording data and allowing it to be accessed, updated and shared by users of a network. This database functions as a digital ledger of transactions that is continually reconciled. It is not stored in any single location, so there is no centralized version of it anywhere that can be hacked.

“In manufacturing, blockchain can create smarter supply chains capable of tracking every detail of a product’s journey, providing precise audit trails and real-time visibility of every part in the supply chain.

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“Increased transparency would go a long way to protect operations from theft, fraud, counterfeit and cyber-attacks and allow manufacturers to take calculated risks. Blockchain has the potential to radically change manufacturing; however, technology is just emerging.

Among other technologies are robotics, IoT and Big Data, “in a smart manufacturing plant, machines can “talk” to each other via the Internet and work together to reduce downtime, minimize errors, improve quality and lower labour, waste and production costs., Plants can easily collect and aggregate big data, or a mass of information concerning their systems.

Engr. Frank Onyebu, chairman, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Apapa chapter, said that manufactures in Nigeria are scared of technology which has resulted in MAN contributing less than 10 percent to Nigeria’s GDP.

“Manufacturers are struggling with inefficient production system because of lack of capital to automate their process as well as fear of the unknown.

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With African Continental Free Trade Agreement coming, where we will be competing with more positioned manufacturing sector we must embrace technology or we play catch up,” he noted.

Amos Emmanuel, chairman, Lagos chapter of ITAN and convener of the event, urged for collaborative efforts among ICT, Manufacturing sector and government to institute an action plan for the manufacturing sector in a way of Development research for the next two years
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“ There have been talks on the application of technology in the manufacturing industry we want to crystalize all those conferences into an action plan which is the innovative research powered by a collaboration of ICT stakeholders and manufacturing with support from the government,” he added.

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