Industrial digital infrastructure

What is industrial digital infrastructure? and how to build it?

Digital infrastructure can be described as a collection of information technology and organizational structures whose purpose is to provide support to the processes required for an organization, industry or society to function. The digital infrastructure is a socio-technical phenomenon, that consists of both information technology and human processes whose interaction both enables and limits the capacity of the infrastructure. Digital infrastructure in an industrial context can mean all the interplaying digital and human resources that a company uses to create and use information (here also called data) for the purpose of developing, producing and maintaining products.

New demands for higher variation, smaller production volumes and changes in supply chains place greater demands on modern production companies, their production systems and the digital infrastructure's ability to adapt to constant changes. This is important because, for example, a small change in a current product design can create a major change in the current production process.

The digital infrastructure and its ability to manage data flows are the foundation of the smart factory. The ability of a smart factory is judged on the basis of digital infrastructure's ability to achieve high productivity (output and input ratio), quality (how to meet design specifications), flexibility (the ability to adapt in environments with constant and unpredictable changes) and sustainability (resource consumption). , prosperity and financial feasibility).

In order to have functioning digital infrastructures and to enable data flows to create value and ultimately create a "smart" production environment, it is necessary that the right information arrive at the right place at the right time. These feeds require standards for how information is to be created, stored, transported and presented. Standards create order by enabling actors to relate to a common structure and process, thus enabling standards for communication and integration between both technical components and people.

Reflective issues for industrial digital infrastructure

  • What does the digital infrastructure look like for your organisation?
  • How well connected are the different parts of your digital infrastructure?
  • How good is your digital infrastructure to support your productivity goals? quality? flexibility? And durability?
  • What standards are important that you relate to today and in the future?


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This article is categorised as Introduction  |  Published 2020-04-17  |  Authored by Victor Centerholt