May 23 2018
If you google “data-science + manufacturing,” what comes back is recycled hype about the factory of the future. The same vision has been painted before and hasn’t come to pass. Yet we are expected to believe that this time it will be a “4th industrial revolution.” Whether it’s true or not, this happy talk is no help in today’s factories. “Data science” covers real advances in the art of working with data, and the more relevant question is what it can do to improve existing operations.
This is not just about reaping tangible benefits today rather than hypothetical ones in the future but also about acquiring skills needed to design new plants and production lines 5 years from now. These publications endow technology with a power to drive innovation that it doesn’t have. It is only a means for people to innovate. Their ability to do so hinges on their mastery of the technology, which is acquired by using it in continuous improvement.