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McKinsey launches North American Digital Capability Center

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

McKinsey & Company and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration, launched the North American Digital Capability Center (DCC)—a digital manufacturing learning center offering company leaders and their workforces hands-on experience and workshops in next generation technology to help them advance their operations, design and productivity.

“Digital manufacturing will disrupt every business in every industry, pushing leaders to reinvent their operations and retrain their workforces,” said Enno de Boer, McKinsey partner and digital manufacturing leader. “The North American Digital Capability Center joins McKinsey’s global network of 15 Model Factories, which bring together more than 15,000 leaders every year to ask and solve their businesses’ toughest questions around transformative technological change and the benefits their companies and workers can recognize from the latest digital technologies.”

The North American DCC brings McKinsey’s deep expertise in digital manufacturing, automation and business transformation to Chicago, at the crossroads of America’s manufacturing base. It aims to not only help America’s leading manufacturers adapt to new technologies but also to help the next generation grow – preparing smaller and mid-size companies to innovate, while nurturing start-ups.

The facility offers:

Digital showcases: Over time, companies will be able to explore more than 20 themes related to digital manufacturing, including showcases dedicated to digital performance management, digital standard work, predictive maintenance and wearables and augmented reality.

Experiential capability-building workshops: Leaders from companies of all sizes can sign up for one-day workshops designed to build awareness of digital manufacturing, and managers and their teams can take advantage of multi-day workshops to equip them with necessary skills to undertake digital transformations within their organizations.

The DCC mock line transforms in stages from a current, non-digitized line into a higher-performing, digitally driven production line of the future that includes advanced analytics, augmented reality and digital assistance for the operators. In the coming months, it will include collaborative robots (cobots) and artificial intelligence.

The DCC is digitally connected to four additional McKinsey DCCs in Singapore, Aachen (Germany), Beijing (China), and Venice (Italy). The Chicago-based McKinsey and DMDII partnership benefits from the collaboration of more than 300 manufacturers, technology companies, academic institutions and other organizations dedicated to bringing manufacturing enterprises into the 21st century.

“Access to the necessary tools and training is essential for U.S. manufacturers to benefit from the rapid technological change currently underway,” said Thomas McDermott, executive director of DMDII. “Housing the North American Digital Capability Center at DMDII—a neutral collaboration platform—ensures companies of all sizes can tap into the resources they need to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies and remain competitive on the global stage.”

The technologies featured at the DCCs are provided by a growing list of technology partners that bring to life the benefits of digital manufacturing through a functioning production line that makes refrigerator compressors. Microsoft, a key partner, enabled advanced analytics capabilities like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning using Microsoft Azure along with Microsoft HoloLens and Microsoft Surface Hubs to power industrial applications such as digital performance management, predictive maintenance and mixed reality for field force. Tulip, another key partner, has created a technology ecosystem to provide digital operator assistance, analytics and feedback across the assembly line. Additional contributors include OSIsoft, Scope AR and equipment donor Bulova Technologies Machinery.

The center draws upon UI LABS’ state-of-the-art facilities, a 94,000 square-foot collaboration studio and manufacturing floor with a real-world factory for experimentation and research and development. DMDII and its partners are currently engaged in more than 50 technical projects along with workforce development initiatives to prepare U.S. workers with the skills required for digital manufacturing jobs. Leaders from 50 UI LABS partner organizations are participating in trainings at the North American DCC this month alone. UI LABS also plans to engage small and medium-sized manufacturers within the DCC to ensure that organizations across the supply chain can access the tools and training needed to adopt digital manufacturing technologies.

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