4 Ways the Digital Factory is Changing Manufacturing Forever

Emily Suzuki Emily Suzuki January 5, 2023

2 min read

The digital factory isn’t just a buzzword anymore. Digital transformation is on the rise across the entire manufacturing spectrum. But are you still wondering what the big deal is? How can a digital factory really make a difference? Here are four ways the digital factory is changing manufacturing forever.  


1. Going mobile on the shop floor

Mobile devices are a ubiquitous part of our lives. But that is surprisingly not true on the shop floor. The digital factory is changing that, though. Now, it’s common to see operators and managers alike on smart devices. 

Considering the amount of communication and information that flows through a manufacturing company every day, smart devices can make a dramatic difference. Perhaps it’s to identify bottlenecks in the production processes, analyze an entire production workflow, or track shipping. Any team member on the shop floor can access everything from the cloud on any mobile device, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, laptop, and more. 

2. New level of agility

The manufacturing process has never been known for its agility. It’s rooted in stationary, heavy operational facilities — and also at the mercy of market changes, fickle consumers, supply chain disruptions, and more.  

With data access from design to production, the manufacturing world can become more agile and adaptable. More data means more opportunities to make strategic decisions or predictions. 

One key example of a new level of agility is working from a single platform on the cloud, such as Autodesk Fusion 360. CAD and CAM technology give manufacturers and designers the tools to design better prototypes, improve production efficiency, enforce compliance, and enhance oversight. 

3. Collaboration and democratization of data — from the top floor to the shop floor

The days of siloed design and production data are over. Equal, open access to all data and closer collaboration deliver more efficiency and better outcomes, from design to production to shipping. 

With the cloud, everyone can be on the same “digital page.” Fusion 360 brings data and teams across different disciplines, industries, and regions together into one software. This removes friction points for collaboration between different personas and the value chain between designers and machinists. 

Integrated CAD/CAM technology gives manufacturers and designers the tools to design better prototypes, improve production efficiency, enforce compliance, and enhance oversight. 

4. A triumvirate of machines, process, and people

The real testament of a digital factory is the connection between people, machines, and processes. Using Fusion 360 and Fusion Operations together makes this digital transformation possible.  

With data and a cloud-based platform, a whole host of opportunities are available with these new connections. Collaboration between the product development team, designers, and machinists can happen at any time in the product lifecycle — not just the “uh-oh” moment when a design hits the shop floor and adjustments must be made with the production.  

There’s also improved tracking of jobs and real-time connection between operators, managers, and production planners. The shop floor can realize less machine downtime and integrated maintenance management. A digital factory opens the doors to a new way of manufacturing with machines, process, and people together and for the better. 

Ready to embrace the power of a digital factory? Try Fusion 360 and Fusion Operations for free today:

Get Fusion updates in your inbox

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive the Fusion newsletter and acknowledge the Autodesk Privacy Statement.