A Comprehensive Guide

Glossary of Digital and Sustainable Transformation Terms for Manufacturing

Explore the essential terms and concepts in manufacturing transformation, including Industry 4.0, sustainability, digitalisation, and more.

This involves making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. It enables the creation of physical objects from a digital design, allowing for complex shapes and structures that traditional manufacturing methods cannot achieve. See also: 3D printing and Industry 4.0: what’s the state of play?

The analysis of data using sophisticated techniques to predict future outcomes, discover patterns, and provide actionable insights. In manufacturing, it can be used to optimise production processes, improve supply chain efficiency, and enhance product quality.

The process of integrating new, innovative technologies into the manufacturing process. This can include the use of robotics, AI, 3D printing, and other technologies to enhance efficiency, quality, and customisation.

In manufacturing, AI encompasses a wide range of technologies and methods, including robotics, machine learning algorithms, predictive analytics, and intelligent automation. These tools work together to enhance various aspects of the manufacturing process. AI is set to revolutionise manufacturing by offering predictive maintenance, real-time defect detection, process optimisation, and supply chain visibility. It also enables mass customisation, enhances workplace safety, and aligns manufacturing with sustainability goals.

The integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike VR, which creates a totally artificial environment, AR uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.

Changes in behaviour and operational practices to optimise energy use.

The process of collecting, organising, and analysing large sets of data (big data) to discover patterns and other useful information. In manufacturing, it can be used to optimise production, predict maintenance needs, enhance supply chain efficiency, and more.

Blockchain offers transparency, traceability, and security in manufacturing. It can automate processes through smart contracts, streamline inventory management, simplify compliance, and even optimise energy usage.

Emissions from employee travel for business purposes, including flights, train journeys, and other travel.

Emissions related to the acquisition and production of capital goods like machinery and infrastructure.

Measures like reforestation and carbon capture to offset emissions when complete elimination is not feasible.

The process of producing goods with no net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, involving reduction and offsetting.

Certifications and standards for carbon-neutral manufacturing to demonstrate commitment to sustainability.

A training and certification programme provided by INCIT for individuals who assess sustainability maturity. The training provides the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively evaluate and play a part in driving green initiatives and sustainable transformation within organisations and manufacturers. See also: Consumer Sustainability Industry Readiness Index (COSIRI).

An alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose). A circular economy is one where resources are used for as long as possible, thus extracting the maximum value from them while in use. Such resources are then recovered and regenerated into new products or raw materials at the end of their service life.

Clean tech is not just about alternative energy; it encompasses a range of solutions aimed at environmental sustainability. This includes Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), agriculture sustainability, waste management, and water purification.

The delivery of various services over the internet, including data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software. In manufacturing, it allows for greater accessibility, scalability, and flexibility in operations.

CO2 Tax and Policy Gaps refer to the absence or inadequacy of regulations that account for the conversion of energy consumption (KWh) and water usage (qm) into equivalent CO2 emissions (kg CO2). These gaps can lead to incomplete environmental accounting and hinder sustainability efforts.

Robots designed to work collaboratively with humans in a shared workspace. Unlike traditional robots, cobots are created with the intention of interacting with humans in a shared space or to work safely in close proximity.

This includes emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels on-site, such as natural gas for heating, diesel for backup generators, or gasoline for company vehicles.

Companies that successfully implement IT/OT convergence can gain a competitive edge by being more agile, innovative, and responsive to market demands.

Understanding competitive landscapes in different regions and choosing manufacturing locations strategically.

The ability to create intricate designs through 3D printing that traditional methods cannot achieve. This allows for greater design freedom, customisation, and the ability to produce parts that were previously impossible or too costly to make.

It simplifies compliance and reporting by automating data collection and making it easier to generate reports required by regulatory authorities.

The reduction in time from product conception to market, often driven by digital transformation. It allows for faster response to market demands, increased innovation, and improved efficiency.

Widespread adoption of energy efficiency innovations by consumers and industries.

COSIRI, a neutral, independent sustainability framework to benchmark sustainability maturity of organisations.

Continuously monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments as you go along. The SIRI Assessment should be a part of an ongoing process of improvement and adaptation to the evolving digital landscape. See also: Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI).

Pursuing carbon neutrality as part of corporate social responsibility initiatives for reputation and compliance.

The COSIRI Index is a comprehensive framework for assessing a company’s sustainability performance. It offers a standardised measurement system that covers a broad spectrum of sustainability dimensions. The index helps companies focus on impactful aspects of sustainability, enables benchmarking, and encourages stakeholder engagement. See also: Consumer Sustainability Industry Readiness Index (COSIRI). 

Energy efficiency innovations often lead to cost savings for organisations.

Applicability of energy efficiency innovations across various sectors.

CPS integrate digital and physical components, playing a vital role in automation and optimisation in manufacturing. Challenges include cybersecurity risks, data management, real-time communication, and workforce training.

The practice of protecting systems, networks, and data in manufacturing environments. It’s essential for safeguarding intellectual property, personal data, and proprietary business information.

Dark Factories are highly automated manufacturing facilities that operate with minimal or no human intervention. These factories are often capable of running continuously and are driven by technologies like robotics, AI, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Using data-driven approaches and advanced monitoring systems for energy consumption control.

The process of making informed choices based on the combined data from IT and OT systems.

A strategy based on assessment results to address identified weaknesses and opportunities, including setting specific goals, timelines, and resource allocation.

While both are essential in digital manufacturing, they serve different purposes. Quality management ensures the physical products meet standards, whereas digital assurance focuses on the digital components like software and data analytics tools.

DMA is an integrated approach to designing efficient factory layouts. It leverages digital twins for simulation and focuses on resource allocation, waste reduction, and worker safety.

The process of integrating digital technologies into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how the organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. In manufacturing, it often involves the use of technologies like IoT, AI, and analytics to transform operations.

Digital Twin technology extends beyond production simulation to include design phase prototyping, real-time data monitoring, quality control, maintenance prediction, supply chain optimisation, and even training.

An alternative to traditional cloud computing, edge computing processes data closer to its source, potentially reducing CO2 emissions. However, its environmental impact depends on various factors like energy efficiency and scale of deployment.

Emissions related to the electricity purchased or consumed by the organisation.

Emissions from employees commuting to and from work.

Emissions linked to the disposal and recycling of products after use.

The practice of using less energy to manufacture products, thereby reducing costs and environmental impact. It includes optimising energy use in production processes, improving energy management, and using energy-efficient technologies.

Technologies, practices, or strategies to reduce energy consumption while maintaining or enhancing performance.

IT/OT convergence enables better asset management and predictive maintenance. By analysing data from sensors and machinery, organisations can schedule maintenance proactively, reducing downtime and extending the life of equipment.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact through energy efficiency innovations.

A set of standards that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. In manufacturing, it refers to how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment, how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and communities, and how it governs itself.

ESG ratings assess a company’s performance in environmental, social, and governance factors. While they are crucial for transparency, they have limitations such as lack of standardisation, data quality issues, and potential biases. These ratings are used by various stakeholders to make informed decisions. See also: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). 

Exoskeletons, also known as industrial exosuits or wearable robotics, are devices designed to assist and enhance the physical capabilities of workers in manufacturing environments. They help in reducing strain, improving posture, and enhancing worker safety.

The practice of producing goods in a manner that adheres to ethical and sustainable principles. This includes ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions, and environmentally responsible practices. It often involves collaboration with small producers and marginalised communities to promote social and economic empowerment.

Emissions from employee commuting, business travel, and product use, such as fuel consumption.

Emissions that unintentionally escape from facilities, such as leaks from pipelines or equipment.

Forming a diverse team from various departments like IT, operations, production, and management for a comprehensive evaluation of readiness.

Both are techniques used in 3D printing. Generative design uses algorithms to explore design possibilities, while topological design focuses on optimising material distribution within a given space. Both aim to improve product performance and efficiency.

It specifies where a company’s manufacturing facilities, plants, or production sites are situated. These locations can be spread across various countries or regions to take advantage of different factors such as labour costs, access to raw materials, market proximity, and regulatory considerations. 

Global Executive Industry Talks (GETIT), a thought leadership platform where business leaders will have a stage to connect with like-minded specialists, experts and luminaries to discuss the latest developments in the industry.

Categorisation of greenhouse gas emissions into three scopes for management and understanding. See also: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in Manufacturing. 

A strategic framework outlining the geographic locations of a company’s manufacturing operations worldwide, including considerations like production capacity, strategic objectives, supply chain integration, logistics, regulatory factors, market access, risk mitigation, and cost.

A Granular Energy Platform is a system that provides detailed insights, tools, and mechanisms to manage energy consumption and emissions. Supported by the right tax incentives and transition strategies, this platform can drive the adoption of clean technologies and foster sustainable energy practices.

Green Business Modelling involves creating and implementing business strategies that prioritise environmental sustainability while maintaining profitability. It is becoming increasingly important for manufacturers due to growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products and stricter government regulations.

GHG emissions in manufacturing are categorised into three main scopes: Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions. These categories help organisations and industries understand and manage their greenhouse gas emissions comprehensively. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions originating from the manufacturing facility. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions associated with purchased energy. Scope 3 emissions encompass a broader range of indirect emissions, including upstream and downstream processes. 

Emissions related to purchased heating, cooling, or steam used by the organisation. 

Using the SIRI Assessment to identify areas needing enhancement, such as technology adoption, workforce upskilling, process optimisation, or strategic realignment. See also: Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI).

The process of executing the action plan, potentially involving new technologies, employee training, process reengineering, or business strategy adjustments.

The outcome of real-time data integration between IT and OT systems, leading to improved operational efficiency and productivity.

Enhanced measures achieved through the integration of IT and OT systems, including real-time monitoring and automated response to anomalies.

The use of various control systems for operating equipment in manufacturing plants, including machinery, processes in factories, boilers, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilisation of ships, aircraft, and other applications.

A sub-category of IoT, focusing specifically on the use of IoT technologies in industrial environments. It enables advanced connectivity and analytics in manufacturing, enhancing efficiency and innovation.

Refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, focusing on the use of modern smart technology in manufacturing environments. It includes the use of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, AI, and other technological advancements to create more interconnected and efficient manufacturing processes.

INNOSPHERE is a solution-based open innovation platform designed for industries. It focuses on providing solutions to industry-specific challenges through INCIT’s prioritisation indexes. The platform invites innovators, startups, researchers, and other participants to submit solutions addressing these challenges. INNOSPHERE fosters collaboration between different stakeholders, catalyses innovation, and saves time and resources compared to in-house R&D efforts.

The synergy between IT and OT can foster innovation by enabling the development of new technologies and applications that can transform business processes and create new revenue streams.

Investing in innovative technologies to further reduce emissions in manufacturing processes.

The systematic process of managing all the activities involved in the process of innovation. In manufacturing, it includes idea generation, collaboration, selection, development, commercialisation, and continuous monitoring and improvement.

Incorporating renewable energy sources to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

In manufacturing, IoT refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, and other items embedded with sensors, software, and network connectivity. These devices collect and exchange data, allowing for more intelligent decision-making in manufacturing processes.

A significant challenge in Industry 4.0, interoperability refers to the ability of different systems and technologies to work seamlessly together. It requires a multi-faceted approach, including the development of industry standards, middleware solutions, and robust security measures.

Intra-logistics involves the internal movement of goods and materials within a factory. In smart factories, it employs technologies like automated guided vehicles and robotics to optimise material flow, reduce bottlenecks, and improve overall efficiency.

IT/OT convergence, the integration of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) in industrial and manufacturing sectors to create a unified technology ecosystem.

A systematic method for waste minimisation within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity. Lean methodologies consider waste created through overburden and waste created through unevenness in workloads.

Emissions related to the use of leased assets.

Considering energy efficiency optimisation throughout the product or process life cycle. 

The footprint considers transportation and logistics networks that connect manufacturing sites with suppliers and distribution centres. This can impact the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the overall supply chain. 

A subset of AI that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Beyond pattern recognition, machine learning encompasses predictive analytics, anomaly detection, data classification, and natural language processing. It powers recommendation systems, clustering algorithms, and reinforcement learning.

Innovations aim to improve performance while using less energy.

A computerised system used in manufacturing to track and document the transformation of raw materials into finished goods. It provides real-time control and visibility over the manufacturing process, helping to ensure quality and efficiency.

ManuVate, A collaborative platform developed by INCIT to accelerate the global momentum of innovations towards Industry 4.0 for manufacturers worldwide, based on robust collaboration between “Challengers-Seekers” and “Solvers-ManuVators”.

Accurate measurement, monitoring, and reporting of emissions for tracking progress toward carbon neutrality.

OT Cyber Security for manufacturing sites is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of industrial processes. It involves various measures such as network segmentation, strong access controls, regular updates, intrusion detection systems, and continuous monitoring. Employee training and well-defined incident response plans are also essential components.

OEE is a metric that measures the effectiveness of equipment and processes in manufacturing. It considers availability, performance, and quality to provide insights into operational efficiency, guiding targeted and effective investments.

Policy gaps refer to the absence or inadequacy of supportive policies, regulations, and incentives that facilitate the transition to sustainable practices. These gaps can be a threat to manufacturers aiming for Net Zero emissions, as they may lack the guidance or financial incentives to make necessary changes.

Utilises data analysis, statistics, machine learning, and modelling to predict when equipment failure might occur. This approach enables timely maintenance, preventing unexpected equipment failures and reducing maintenance costs.

INCIT’s Prioritisation Indexes offer a 4-in-1 tool for maturity assessment, automatic prioritised road mapping, rating, and transformation. These indexes are particularly useful for ESG maturity assessments, helping organisations understand their current status and areas for improvement.

Emissions resulting from specific processes or activities within the organisation, such as manufacturing. 

Product circularity is a fundamental concept within the framework of a circular economy. It refers to the design, production, use, and end-of-life stages of products in a way that aims to maximise their lifespan, minimise waste, and promote a more sustainable economic model. The goal is to create a closed-loop system where products are continuously reused, refurbished, remanufactured, and recycled.

The footprint outlines the production capacity and capabilities of each manufacturing facility, including the types of products or components they produce and the volume they can handle.

Emissions from the production of materials, goods, or services purchased by the organisation. 

A formalised system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. It helps coordinate and direct an organisation’s activities to meet customer and regulatory requirements and improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

Quantum Communication is a method of secure communication that leverages the principles of quantum mechanics. It uses phenomena like quantum entanglement and quantum key distribution (QKD) to create cryptographic keys that are fundamentally secure against interception.

The use of IT/OT convergence for immediate data analysis and machine learning applications.

Achieving carbon-neutral manufacturing through energy-efficient technologies and waste minimisation. 

The primary goal of energy efficiency innovations is to significantly reduce energy use.

Companies must consider local and international regulations and compliance requirements in each manufacturing location. This includes environmental regulations, labour laws, trade agreements, and safety standards. 

Compliance with regulatory requirements and standards for energy efficiency.

The ability to oversee and manage industrial processes remotely, a feature of IT/OT convergence.

Sharing the results and progress of the SIRI Assessment with stakeholders within the organisation, emphasising transparency and communication. 

Ongoing research and development efforts to drive energy efficiency innovations.

The practice of bringing manufacturing and services back to the home country from overseas. It’s the reverse of offshoring and can strengthen a country’s economy by providing jobs and building skills at home.

Refers to the use of robots to perform tasks that are either dangerous or repetitive. Robotics in manufacturing can increase efficiency, accuracy, and consistency, while also allowing human workers to focus on more complex tasks.

The ability of IT/OT systems to adapt and expand with organisational growth or changing needs. 

Direct emissions originating from the manufacturing facility. 

Indirect emissions associated with purchased electricity, steam, heating, or cooling.

Complex, indirect emissions resulting from activities outside the organisation’s control, including value chain. 

Using the SIRI framework to conduct an internal evaluation across dimensions like strategy, technology, processes, and people. See also: Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI).

This involves creating digitally advanced manufacturing facilities. The Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIR) can assess a facility’s preparedness for such a transformation, focusing on automation, data-driven decision-making, and human-machine collaboration. 

A framework developed to help companies assess their readiness for Industry 4.0 or the “Smart Industry.”

SIRI, a framework that helps manufacturers, both large and small, to evaluate their readiness for transformation. It provides a comprehensive understanding of a company’s current level of technological sophistication, adoption, and overall readiness for Industry 4.0.

A framework to help companies assess their readiness for Industry 4.0, focusing on evaluating maturity in adopting smart technologies and processes. See also: Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI).

A broad category that includes the use of advanced technologies to enhance manufacturing processes. It involves the integration of various technologies, data analytics, and human ingenuity to improve manufacturing, production speed, product quality, and overall efficiency.

Solar panels as an example of sustainable technology, converting sunlight into clean electricity.

Generating a score post-assessment to reflect current readiness and comparing it with global benchmarks to gauge industry standard alignment.

Supply chain digitalisation is rapidly evolving with several innovative technologies on the horizon. These technologies range from blockchain and IoT devices to AI and machine learning. They aim to enhance transparency, traceability, and efficiency in supply chain management. 

It encompasses the integration of manufacturing facilities into the broader supply chain. This includes the coordination of production, logistics, distribution, and inventory management to ensure seamless operations.

Optimising supply chains by choosing local suppliers, reducing transportation, and selecting low-carbon materials. 

Supply chain resilience originally means preparing for, and recovering from, disruptions in the supply chain. The goal is to ensure continuity of operations even in the face of unexpected events. The concept has evolved to include discussions about “reshoring”, “nearshoring”, and “onshoring”, which involve bringing production closer to the point of consumption to enhance resilience. 

The practice of reducing energy consumption and waste, contributing to environmental goals, facilitated by IT/OT convergence.

Companies considering the environmental impact of manufacturing operations and sustainability goals.

Implementing sustainable practices, including recycling and waste reduction, to reduce emissions.

The practice of creating manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimise negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. It also considers the well-being of society and the economy.

These are engineered to be energy-efficient, optimising resource usage and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They can work seamlessly with renewable energy sources and offer built-in tools for emission tracking.

In manufacturing, this refers to the development and implementation of processes and practices that reduce negative environmental impacts, enhance social responsibility, and improve economic performance, all while meeting the demands of the present without compromising the future.

Development and use of technologies with minimal environmental impact for long-term sustainability.

The intelligent and sustainable use of water resources in manufacturing processes. This includes the treatment and reuse of water, reducing consumption, and complying with environmental regulations.

Energy efficiency innovations often rely on technological advancements.

Consideration of access to technology and innovation hubs for product development and process improvement.

The initial step in a SIRI Assessment, involving understanding the reasons for undertaking the assessment, such as improving competitiveness or enhancing digital capabilities.

Emissions associated with transporting materials, products, and services to and from the organisation. 

Emissions resulting from the use of products or services sold by the organisation. 

This refers to the integration of IT and OT in an organisation. It enables better data sharing, communication, and coordination, leading to improved decision-making and process optimisation. 

The use of simulated, three-dimensional environments that can simulate physical presence in real or imagined worlds. In manufacturing, it can be used for training, design, and enhancing collaboration.

Emissions associated with waste disposal and treatment during the organisation’s operations. 

XIRI Analytics is a tool that provides data-driven insights to various stakeholders, including governments, equity companies, financial institutions, and public companies. It facilitates informed decisions regarding transformation processes like ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and digital transformation. The tool offers benchmarking capabilities, risk assessments, and scenario analyses, enabling effective planning and resource allocation.