June 1, 2017

New facility will help companies to excel at digital disruption and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow

McKinsey & Company and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration, today announced the launch of the North American Digital Capability Center (DCC) – a unique 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 DCC’s 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 a Microsoft Azure hyper-scale cloud platform along with Hololens and Surface Hubs to power industrial applications such as digital performance management, predictive maintenance and augmented 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 LLC.

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.

About McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. For 90 years, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients’ most trusted external advisor. With consultants in over 110 locations in over 60 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organization to shape winning strategies, mobilize for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution.

Developing digitally enabled industry leaders
The next phase of digitalization will radically transform companies across industries – offering improvements in quality costs, forecasting accuracy, productivity, machine uptime and time-to-market. For example, smart inventory and automated ordering could reduce inventory-management costs by 20 to 50 percent for consumer packaged goods companies, and predictive maintenance could reduce maintenance costs by nearly 45 percent for power companies.

Recognizing automation’s full potential will require people and technology to work hand-in-hand, and could lead to 0.08 to 1.4 percent productivity growth globally, according to McKinsey research. While organizations that successfully harness new technologies have high expectations, they report not knowing how to harness digital manufacturing capabilities for sustained growth. McKinsey’s survey of 300 manufacturing leaders found that nine out of 10 believe digital manufacturing will alter their operational effectiveness, while only 48 percent think they are ready for digital manufacturing changes. The North American DCC aims to train leaders on how to take full advantage of digital manufacturing technologies to transform their businesses.

UI LABS is an innovation accelerator that leverages a network of hundreds of partners from university + industry. Along with startups, government, and community groups, we address problems too big for any one organization to solve on its own. Our mission is to transform manufacturing and infrastructure with digital technologies, making the U.S. economy and workforce the most productive in the world.