Manufacturing companies look very different than they did in the past. From R&D to marketing, sales, service and maintenance, they are less “company” and more “interconnected network of teams.” Keeping them streamlined and nimble give them an edge in the competitive race.
Some companies have adopted creative office designs so they can flexibly “house” various teams, meetings and activities. But there’s an opportunity to take that flexibility a step further. How would the ideal manufacturing office look if it was no longer restricted to the physical office?
Enter the Collaborative Decision Environment
Collaborative decision environment is a mouthful – but simply put, it’s an area enabled by video and collaboration tools where coworkers can connect to accelerate project delivery, problem solving and brainstorming across multiple teams and locations. And this mouthful comes with great benefits, such as:
Access global experts anywhere
Supports HD analysis of multiple streams of data such as CAD, detailed work processes, pictures, and standard office documents.
Enables any of the participants to view and annotate on documents
Recorded content and discussions enables collaboration to continue even after the meeting
Open space collaboration environments can be connected during the workday to foster sharing and discussion of ideas and challenges not unlike how these interactions happen in a traditional office. Advanced audio technologies such as Acoustic Fence block background noise from the office so only those inside the acoustic fence will be heard by the connected locations. Intelligent camera technology using facial tracking can automatically frame and zoom on the number of people that are in the collaborative decision environment. The focus can stay on the collaboration itself while the technology automatically takes care of the visual and audio experience.
EagleEye Producer changes the face of video collaboration through automatic, intimate framing of meeting participants. Utilizing the latest in facial recognition, the system continually views the room and seamlessly commands the EagleEye Camera to appropriately frame the users with subtle pan, tilt, zoom technology. End users are delivered an unsurpassed experience that allows them to concentrate on the task at hand and not the technology. The Polycom Group Series, The EagleEye Producer combined with Polycom’s Acoustic Fence enabling vide collaboration in open workspaces. The Acoustic Fence captures sounds from inside the virtual fence while blocking those from outside. The picture is showing a Steelcase media-scape integrated with the Polycom collaboration technology.
Create a Virtual Lab
Equip the labs across the geographically dispersed offices with video and collaboration tools. Using a utility cart it is possible to share prototypes, discuss industry design or even review details on a circuit board with other labs or engineers involved in the project. If the engineers need to discuss specifications of parts from a supplier the third party can easily be invited into the lab by just clicking a link and join the video collaboration from a browser while viewing prototypes and schematics.
A key component of any manufacturer is the lab. Today’s collaboration tools can effectively connect labs across geographically dispersed offices via video technology. This is possible by using mobile solutions such as the Utility Cart, tablets and smartphones. Engineers can share prototypes, discuss industry design or even review details on a circuit board with other labs or engineers involved in the project. If engineers need to discuss specifications of parts from a supplier, the third party can easily be invited into the lab through the click of a button, viewing prototypes and schematics via a standard browser.
The Polycom RealPresence Utility Cart 500 will allow users to bring in remote participants wherever they are needed. The ease-of-use and flexibility of a mobile cart will increase productivity through communications happening when and where you need to be.
Easily connect with suppliers involved in the R&D process. Polycom RealPresence Web Suite is an innovative and powerful solution providing web collaboration to anyone, anywhere with feature rich content sharing capabilities that helps bring new ideas to life.
Go beyond the lab and the office environment
The lab and the office are two of many use cases. With mobile visual collaboration, you can even bring the production line into discussions when preparing machinery for a new product. Bring the tablet, smartphone, laptop or Polycom UtilityCart 500 to the factory floor and let the plant production planning team into the collaboration right away so you can avoid problems later in the process. Special cameras can be connected to the UtilityCart to access specific areas of focus within the assembly line or machinery. The possibilities go on.
Are you innovating outside the cube?
Still thinking of a manufacturing plant as a physical place? Or multiple physical places connected by traditional communication methods or even required travel between facilities? The workplace of the future is streamlined, efficient, cost-effective and more collaborative than the one we have worked in for decades. And those who implement it will reap the benefits both externally -- moving more quickly and staying ahead of the competition – and internally, because these modern manufacturing businesses are the ones that will attract and retain the best workers for years to come. Innovating outside the cube could just be your differentiator.
This blog is part of a series of 25 blogs that take a look at how Polycom has transformed industries and business functions. These blogs are a variety of retrospective, current and visionary perspectives with the common thread of unleashing the power of human collaboration. Follow the hashtag #Polycom25 on Twitter for tweets about this significant anniversary in our history.