MD&D at a crossroads: digitalization and operational excellence for small – and medium-sized manufacturers

By Sergio Bellisario

MD&D manufacturers are at a crossroads. They can tackle the challenges in the industry with innovation or with perseverance. Both will be required for small – and medium-sized businesses (SMB) to compete in the midst of change.

What is changing? The megatrends are clear.

  • Accelerated innovation – driving speed with more complex NPI, and increasing regulatory risk
  • Mass customization – requiring smaller lot sizes with more variation
  • Market consolidation – necessitating technological standardization for easier onboarding processes and know-how transfer
  • Next-generation intelligence – compelling faster insight with contextual relevance and enabling quicker containment of issues.

Speed. Complexity. Risk. SMB manufacturers will find it difficult to grow performances at an acceptable level across all three – or achieve Operational Excellence – without digital transformation. That is also clear.

So how is digitalization helping MD&D manufacturers? In a nutshell – it is helping them deliver more valuable, higher quality products to the market faster, while avoiding recalls and grow in production volumes.

One of the key areas of digitalization that is directly impacting manufacturing speed and quality is Manufacturing Operations Management, or MOM. This is the technology that transforms the manufacturing value chain at the intersection of the virtual world of design and planning and the real world of production. MOM’s role in digital manufacturing comprises:

  • Orchestration – Orchestration and enforcement of manufacturing and quality operations
  • Vertical integration – Bridging the gap between enterprise systems and automation
  • Digital Twin – Implementation of the Digital Twin of design and engineering in the real production
  • Closed loop – Enabling continuous closed-loop improvement through as-planned and as-is data
  • Analytics – Transforming big data into IoT actionable information (smart data)

Siemens Opcenter is the leading MOM platform for MD&D. Its core components include:

  • Paperless manufacturing and self-auditing eDHR/eBR
  • Single as-built track and trace record
  • Manufacturing enforcement and quality
  • Identification, analysis, and prevention of errors
  • APS and EMI functionality
  • Closed-loop manufacturing and change enforcement

View the on-demand webinar to explore these capabilities and understand the impact MOM is having on SMB MD&D manufacturers, allowing them to achieve Operational Excellence through digital transformation.

  • Eliminating paper-based processes to streamline compliance and focus on quality
  • Gaining rapid ROI, investing limited resources into high-value opportunities thanks to out-of-the-box functionalities
  • Support accelerated growth, scaling production as market value increases
  • Transforming data into contextualized analytics.

View the webinar today!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at