Keep humans in the loop, they are the strongest link in crisis and difficult situations

Det nya corona-viruset påverkar alla delar av samhället, inte minst tillverkningsindustrin. Produktion2030 bad några produktionsforskare svara på tre snabba frågor och dela med sig av sina tankar och idéer kring utvecklingen.

Luis Ribeiro, Bitr Professor, Linköpings universitet.

– Hur går dina tankar kring det som händer i det nya corona-virusets spår?

This pandemic has created a quite unprecedented situation in society that is greatly stressing all the systems holding it together. We are now seeing, on the daily basis, examples of the very best and the very worst. No one was really prepared for this situation, and its repercussions, and this is evident now. There are, however, lessons to be learned. We should know, and will probably continue to learn for a few more months to come, what worked and did not, what could be improved and how. This is an exercise everyone should conscientiously do as a citizen.

– Vilka är dina rekommendationer till svensk tillverkningsindustri under rådande omständigheter?

Industry in general has been very badly affected by this crisis and to issue recommendations, particular at this stage where a lot of companies are struggling to understand how keep business afloat, is a pretension I do not have. Thinking out of the box will for sure create opportunities.

– Finns det något svenska företag bör passa på att göra nu?

If the situation allows, it may be an interesting time to invest in research and education, particularly linked to the fragilities that were exposed by the crisis. For a few years now people have been talking about Industry 4.0 and its potential. Part of its potential will be to mitigate the impact of future similar events. There is a lot of Industry 4.0 jargon circulating around which is just a rebranding of old stuff and which is not going to solve any new problems. Perhaps, if the situation allows, now it is an interesting time to throw the jargon away and focus on the really innovative aspects, on really changing the production paradigm to create more globally sustainable and dynamic production practices. Keep humans in the loop, they are the strongest link in crisis and difficult situations.