Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the company’s manufacturing facility in Waldbronn, Germany, has been named a Global Lighthouse by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for innovations that boost productivity, output, and quality.
The recognition showcases Agilent’s Waldbronn facility as a model of smart manufacturing enabled by Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, data analytics, and the industrial internet of things (IIoT).
Only 153 manufacturing facilities worldwide have received the Lighthouse distinction from WEF, and Agilent is the sole analytical and clinical laboratory technology company among them. It is the second Agilent facility to be named a Lighthouse, after Agilent’s Singapore site in 2022.
Agilent’s Waldbronn facility manufactures high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), a technique to separate and detect a wide range of non-volatile organic chemicals. HPLC has numerous applications, from quality control in drug production to the analysis of crime scene samples. The Waldbronn site also produces automated electrophoresis and liquid chromatography supplies.
To earn the Lighthouse designation, the Agilent team rapidly developed, piloted, and scaled smart manufacturing technologies while navigating a period of unprecedented demand and supply chain disruption. The efficiency gains resulted in a 35% increase in manufacturing quality, a 44% increase in productivity, and a 48% increase in output.
“Agilent’s high standards of excellence in our instruments, consumables and services are rooted in our global manufacturing operations,” said President and CEO Mike McMullen. “I am proud of the Agilent team for these impressive results. Our customers benefit from these innovations because they allow us to deliver industry-leading products while quickly and efficiently meeting their needs, even in dynamic, ever-changing conditions.”
Agilent’s Order Fulfillment and Supply Chain division (OFS), which oversees the company’s global manufacturing and supply chain operations, has deployed a variety of 4IR applications at scale, from supply chain reliability prediction and rapid control to predictive cost modeling and digital product simulation.
“When many manufacturers were challenged to fill orders amid pandemic-related supply chain shortages, the Agilent team continued delivering orders on time, increasing customer satisfaction and expanding market share,” said Henrik Ancher-Jensen, head of Agilent’s OFS division. “We have the best team in the business, and this recognition from the World Economic Forum is another testament to their commitment, talent and ingenuity.”
McKinsey & Company defines 4IR as a leap in technology through intelligent computers that is transforming industry and the economy, just as steam propelled the original Industrial Revolution, electricity powered the second revolution, and early automation and machinery engineered the third industrial revolution.
"Lighthouses are pioneering a path to unprecedented global impact, strategically weaving innovation throughout their expansive network—sculpting both a sustainable future and an era of transformative and lasting change,” said Kiva Allgood, head of WEF’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains.
Read more about WEF's Lighthouses, including Agilent's Waldbronn facility, in their new white paper.
About the WEF Global Lighthouse Network
The Global Lighthouse Network is a collaborative platform bringing together forward-thinking manufacturers leading the charge in adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Leveraging innovations like artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, and big data analytics, Lighthouses drive efficiency, competitiveness, and transformative business models at scale, fostering economic growth while championing workforce augmentation and environmental protection. Learn more at WEForum.org.