Round Tables

Round Table 1:

Production System after the Covid-19 and the effects on sustainability

Prof. António Santos,

Autonoma University of Lisbon

Moderated by:

Prof. Paulo Ávila, Polytechnic of Porto


The continuation of the post-pandemic era of globalization is unleashing a wave of technological, economic and environmental change with as many consequences as the digital domain had when it came out massively about twenty years ago. Nobody gets it right in the business model of the future, but the collateral damage caused by Covid-19 is already affecting a non-return outcome for many companies and workers with regard to the physical space and the filling of the individual work space.

The surface of the offices and headquarters of the companies will certainly adapt to a better allocation of the physical space in order to minimize installation costs. With all this added, we are left with a portrait that is not very different from what can be called accelerating mobility, not only for employees but also for mobility, and not just adaptability, of companies' spaces in terms of the indispensable heritage as a complement of the manufacturing process.

Whoever leads this transition of workplaces and production systems has an opportunity to anticipate the future, with a mixed result of creating and capturing more value creation internally, and the evidence will be determined at the level of productivity (economic effect) and results (financial effect). Therefore, it is not just a question of reordering the strategy of each company but, at the same time, of recovering from the turmoil that companies have been experiencing for a few months, whose end has not yet been revealed, and whose dissolution of this turbulence will affect for a long time the performance of the productive capacity and, therefore, the production chain.

Despite being highly dependent on sector to sector, e.g., working on projects in virtual 3D models enhances the opportunity to reduce errors, omissions and additional work, thus reducing costs. However, this involves high costs, because both software and hardware will also have to be more powerful. The excellence of a technological component that is robust, creative and protected in terms of computer security is a critical factor, sometimes little noticed, for there to be a business solidity prone to cases of business success, even with the failure of some companies. These are some of the aspects that we intend to discuss in the scope of sustainability in the future, which is already tomorrow.