Flex Factory in Sorocaba, Brazil Admitted into World Economic Forum Global Lighthouse Network


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Flex announced its factory site in Sorocaba, Brazil has been admitted into the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network (GLN). This recognition is a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technology adoption journey this Flex factory embarked on in 2017 that put equal emphasis on sustainability, people and economic growth. The GLN is a community of manufacturers that are world leaders in the adoption and integration of cutting-edge 4IR technologies to maximize efficiency and competitiveness at scale, transform business models and protect the environment. Flex CEO Revathi Advaithi will participate as a guest expert/speaker on a virtual panel hosted by the World Economic Forum Global Lighthouse Network on October 13 at 14:00 CEST titled, “Unlocking Sustainable and Human Centric Operations Using 4IR Technologies.”

The site in Sorocaba is the second Flex factory to be admitted into the GLN. Through the rigorous admission process, the company demonstrated how it has deployed 4IR initiatives along the end-to-end value chain to increase agility and operational efficiencies. The site has deeply embedded sustainability into its operations with a circular economy ecosystem. People remain a focus, improving engagement by upskilling employees and increasing team member well-being through innovative digital health and safety measures. It has also increased customer satisfaction by providing improved transparency and quality.

“The Flex factory site in Sorocaba, Brazil is leading the way for the future of manufacturing by leveraging 4IR technologies to achieve not only efficiency and quality, but also prioritizing sustainability and employee care, which are critical elements for Global Lighthouse factories,” said Francisco Betti, Head of Shaping the Advanced Manufacturing and Production Platform, World Economic Forum. “Being part of the Lighthouse network, manufacturers can collaborate and share insights with like-minded peers, to unlock new levels of sustainability in their operations and to lead towards a cleaner future.”

“Flex is focused on delivering manufacturing excellence for its customers and the site in Sorocaba is a shining example. We are honored to be recognized as one of the first Global Lighthouse Network factories in Brazil,” said Hooi Tan, President, Global Operations and Supply Chain, Flex. “We look forward to our continued participation in the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network, sharing our experiences and best practices in developing sustainable, advanced manufacturing capabilities at scale and collaborating with others in the industry to proliferate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies for advanced manufacturing.”

The nomination of the Sorocaba site showcased the following innovation areas:

  • Implemented a real time, IIoT-enabled digital factory performance management system connected to 44 production lines. This provides real-time data and transparency, resulting in material loss reduction by 81% and an overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) increase of 23%.
  • Developed a circular economy ecosystem, including reverse logistics of electronic waste leveraging IoT and cloud for real time tracking, resulting in a 94% reduction of material waste and a 38% reduction of plastic material costs. This reduced the need for resources equivalent to 44K carbon credits accredited by the Canadian Standard Association (CSA).
  • Created an end-to-end ergonomics digital thread with real time monitoring of operators who are alerted when a job rotation or workstation ergonomics improvement needs to be made to ensure employee health and safety.
  • Upskilled over 200 employees on developing and using low and no code digital tools and implemented Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions. This eliminated repetitive tasks for humans, resulting in a 38% reduction in nonvalue added work, and an increase of both employee and customer satisfaction.
  • Implemented an advanced real time supply chain solution to accelerate product flow, creating on-demand transparency and enabling supply chain resiliency.

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