More than anything, it is competitive advantage that rears its powerful head when it comes to mobile innovations and connectivity in the manufacturing industry. When mobile connectivity finds itself at the heart of one’s business strategy, the plethora of opportunities that present themselves to the business is unparalleled in the current era. But more importantly, the augmentation of the existing processes in place at manufacturing plants is serving up some serious efficiency gains that their owners have found their tongues licking at.
Automated and seamless communication between human and machine, machine and machine is looking at peaking when you learn that business models are being reinvented to support IoT (Internet of Things) enabled capabilities. That, coupled with the need to employ a multitude of sensors, communication with numerous smart devices, and the introduction of advanced analytics to bring about the propulsion of actionable insights for one’s business.
Empowerment in the manufacturing industry these days is built on four key elements:
For real time information to present itself, a business first needs optimising equipment that can come in and run a better maintenance program for you and at a very cost efficient price. What’s more, these products only need you to start them up without having to worry about anything else. Providers of such equipment promise that such equipment will be able to communicate data remotely with capabilities such as Alert Monitoring Service (AMS), which essentially alert technicians on ground of any errors that may have taken place within or outside the plant over secure connections with the eventuality of troubleshooting. For errors that take place outside the premise of a plant, wireless networks, real-time location and cloud-enabled metrics and historical data can help optimise equipment.
End-to-end digitisation is something businesses are now seeking to ensure in their day-to-day processes. What do processes entail in an IoT-enabled environment? There will be inputs, a general execution of tasks, and an outcome which is a result of the completion of the aforementioned tasks. Easy to grasp, but not that simple when one realises that the transition in processes is moving from being human-centric, to product-centric. Process automation used to be solely coordinated around and by humans, their business partners, together with relevant enterprise applications. When it comes down to it, a process will just aid in the simple task of reporting/responding to a sensor value or something as circumstantial as navigating through a hailstorm of errors and system failures.
For informed manufacturing to become a reality, the other vital cog to the machine is of course the people who enable the seamlessness to materialise out of highly intelligent cyber-physical systems. This is no mean feat, as one would need to contend with the boom in social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies, sensors, nodes, and software, which all have a hand in ensuring that the manufacturing landscape changes in due time. Plant managers and those who sit above them partake in the endless information sharing, the analytics that are derived from operational efficiency and productivity which eventually ensure that the key elements of manufacturing converge at some point every single day.
A fully functional environment which oversees the monitoring, measurement, analysis, communication, and execution of informed decisions needs, primarily, agility in being able to integrate data across a slew of manufacturing plants and also make itself available over the World Wide Web, and across the face of numerous mobile devices whose livelihood depend on it. Most importantly, an informed and empowered infrastructure will help make context-based decisions autonomously, since they are the ones available on a 24/7 basis.
In a nutshell,
You’ll find that together with the need to obtain superior value via a data-driven business model, companies need to work on first building up a network of competencies which encompass all of the above elements in order to bring about a highly investigative and non-complacent environment for an empowered business to come into fruition.