Modern industries face a changing paradigm in business, in which emerging technologies are revolutionizing the way products are made, service is delivered, and business is conducted. Manufacturers are turning to IoT technologies to integrate manufacturing assets with embedded sensors, advanced analytics, AI and cognitive computing to generate digital intelligence across the entire value stream. Companies are realizing that Industry 4.0 is not about building a complete smart factory from scratch, rather, carefully tackling the 3 major areas with a balance- Operational efficiency, Asset maintenance and safety.
- Enterprises leverage digital manufacturing to achieve substantial efficiency improvements in Design, prototyping, production, supply chains and services. Additive manufacturing, Digital twin, mobile-based machine control, warehouse optimization systems, energy management systems, virtual production planning and simulation are some top use cases.
- Asset Maintenance relies on installed or embedded devices to monitor a machine’s real-time condition and analyse the historical machine performance to predict failures and develop predictive actions to minimize unplanned downtime. Self-optimizing systems, self-diagnosing machines and machine-based prognostics systems are critical maintenance solutions
- IoT enables mobile field workforce monitoring in a non-intrusive and effective fashion, promising significant improvements in industrial worker safety. Geofencing, indoor navigation, workforce vitals monitoring, environment monitoring to sense harmful radiation and gases, and seismic activity detection are major connected worker solutions to enhance safety
Interoperability is key for digital manufacturing that can be enabled by a robust IIoT platform that holds capabilities such as secure device management, data management, analytics, and data sharing on a product and solution level. Manufacturers have started leveraging IIoT ecosystems built around platforms like GE Predix, PTC Thingworx, IBM Watson, Siemens Mindsphere etc. to develop niche solutions. Service providers are enabling this solution development for enterprises by collaborating with platform providers to custom build use-cases, tools and applications.
- Schneider teamed up with Accenture to develop and asset monitoring solution to monitor the heat signatures of Schneider’s electrical distribution assets. Accenture used its Digital Services Factory platform to not only develop and industrialize the service offering but also operate it at scale.
- Toshiba Digital Solutions and Tech Mahindra have entered into a strategic partnership to develop smart factory solutions by offering an integrated digitalization framework implemented from design and development throughout production and operations.
- Infosys partnered with Siemens to develop applications and services for the open-cloud IoT platform Mindsphere. Infosys will offer end-to-end services for Mindsphere and leverage its repository of Industry 4.0 accelerators and platform tools to develop capabilities like predictive maintenance and end-to-end factory monitoring.
Companies recognize the urgent need for advancing their digital transformation in the trend of Industry 4.0 and are developing a suite of smart factory solutions to answer that. Service providers accelerate the deployment of these smart factory solutions through their IIoT offerings like:
- End-to-end Platform development with integration of use-case based tools and services
- Seamless data integration driving automation of core functions
- Device integration and sensor deployment and integration with IoT platforms to enable use cases such as cold chain monitoring, field maintenance services and inventory tracking.
- Predictive analytics driven asset maintenance and control