AI get the most attention. If we could
predict machine and process failures in
manufacturing, then we can virtually
eliminate unplanned downtime. The
ultimate goal of continuous high-quality
and high-yield production is achievable
through the smart use of predictive algorithms.
While predictive algorithms can predict
probabilities of failures, the prescriptive
algorithms recommend the best course
of action in order to deal with a probable
situation. These insights eliminate the
guesswork from the operations and often
provide optimal solutions.
Last, and probably the most influential,
is the ability to forecast the entire supply
chain process based on multi-dimension-al trends. This is where the entire process
of manufacturing becomes a learning
system that learns from the results from
every shift of operation, every run of
production, every batch of raw-material
consumed, every control input applied,
and every sensor input. This continuous learning system makes increasingly
smarter forecasting decisions to take
manufacturing to its fullest potential.
The Role of the Digital Thread
Thinking of IoT in isolation is the primary reason why a large percentage of IoT projects fail.
Instead, it’s critical to think about Io T as
a way to extend business processes to the
physical world. Every Io T deployment in
the manufacturing plant must start with a
deep functional understanding of manufacturing processes.
To truly be competitive, today’s manufacturers must break down internal silos
and barriers that exist between information technology (IT) applications and
operational technology (OT) and extend
business applications, such as manufacturing or planning operations, to physical
systems through a process called Io Tifica-tion. IoTifying business applications can
improve new product designs based on the
data collected and on how today’s products
are manufactured, transported, installed,
used, and serviced. It means using the information from existing operations to create a new generation of products, or even to
launch a new transformative offering based
on consumption economy.
As a result, IoT technologies create a
common digital thread that runs through
all operations of the supply chain – product design, sales and order management,
procurement, manufacturing planning and
execution, quality testing, transportation,
warehousing, logistics, and monitoring of
the product conditions as it is used by the
Creation of the digital thread through integrations between various IT and OT systems works in two ways. First, it automates
processes across various functions. For example, if the predictive algorithm provides
a warning that a critical machine is likely
to develop a fault, we could trigger reallocation of machines to the production lines
or even change the manufacturing plan.
This automation across multiple functions
through a unifying digital thread significantly impacts manufacturing. Second, as
more processes are interconnected, the digital thread becomes a mechanism to collect
more data across disparate systems. Smart
automated algorithms can then find any
correlations between an event in one system
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