Taking Digital Transformation to a New Level
Evidence suggests advanced digital technologies are disrupting almost every industry including a factory near you. These technologies are elevating the table stakes for manufacturers to compete. The leaders will either be ready to cope with, or take advantage of, this inevitable disruption, while others will be left behind. These technologies enable capabilities needed to compete now and in the future.
Done right, these technologies can augment organizational intelligence, optimizing assets, people, and materials to levels of unsurpassed excellence. Upgrade your digital transformation foundation with these five advanced digital technologies.
[A] Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) Technologies
IIOT technologies collect enormous amounts of input and output data from operations. When this data is merged with tacit expert knowledge, you unlock new means of optimization. The goal is to evolve analytics to predictive monitoring and management by shifting up the P-F failure curve.
Figure 1: PF Curve | Source: www.isa.org
With that said, not all data is created equal. It’s not just an exercise to install Piezo and Raspberry Pi sensors throughout the factory. Use Design of Experiment level analysis to know where, how and when to gather the most valuable data. Leverage Data Engineering, Architecture, and Science fundamentals.
- Condition Based Monitoring
- Predictive & Prescriptive Analytics
[B] Next Gen Operations Technologies
New sources of IIOT data can now be gathered, cleansed, and relayed in almost real-time using 5G and Wi-fi 6 technologies.
“Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 bring a promise of dramatically better performance to mobile workers and the enterprise. Since they are complementary technologies, they will provide higher data rates to support new applications and increases in network capacity with the ability to connect more devices.”
Manufacturers who can quickly and efficiently turn data into valuable insights, will outpace their competition. Ingesting the data into cloud or edge devices can reduce overhead and direct costs to your organization.
- Data Mobility
- Big Data Analytics
- Augmented Workforce
[C] Automation Technologies
Think of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as an ever-reaching macro, automating transactional tasks across your entire business. Whether it’s in Order Fulfillment, Manufacturing Execution, or Product Realization value streams, RPA can relieve the burden of monotonous work.
Flexible Co-bots have dramatically reduced in cost while improving in capability. The latest sensing technologies allow Automated Mobile Robots (AMR) to roam without constraints, learning optimized paths along the way. These technologies improve efficiency and utilization, freeing up resources to work on more valuable activities.
- Process Automation
- Transactional Process Automation
- Automated Material Handling
[D] Process Mining Technologies
As transactional processes digitize, organizations must evolve their performance improvement capabilities. The Process Mining concept maps theoretical against the actual processes across your network.
Figure 2: Process Mining concept | Source: www.logpickr.com
The technology can be used to monitor, assess, and model transactional processes. Use lean / six sigma principles to then eliminate waste & variation. This technology makes Data Governance manageable and optimizes the application of RPA.
- Transactional Process Excellence
[E] Advanced Process Control (APC) & Intelligence Technologies
Using Machine to Machine (M2M) technologies for added process control enables unsupervised operations. Assembly machines communicating real-time downstream/upstream to servomotors and actuators, automatically adjusting parameters accordingly.
Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies monitor and manage operations without intervention. These technologies not only predict but prevent issues. Once every critical yes or no question is answered with a probability of success, you’ve transformed.
“Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today I actually have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don’t think AI will transform in the next several years.”
– Andrew Ng, Carnegie Melon University
- Symbiotic Asset Management
- Optimization Modeling
- Unsupervised Operations
With a concerted effort and clear strategy, your organization can get there. Consider LEGO, who transformed from a plastic injection molding manufacturer to an entertainment powerhouse. They did this through Digital Transformation strategic planning and execution.
Or Amazon who developed new business models and associated operating models based on investments in automation.
Both organizations have completely shifted their businesses by leveraging technologies to serve marketplaces in new and innovative ways.
These advanced digital technologies enable new capabilities, resulting in significant competitive advantages for your organization. Here are some of those significant benefits your organization can expect to realize:
- Dramatically Improved Cost of Poor Quality
- Zero Defects with Automation
- Optimized Uptime
- Significantly Reduced Throughput Time
- Elimination of Process Wastes and Variation
- Assured Compliance
- Resource Optimization
- Significantly Reduced Audit Complexity
You shouldn’t need quants or data scientists to leverage these advanced technologies. The UI/UX should be as intuitive as simple macro applications. The cost of these technologies has dramatically declined and the abilities of them have dramatically improved, making them far more feasible. There are few companies that have achieved this level of excellence, so now is the chance to get ahead of the curve and leapfrog your competition.