Next-generation data analytics are transforming manufacturing, as companies are "looking very systematically at everything they do, from the methods they use to make things, [to] technologies like 3-D printing and additive printing, all the way to their business models," says Jon Sobel, CEO of Sight Machine. He notes the big data software market has the potential to grow from almost nothing to over $1 billion within five years.
Using software to apply a predictive maintenance approach can prolong equipment life and reduce costs. One supplier, for example, avoided an unexpected line shutdown through sensors that warned of excessive vibration levels and prompted a pre-emptive repair.
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Internet of things applications to industrial control networks are creating unprecedented access and data, but the downside is cybersecurity vulnerability, writes Josh Jabs of Entrust Datacard. The most effective security systems protect data and users across entire ecosystems, he writes.
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Supply chains that don't eliminate silos won't be able to keep up with customer expectations of rapid order fulfillment, Nick Foy of ModusLink writes. Three indicators of being stuck in a silo are geo-specific operations, failure to implement end-to-end solutions and lack of oversight of the entire operation.
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Data devoid of analysis and smart use by decision makers will do nothing to help manufacturers be more productive, write Serg Posadas and Brad Young of Clockwork Solutions. "There is little value in collected data unless you can use the data to obtain insights that turn into process-improving action," Young writes.
Complacency is a danger for manufacturers who have invested time and money in safety programs and want them to work indefinitely, writes Ward Metzler of DuPont Sustainable Solutions. Manufacturers have to regularly engage with employees to identify and prioritize hazards and recognize that people make risk-related decisions based on emotion, he writes.
The circular economy can help manufacturers scale production in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way, but it requires full internal buy-in and not waiting on consumers to change, writes Anya Khalamayzer.
Miss last week's webinar on Industrial Augmented Reality? No problem, the recording is now available! Manufacturing experts Shawn Kelly and Rocky Jung from PTC discussed the state of industrial augmented reality. Moving beyond the hype, this webinar provides a data-driven view into how manufacturers are using AR to create business value today. This research uncovers the industries that are leading AR deployments, how business functions are using AR, and the types of business value generated. This report also explores the degrees of success companies are experiencing in implementation, and where they are in transitioning pilots to production deployments.