It’s an exciting time in manufacturing — not only for those of you on the frontlines, but also for companies like ours that serve the industry and provide next-generation technology. Perhaps at no age since the Industrial Revolution has the field been primed for such dramatic change with such grand potential.
Of course, instead of technologies like the assembly line and the steam engine, we’re now talking about game-changers like automation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and real-time data analytics. The conversation has shifted from using machines to making machines smarter, more efficient and more productive. This special publication, Next-Generation Manufacturing, explores how open-source software can put IoT in reach, connected cars can drive business value, and emerging technology can change the workplace.
This age is really about making use of data. It’s about integrating islands of information into one single source of truth; leveraging real-time data and advanced analytics to drive business strategy; and using simulations and digital twin models to predict outcomes. Topics in this issue include:
Perhaps at no age since the Industrial Revolution has the field been primed for such dramatic change with such grand potential.
Chris Fangmann, CTO, Global Manufacturing, CSC
The Digital Twin Comes to Life
Internet of Things (IoT) technology allows us to augment the manufacturing process with sensors and automatically generate data about operations, performance and maintenance. If we use industrial machine learning to build and deploy, we can turn the streaming variant of the digital twin into a continuous source of manufacturing insight.
Digital twin really sits in the continuum of the IoT. If we agree that the foundation of IoT is connectivity, sensors and analytics, predictive maintenance is an established IoT application. Predictive maintenance is case-based reasoning enabled by data for mitigation and repair.
Digital twin incorporates product data from design to operation and beyond, including maintenance history. Harnessing all the data to enable a complete digital twin isn’t there yet. But examples and pilots showing the steps along the way are certainly relevant. This idea is beginning to take hold in several major manufacturers.
Open Source and IoT
The potential benefits of setting up an IoT platform are huge — the ability to intelligently track and trace materials, parts, and equipment and ensure that they’re delivered to the right product at precisely the right time, or perhaps to predict deviations and react accordingly. That same intelligence can optimize production schedules and improve machine uptime or react quickly to last-minute customer changes.
While commercial IoT platforms are available from a variety of vendors, manufacturers have been slow to adopt these systems, which often require a major upfront investment. Using open source technologies is one approach to keeping costs down, and a commitment to open source was a guiding principle in the development of CSC’s new industrial connectivity and data exchange platform, which connects and harmonizes data flow among all types of machines.
Fast computing is accessible to everybody. It doesn’t matter if an organization has 10 people or 10,000. Open source technologies are bringing costs down to a commodity level.
Staying in Touch with Connected Cars
Connected vehicles enable a host of innovations that add convenience, comfort and safety. Connectivity enhances safety features such as parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind spot assistance, collision avoidance and improved night vision, to name just a few. While those features are important to attract new buyers, the value of connected cars to automotive and other industries, such as insurance, extends much further.
Data generated by connected vehicles has inherent value, whether it’s used to study the reliability and service life of a power window relay, analyze and automatically optimize engine performance in a wide range of environments, understand driver habits, communicate with other vehicles, predict failures, report an accident, or track and predict any of a vast range of specific vehicle metrics.
This collected data has great potential value beyond manufacturers, with implications for insurance, suppliers, government agencies and retailers.
Next-Generation Manufacturing Workplace
Employees have already seen massive changes in their workplace. With modern tools, they can access their work on nearly any device, anytime and anywhere, making it easier than ever before to collaborate, innovate and be productive. But that is only the beginning.
A company's ability to innovate in five areas — wireless connectivity, smart machines, virutal and augmented reality (VR/AR), wearables and data analytics — could mean the difference between winning or losing the battle for talent against competitors. The digital workplace strategy in major corporations will be the differentiator not just in the kind of work, but also in the strategy deployed by the business.
To learn more about the changes in the industry, read the full report, Next-Generation Manufacturing.
Meet the Expert
CSC's Chris Fangmann, CTO of Global Manufacturing, is uniquely positioned to help organizations navigate the intersection of automation, data and IoT. Connect with Chris to schedule a meeting to share perspectives or just brainstorm.