The Internet of Things (IOT) in Manufacturing
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Author:CSC Town Hall
With the number of networked sensors growing dramatically across production, supply chains and products, manufacturers are beginning to tap into a new generation of systems that enables real-time, autonomic interactions among machines, systems, assets and things. This so-called "Internet of Things" is enabling a level of orchestrated manufacturing never before seen, helping companies design more innovative products, improve operations and predictive maintenance, and compete more effectively for aftermarket services.
Hear from CSC experts as they discuss the Internet of Things and the future of manufacturing in the age of Industry 4.0. Find out what all manufacturers need to know about key technologies including machine-to-machine (M2M), data analytics, cloud, mobility and augmented reality.
The Internet of Things: What Manufacturers Need to Know
The Internet of Things (IoT) that's generating buzz in many industries will be especially important in manufacturing. The number of networked sensors is growing dramatically across production, supply chains and products, helping companies design new products, improve operations and compete more effectively for aftermarket services. This CSC Town Hall explored the impact of the Internet of Things in manufacturing and the opportunities it creates.
The Internet of Things has been around and growing for many years, says Dr. Ahmed El Adl, CTO for the manufacturing industry at CSC. "There's no official definition of the Internet of Things, but new technologies – and some dating back to the ‘60s - are coming together, making it possible to connect and control nearly everything in real-time to make smarter decisions," El Adl says.
The Internet of Things is a key element of the next stage of manufacturing. Ralf Schulze, industry strategist for business development at CSC, says "Industry 4.0" is the merger of information and manufacturing technologies: "IoT devices are one of the main drivers, but Industry 4.0 includes intelligent bridging between CRM, SCM and ERP systems, social media and other information sources. Smart materials will influence how they are used. Additive manufacturing will allow me to print my parts rather than have them produced on big machines. These are all aspects of Industry 4.0."
El Adl says manufacturers like GE and Cisco are moving quickly to embrace the concept of the Internet of Things in new product lines. "They're designing around the idea that they can connect everything, collect any data. When you view the stages of a product lifecycle in that context and ask 'Which stages should be redesigned to take advantage of this?' the answer is 'Every stage.'"
Some stages are feeling that influence now. Greg Rodgers, manufacturing industry specialist at CSC, says data generated by connected equipment can be used to make predictive maintenance practical. "We can learn about issues with a machine or analyze data to understand what's going on. We can use that data to make proactive maintenance decisions and change sales models. Plus, it opens up a whole new range of opportunities for manufacturers and service companies," Rodgers says.
Security concerns surrounding the Internet of Things are due to two factors, El Adl says. The first is scale. "The move from IPv4 to IPv6 will allow us to connect 340 trillion, trillion, trillion devices, so the scale of exposure is many times larger. And we need to learn new security protocols. IT organizations have experience securing devices using today's protocols, but we don't have much experience with IoT protocols like ZigBee. This should not stop you from exploring the IoT today. You can secure your island but you can't secure the world."
Schulze says “orchestrated manufacturing” is a strategy for capitalizing on change wrought by Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. "It starts by examining the impact of these technologies on the business model, to the business applications, and all the way from technology to how I structure my data and what analytics engines I use," he says. "The framework we've created is a very good start to help make products and processes smarter."
El Adl's advice to manufacturers is clear and direct. "The IoT will affect every line of business. Every division. My advice today to every partner, every colleague, is to start now. You're either in now, or you might lose one of the major opportunities of our lifetime."
Other topics discussed during this Town Hall include:
- Software-defined networks and “fog computing”
- Digitization and desktop manufacturing
- The IoT and aftermarket processes
- Data-driven services
- How to start exploring the IoT today