A smart, connected enterprise can embrace the digital transformation in the coming Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) world by collecting data that could result in new levels of collaboration, operational excellence, agility and profitability. But the reality is that total adoption of IIoT is a ways off and users today need to start the digital transformation for their enterprise to reap benefits before the total technological integration.
While the digital evolution of the $10 trillion global manufacturing sector will take time, manufacturers need to get these benefits today, according to a McKinsey & Company report.
A few cases from the report show:
- Manufacturers are starting to use data analytics to optimize factory operations, boosting equipment utilization and product quality while reducing energy consumption. With new supply-network management tools, factory managers have a clearer view of raw materials and manufactured parts flowing through a manufacturing network, which can help them schedule factory operations and product deliveries to cut costs and improve efficiency.
One major metal plant used digital tools to make step-change improvements in throughput. Real-time performance visualization for operators combined with daily problem solving led to a 50 percent increase in production rate in one of its lines. By mining data, engineers are gaining new insights into the failure characteristics of major equipment modes and making continuous improvements in reliability.
- Customizable portable dashboards that simplify and streamline the standardization of corporate policy, security monitoring, and operational reporting across plants.
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers cultivate their deeper understanding of end-to-end processes to develop continuous manufacturing suites with footprints less than half the size of conventional factories. Some have even developed portable factories that can go in 40-foot trailers. They are also using the digital thread to improve quality control: Continuously monitoring conditions within mixing vessels, tablet presses and other critical equipment.
- The aerospace-and-defense industry is using digital tools to integrate a very complex supply network. A modern jet turbine engine has hundreds of individual parts, some of which the engine manufacturer makes in-house and others it sources from a network of dozens of vendors. The complexity of sourcing can multiply quickly, since making one design modification can impact the manufacturing of other components.
Cloud computing–based tools allow suppliers to collaborate faster and more efficiently. This type of information sharing and transparency reduces the labor required to manage design changes, reduces risk for the engine maker and suppliers, and speeds changes across the supply network.
Those cases all point toward extreme networking and making sure everyone from the operators to the engineers to the C-suite know what is going on at all times. Starting the move toward digitization or advancing an initial strategy is a big move for any company.
5 steps to begin or advance a Digital Transformation Strategy
- Create a clear digital strategy with executive leadership support
- Know the strategy’s end point, then create a timeline working backward
- Understand the company culture which can drive the transformation
- Effectively communicate the strategy and ensure everyone knows their role
- Understand technology is only a part of the overall strategy
That one user seeking real-time management of the OT network because their customers were demanding it, decided on a monitoring technology that gives them dashboard where they can see real-time analytics, notifications, events and emails.
There is quite a bit of the old guard in the OT space, but with newer engineers coming in and accepting technology as a given, there will be a more accepting nature to work within the IT-OT milieus.
Instead of working with the existing program, they will be asking how can we be doing things better? How can we improve things? How can the company make more money? It is the new digital mindset.
That will all add up to a smart, connected enterprise that will embrace and profit from the digital transformation.
- IT/OT convergence
- How data collecting can lead to greater collaboration, operational excellence and profitability
- Sample Use cases related to firms gaining from extreme networking
In every industry, at locations all over the globe, Statseeker gives IT/OT network professionals and business managers the power of an unparalleled view of their network, combining a dependable technical result with real peace of mind. Through a series of White Papers we seek to bring you real life examples of the value Statseeker brings to organizations across the globe.
Download a complimentary copy of the white paper – Digital Transformation.
Frank Williams, CEO of Statseeker, a global provider of innovative network monitoring solutions for the IT enterprise and OT industrial market space. Frank holds a BSEE, augmented by many post graduate courses in management, leadership and technology.