Digital Transformation has been the new trend in the industrial arena since the advent of IIoT and the fourth Industrial Revolution. Restructuring the present industry, to fit the needs of the Industry 4.0, to increase the Productivity and Operational efficiencies, is called as Digital Transformation. This is a step by step process and the initiation should start from outside of the core business and then gradually pave in. Else, it’s a failure.
General Electric, one of the pioneer companies that established the concept of Digital Transformation, promised to deliver extensive applications for the purpose of Industrial IoT. The firm created the buzz for this, in reference to Predix, GE software for IIoT and the very next year in 2014, GE announced a turnover of more than 1 Billion!
Metaphorically quoting, “Too many cooks spoil the broth!” GE is a parent organisation for number of sister concerns like GE Aviation, GE Transportation and GE Power. All of these organisations needed the IT transformation and for this, GE catered itself with the GE Digital. But instead of restructuring the industries as far as the digital transformation is concerned, they shove GE Digital. Rather than Digital Transformation, it is considered as Digital enablement. What actually resulted were the billings that showed good numbers to the public, came from the business units of GE itself. This was one major loophole that the top executives could have taken care of long before the negations started proving to be fatal. This story is in much sync with the famous HBO series Silicon Valley. Where, Hooli, a company, starts developing some other trendy thing and fails not just at it!
GE Digital also started catering to non-industrial organisations trying to help it’s own digital transformation. Soon it started providing consulting services and the main goal did not hold value for the firm and it reportedly had mixed return on investment.
“Quicksand” of product:
Generating long term revenue and a value base to the end users of a service that you build is always a must. GE failed in doing that as well. Predix was supposed to be a full-fledged development platform for third party developers. Instead, the paid partners of GE started using it. For an industry of the size of GE, all these are inimical and should be taken care of before the product is all set to launch. Building software on a quicksand like Predix is a sure failure of the product indeed.
GE has now shut down certain hardware sales and is restricted only to pure software sales. The very hard-working team at GE took bold steps and had the guts for trying new things, but unfortunately very few had power for influencing the how GE Digital had been setup. This obvious influence for the current outcome of GE Digital could have been better, had there been different setup.
It’s never too late to take off! Now GE needs to structure its business strategically and there is nothing stopping it from massive success!
Technology has turned out real fast in the past decade, and everything that was thought as impossibility, has turned out to be possibility today! From landing the rockets back on to the launch pads to launching cars to the Mars, to understanding the industry downtime costs in real-time, we have proved the strength of mankind. All this is possible due to the availability of high-end technology deployed in industries.
Time is a critical factor here, and breakdowns of these machines turns out to be a huge loss. Every day of downtime causes expenditures associated with a company’s top line and bottom line perspectives. Here are eight main areas where you will incur costs:
• Finding the cause: Detection costs incurred for investigating the partial or complete outage incident.
• Recovery cost: Costs incurred for bringing back up your organization’s networks and core systems back to a state of readiness.
• Ex-post response cost: All after-the-fact incidental costs associated with business Disruption and recovery.
• Equipment cost: The cost of new equipment purchases and repairs, including refurbishment.
• Productivity loss: The lost time and related expenses associated with personnel downtime.
• User productivity loss: The lost time and related expenses associated with end-user downtime.
• Third-party cost: The cost of contractors and project work.
(SOURCE: Dobson Technologies)
Industry Downtime Costs:
According to reports, the three categories of manufacturing industries classified on the basis of loss incurred due to 60 minutes of downtime require focus from the industries to understand the costs of industry downtime:
• 98% of industries state that one hour of downtime costs around Rs 65 lakhs
• 81% indicated for 60 minutes of downtime, their business incurred costs of around Rs 2 crores
• 33% of the industries reported one hour of downtime costs from Rs 6.5 crores to Rs 30 crores
The above numbers seem bad while speaking in the context of profit margins and returns on investment. But the best part is that with the evolving technology, and the Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing technologies, with predictive maintenance and factory floor management solutions, these can be addressed very early on.
(Image source: Openmarket)
Decreasing Industrial Machine Downtime:
Fault monitoring sensor system, the technology in IIoT, enables the prediction of the failure of machines way beforehand. Most of the machines used in the manufacturing industries won’t shut down instantly. When the performance level of a machine starts to drop gradually, it is an indication that any time sooner, the machine is going to drop on the whole. This cannot be understood unless you’re into the machine or just by carrying the clipboard maintaining the data manually. Machines are inside machines and connecting them together to communicate with each other will enable the machines to make predictions.
The intelligent neural network built across various data points aid this facility. Instances like overheating of a machine might cause slower function of that particular machine. The data collected from a temperature sensor in the machine in real-time is analysed and alerts sent with escalation mechanism for this problem to be addressed in real-time. Like this, there are n number of reasons that will reduce the operational efficiency or increase the rate of down times and adversely affect the profit scales of industries.
Thus, installing this application of IIoT can actually decrease the downtime and exponentially increase the profit scale!
The need for industries to be ready for the changing times and innovative technologies is creating space for issues like Operational Efficiencies, Productivity and other related process to be brought into mainstream. The main intent of an industry is to create solutions for customer challenges, and thereby grow.
Certain crises that arise in the industry are unavoidable and are a hurdle to succeed. Over time, advancements and developments to answer to these problems have seen the peaked, and are evidently getting established. Finding solutions through the new emerging technologies for increasing productivity has become a prerequisite to stay competitive.
Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT, the buzz behind the manufacturing industries has revolutionized the way we look into problems. Given the fact that most of the industries are gathering data, knowingly or unknowingly, with the IoT systems, their utility to gain productivity is possible gaining competitiveness. Let’s throw some light on how to enhance its complete application.
Even though some industries have inculcated the technology of IIoT, the productivity is not up to expectation. All the money that is invested on building connectivity may seem futile if one cannot make sense of the data collected. We have always been speaking about generating a data lake. Well, IIoT is not just that. In an industry, there are a hundreds of thousands of devices hitting the data on to the servers in various forms like time series data, ordinal, image and point cloud, text, serialization – all on different time frames, from different sources and of different types on to the same system!
Collecting, cleaning and organising this entire data set is by itself a big task, for a team of data scientists. According to a survey by CrowdFlower, data scientists spend 79% of their time on low-value tasks like collecting, cleaning and organizing data, and only 13% of their time mining the data and refining algorithms. When we reverse the percentiles of operations, we can solely claim that IIoT boosts the productivity of an industry.
Analysis and recommendations:
‘Sandvik’, is a global industry, manufacturing the tools that are required for metal cutting operations used in CNC Lathe machines. The IoT Solution collects, computes the data and analyses it from different embedded sensors across the shop floor, thereby monitoring all aspect of performance. It also helps in identifying any loopholes in the supply chain or even manufacturing. This is analyzed and recommendations for optimizing the manufacturing process is received. Thereby, creating a predictive maintenance schedule designed for helping in avoiding unscheduled shutdowns.
Lastly, this solution is integrated with data from CRM system including meta data from shop floor system and machining system. This process of sending data to CRM system, thereby enabling decision and feedback for predicting when to change or even order a tool. Given this kind of process and data, is it not real productivity, which is reality to any manufacturer?
Gathering data and making sense:
Recently the executives from Ford and Mercedes established the deliberate applications of IIoT and how that has led to the technical advancements in their respective industries. Not just on the manufacturing point, these companies are also on in building autonomous vehicles.
All in all, the idea of Industrial IoT is a boon to any manufacturer and it has to be seen as one. In a nutshell, gathering all the data and making sense of it and getting a prediction about tool changings, to avoid unnecessary shutting downs, monitoring the whole manufacturing process digitally and economically, obviously, helps in increasing the Productivity of an industry.
The data gets your work done by increasing productivity!
Operational Efficiency is the ability of a firm to deliver its products and services to the customers with the adequate use of the available resources, incurring low cost of operation.
Setting up a business is one thing and running it successfully through long is whole another story. After establishing a firm foothold in the market, one fundamental question that we, as the owners need to ask to ourselves is that “Is the Business as efficient as it can be?” Particularly vouching for the manufacturing industries, the main task is to recognize the wastage of the resources. Doing this manually is quite a job and the probabilities for anomalies are higher. The most reliable solution to address this is the Big Data.
Optimizing Energy Consumption:
Predictive machinery are the new bold step towards improvising the Operational Efficiency. Energy is seldom the largest outlay for a manufacturing firm, at the same time it is the most ambiguous concern. In the last decade, the energy consumption is recorded to rise up to 28% and is expected to hit the scale of 50% in the near future. Hence there is a hard necessity to monitor the energy usage and reduce the pseudo usage.
What data do we actually need to gather to analyse the loss of energy? It’s not just one or two machines that are under operation in an industry. More than 10 plus machines simultaneously operate performing different jobs. Since the influence of the IIoT, all of these machines can be interconnected and the data sets such as the power consumption, specific parameters like the current and voltage should be obtained and made sure that all of these are in the range given for operation.
Energy Consumption & IoT:
Once we are able to accumulate the data, with the aid of powerful analytical tools, we should be able to read the machines with the inputs that they give regarding their operations and necessary steps can be taken accordingly. Energy meters that are initially installed to the machines now come handy with an inbuilt facility and are directly compatible for the IoT platform. On the other hand, real time energy profiles are available to achieve the same. These altogether, help the manufacturers understand the proper schedules to run the machines on.
Integrating Industrial IoT also helps in eliminating the slug energy consumption being caused by the over worked machines that need to be serviced. Just one mobile application on your smartphone can remind you the low efficiency of a particular machine and you can cater to it at the right time. On a weird note, this technique of autonomous system doesn’t actually make the human resource negligent; in fact, it makes them more cautious. It’s mostly like the owner monitors the machine and the machines monitor its attendees.
Rolls Royce, a leading manufacturers of aircraft engines, has innovated through its amazing technology for managing the Health of the Engines through their Engine Health Management System. The EHMS System, a combination of tools for powerful analytics and sensors generates and maintains data in terabytes for every flight, which in turn allows Rolls-Royce for identifying issues and planning maintenance in advance. This has resulted in minimizing passenger delays and keeping operating costs down for it’s customers airlines, thereby improving the Operational Efficiency.
The main aim is to address the problems even before they spiral in. The need to address to these problems that will hinder the profitability of an industry is accurately analysed by the concept of IIoT and deploying one such thing is always on the positive hand!
Internet is one magnanimous impact on mankind since the day it hit the limelight. Couple of days ago, I happened to come across a pun on the internet where, Alexa and Apple Home assistants placed in the same room started conversing with themselves, pulling each other’s legs, it seemed fun and fantastic imagining being in the picture and witnessing that!
Well, the idea of IoT is much similar to this analogy, only that it isn’t for fun but to make the assigned machine jobs to be more efficient and reliable. A machine to machine (M2M) communication and automation is often emphasized with IoT. Using this technology, in the manufacturing firms to make the work load much easier and improve the quality of the products and increasing the profits exponentially, itself, is my perspective of Industrial IoT!
Making more SENSE:
The word ‘Sensing’ is one thing, that is directly associated with any of the concepts in the modern world. IoT is also, nothing but sensing and functioning. Technology is way more advanced today, than it was just yesterday! We are able to manufacture and use hundreds of sensors that will aid us in gathering a major amount of data for analysis and actioning purpose. IoT is mainly based on such data that is being gathered from these sensors in real time. The data that is received from these sensors from various areas of the industry is uploaded to one main data hub called Cloud. This cloud houses the real big data that will be used for analysis of work that is being done on field. This analysis report will further be used to make minor or major changes in the method of productions, number of units being produced, need of manual labor and finally to reduce the unnecessary costings being raised on the production.
Industrial IoT in India:
India is a country that houses n number of career but stereotypes that often lead one to be forced into engineering. Hence, the importance of engineering is being lost! The most prior question that pops is that, are the Indian Industries ready for a change?
According to a report by Machina Research, by 2020, the global market for IoT is estimated to be $373 Billion; India contributes a total of just $10 Billion. Having launched the Make in India initiative, we need to pace it up and work harder to make things easier and reliable.
Couple of days ago, my grand father called me and we had a chat on ‘Robots’ and he insisted me saying “Robots are taking away the real jobs!” It was then I realized why we lack in adapting to newer technologies. The MNC culture of firing the employees has spread like a wildfire and the reason is wrongly conveyed.
“Skills are the Ultimate Strength in the Silicon Valley” enhancing our skillsets and adapting to a technology matters the most in the development of anything. India is a hub for human resource. With that mass of human resource in the same cradle, India can achieve heights in the field of IoT and IIoT.