There is no argument that Digital manufacturing, Data-Driven Manufacturing, MTConnect, Industry 4.0 and IIoT are here to stay and is mature enough to be considered beyond the early adopter phase, yet companies of all sizes are still treating the adoption of these technologies as the wild west. Due diligence in assessing an approach to employing and applying disruptive technologies is essential before committing a company to a direction.
Insightful business owners have an opportunity today during the COVID-19 crisis to leverage their resources to position themselves for explosive expansion once restrictions are lifted. It’s understood that the most difficult aspect of running a successful project is having human resources available. There is no better time than while operations are slowed due to the crisis.
With Industry 4.0 going mainstream, production teams are assessing various products and solutions to drive shop floor efficiencies. The challenge in such a selection and deployment process is that IT either drives the adoption from an IT perspective or IT is invited into the deployment phase after OT and production have selected a product, sometimes in a vacuum. Either of these scenarios is less than optimum and, in many cases, unacceptable.
A selection process must support requirements from IT, OT and production regardless of who drives or manages the process.
The typical manufacturing floor is made up of assets. Machines are assets and personnel are assets. The latter do a lot of communicating, the former do not. Even in it’s simplest implementation, the ability to have the shop floor visible means “knowing” what assets are producing and which assets are not.
An industry 4.0 floor is a monitored, managed, dynamic environment where resources are leveraged and utilized to their maximum potential. As the old guard changes to the new breed of manufacturing technologists, digital transformation is the requirement to be profitable.