One of the main questions that have come out of the hype of the Internet of Things is whether it really is the revolution that people make it out to be. From one perspective, there’s only so much that’s actually new. The idea of devices talking to one another, of being able to monitor assets, collect data and predict down time has really been par for the course for quite some time.
What’s new is the ease and extent with which these approaches can be implemented, the ability to derive never before seen insights and value and the potential to go beyond the base level processes to something truly holistic in how business and operations are done.
In the Manufacturing industry:
We recently wrote about some of the impacts IoT can have on Manufacturing, but what are some of the questions that need to be asked about what we’d like to accomplish by implementing IoT and whether those results can actually be delivered?
On our Solution Spotlight Can Bosch Deliver an IoT Enabled Manufacturing Transformation”, CTO of Bosch Software Innovations Troy Foster and Managing Director Matthew Jennings talked about how Bosch SI is differentiating themselves in order to deliver Connected Manufacturing and leave an impact on the industry, but firstly on why considering such a solution is even necessary, if not critical for manufacturers today.
In Jennings’ words, Connected Manufacturing means having a connected enterprise, one that goes beyond the plant. “I think truly being a connected manufacturing facility or a connected manufacturing organization is truly connecting to the asset that’s also manufactured and tying in with your network and tying in the end users to impact broader things in your organization,” Jennings said.
This can include everything from the warranty, procurement, parts distribution, and quality and life cycle management. So the goal is not just to connect all the devices across the plant, but to create business value from the data that’s created and leverage it across all the different stages in the value chain.
Practitioners have to consider manufacturing on the line when it comes to how IoT will be implemented across the organization. “Can you do pre-emptive maintenance, can you minimize and plan down time by monitoring those assets on the line that actually manufacture a good,” Jennings asked. Further, how can IT help to either enable or remotely monitor the actual manufacturing of an asset?
During the show, Jennings cited an example of a manufacturer that could add IT enablement to a manufactured asset and share that data with dealer networks, service networks or the end customer. “What you’ve done by doing that is really integrated your demand chain to your supply chain and also added the opportunity for your dealer in service networks to provide additional services and extract costs of their environments as well,” Jennings explained.
All of this is crucial in terms of solving the many challenges manufacturers face, from rising commodity prices to rising labor expenses due to on-shoring to additional needs for data to enhance communication within supply and demand chains.
The Internet of Things may be full of a lot of hype, and the idea that all platforms and devices could be seamlessly integrated may be something of a utopic vision. But what someone like Bosch SI can do with their Connected Manufacturing solution is help organizations develop algorithms, apply data in appropriate ways and introduce connectivity in areas IoT is poised to address.
“We can leverage that expertise across enterprises within Bosch and bring that knowledge and best practices to the manufacturers, really relying on us to help them determine what data do they need to acquire, how do they apply that data to their business and then more importantly, how do they get business outcome and values based on that data that they generated,” Jennings said.
Hear more about Connected Manufacturing, when to expect a hard ROI, other challenges and concerns that have arisen and much more in our Solution Spotlight podcast, “Can Bosch Deliver an IoT Enabled Manufacturing Transformation?”