As if manufacturers weren’t already concerned about evolving technologies and industry standards, COVID-19 has only added more pressure to search for ways to protect their businesses from further disruptions and quickly changing circumstances.
But this should not be shocking; manufacturers need to develop rapid response capabilities in order to make smart decisions as close to real-time as possible.
Hello Disruption, My Old Friend
From the steam engine to assembly lines, the manufacturing sector is no stranger to industry-wide change. Manufacturers now need to employ internet technologies and connected devices in the latest industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, in order to collect integrated and reliable data to make informed decisions in real-time.
By using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturers can collect, analyze, and present real-time data and analytics in easy-to-understand and highly customizable formats to make informed decisions, especially during periods of uncertainty.
Embracing Industry 4.0 is not just an opportunity, but an imperative for manufacturing survival.
Data! Data! Data!
In order to ensure that their businesses succeed beyond this pandemic, manufacturers must monitor and analyze their machine and process data in-real time to:
- Improve overall productivity, efficiency, and quality
- Increase data accuracy and integrity
- Eliminate unnecessary downtime by identifying production and maintenance issues ahead of time
- Enhance overall decision making
- Respond quickly and profitably to changing demands
However, capturing and analyzing high-value data isn’t as elementary as it seems, considering the vast amount of data available in a manufacturing environment.
A Mistake to Theorize Before One Has Data
Before looking for the latest IIoT technologies to add, there are a few questions that must be considered:
- What data is needed and how is it prioritized?
- Which systems does the data come from?
- What will this data help accomplish?
- How can this data be used to enable efficiency and innovation?
- What data needs to be shared?
- How can the necessary parties access this data?
The answers to these questions will help provide a foundation for a plan to determine what technologies and systems will enable a data-driven environment.
However, a fair warning: even with the latest IIoT technology, many businesses will still have legacy systems that will first need to be integrated alongside these newer technologies for proper use and analysis of the data.
To learn more about how data can empower manufacturers to tackle the challenges of COVID-19 and an evolving industry, hear what this panel of experts have to share in this webinar recording.