First efforts in adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are often focused on fixing or stabilizing operations: maintaining equipment, delivering quality products on time, keeping workers safe, and improving data security.
Yet soon after, other benefits appear, as the newly Connected Enterprise begins to anticipate production requirements — improving productivity across the organization:
- New product development: Sharing real-time information across the enterprise allows departments to collaborate on new-product development, ensuring rapid transfer of innovations from R&D to market. Process and tooling specifications can be developed well before a production handoff, with new requirements evaluated vs. current capabilities — leading to efficient, profitable product launches.
- Plant reliability: Maintenance staff can now use real-time machine data to employ predictive techniques and prevent unscheduled downtime. This is a major problem for most manufacturing plants: machine reliability (as a percentage of scheduled uptime) averages just 78.3 percent, and 17.3 percent of maintenance is unplanned (based on percentage of maintenance expense). Improved uptime keeps equipment running — and makes workers more productive.
- Operations performance: When frontline employees are aware of even slight variations from expected outcomes — for the hour, shift, day, week — they can solve problems, prevent recurrences, and set new benchmarks for operational performance. This continuous cycle of improvement drives higher productivity, lower production costs, and bigger profits.
- Supply-chain collaboration: Even the best manufacturing plant can be thwarted by missing customer information (changes in demand, altered product specifications) or unexpected supplier issues (vendor delays, logistic bottlenecks, component shortages). With an extended Connected Enterprise that reaches both suppliers and customers, the supply-chain works in unison — and all parties improve their productivity.
The Connected Enterprise® offers insight into what’s happening now within the organization — and how operations can be improved today and tomorrow. Connect your company for improved productivity and competitive advantage.
Published April 24, 2017