They are expecting OEMs to help address their most pressing needs, including the following:
- Global competitiveness: End users need to keep their business models relevant, and move from mass production to mass customization.
- Workforce needs: As workers retire and more connected technologies become available, end users need to manage the shortage of talent and skills available to fill those gaps.
- Changing risks: End users need to manage security threats and achieve compliance with increasingly complex regulations.
- New technologies: End users also need to merge the physical and digital worlds to capitalize on the value at stake provided by the IoT.
At the same time, customers still expect help optimizing asset performance, maximizing product quality and safety, and protecting workers and the environment. Smart machines and equipment can help OEMs meet all of these challenges by allowing:
- Unprecedented access to data that has long been trapped inside the machine, which can be collected, logged and analyzed to help workers make better business decisions.
- Greater connectivity, real-time collaboration and seamless data sharing across all levels of an organization's enterprise via an open and standard network architecture, such as EtherNet/IP™.
- Robust security to help protect intellectual property, physical and human assets, and the environment, as part of a defense-in-depth approach.
Delivering the potential of smart machines and equipment while also addressing a customer's unique range of needs can be a complex and daunting task. To help simplify the process, OEMs should focus on three key design ingredients: processes, technology and people.
OEMs can learn more and explore smart machine solutions available from Rockwell Automation at interpack 2017, May 4-10, Düsseldorf.
1. Industrial IoT Enables New Revenue Sources for Equipment Manufacturers, ARC Advisory Group report, July 7, 2015.