With the words “smart manufacturing” on the mind of every industry executive and decision-maker, one question inevitably asked is: Where do I start?
The answer is: At the machine, with the digital transformation to smart, connected machines.
Gaining access to production data enables machine builders to manage and optimize the assets they supply to their customers.
That access also allows manufacturers using equipment, and system integrators helping those manufacturers integrate and maintain that equipment, to optimize their facilities.
What does that look like on the line and across the enterprise?
In the food industry, it’s making sure that every bite of cereal tastes the same. In life sciences, it’s ensuring the right dosage, every time. In the world of energy, it’s efficient and safe production.
Additional Productivity, Right Now
We now can take data that’s a natural by-product of automation processes and turn it into insights that unlock an additional level of productivity.
So what’s slowing us down?
We are in a traditionally conservative industry. Once people figure out how to meet their production goals, they generally don’t want to change. But there’s a need to be more agile than ever before, to act more rapidly and be a first mover to capture share.
The influence of information technology (IT) is causing our industry to pick up the pace. All of us – machine builders, end users, suppliers and partners – must embrace the need for speed that simply was not as urgent in the past.
Investments Pick Up the Pace
The strategic partnership between Rockwell Automation and PTC will help companies realize the full potential of digital transformation. Companies yet to recognize the impact digital transformation will have on production will now have this capability within reach.
Automation and information technologies transform how, when and where value gets created in the operation. They establish a digital foundation that allows machine builders and end users to more effectively compete.
Our investment in PTC is one of our biggest moves to ensure that we can accelerate the pace and offer more innovation as part of the Connected Enterprise.
The starting point for many machine builders and end users is the data. When properly collected, analyzed, displayed and used, this data really does have the potential to revolutionize manufacturing operations.
The end goal of creating a data-capable infrastructure is not just optimization of existing assets; it also can lead to the digital transformation of the entire enterprise.
Putting these capabilities in place opens a whole new world. Unleashing the capability of data will deliver better analytics, more accurate predictions, robust adaptations and the ability to deploy advanced visualization and AI solutions that can help everything from design and testing to installation, commissioning and maintenance.
More than access to data, it’s clean and contextualized data that can be turned into actionable insight. In today’s environment, speed really is of the essence.
Expanding Human Possibility
When we combine the strengths of technology with an engaged, enthusiastic workforce, anything is possible.
I’ve talked before about how we are combining the imaginations of people with the intelligence of machines to expand human possibility. Here’s what that looks like in a manufacturing environment: We are linking people, machines and data across an entire business – that’s how machine builders and end users become more effective and productive.
For machine builders, the focus is on future-proofing an end user’s investment. For end users, it’s about leveraging new smart, connected capabilities to be better able to take advantage of the innovations to remain globally competitive.