Harnessing the power of data analytics helps manufacturers make better decisions faster, driving improvements in innovation and productivity.
Quick, unfettered access to data and intelligence is fundamental to winning in today’s fast-paced industrial environment. For manufacturers, innovation and productivity are no longer about merely producing more products faster, as in the era of mass production. Instead, it’s about factories doing so while being more flexible and agile. Today’s plant managers must not only keep production running at optimum efficiency, but also be able to quickly adjust to fast-changing customer demands, market expectations, supply chain disruptions and new competitors.
The ante for this has been raised in this new digital age, requiring a new form of automation: the automation of intelligence.
Of all the benefits manufacturers achieve by adopting smart analytics, the real defining characteristics are speed, flexibility and agility. No matter the goal—whether product innovation; condition monitoring or predictive maintenance; waste identification or quality checks; or inventory, warehouse and supply chain optimization—deploying smart analytics with an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform yields a competitive advantage because it enables faster problem-solving and decision-making.
In effect, smart analytics accelerates the intelligence—and therefore the productivity—of everyone and everything in the production workflow. Platforms such as MindSphere automate data collection and analysis across the production process as well as creates a single source of truth that is available to everyone.
With smart analytics, critical data is delivered when and where it is needed, enabling business leaders and operators to take instant action. This also means that all functional leaders—design, engineering, production and delivery—work from the same data set, enabling effective collaboration across functions. A single, agreed-upon data source also eliminates time-wasting debates among leaders about whose data is the best or most pertinent to the issue at hand, enabling them to focus on innovation and productivity improvement.
For operators, machine and process insights delivered through analytics applications enable quick responses to out-of-spec performance, improving product quality and maintaining throughput. Intelligence from data analytics also allows operators to ensure uptime and asset availability by delivering information that facilitates preventive maintenance. Freed from the burdens of collecting and analyzing data, operators make smart decisions and solve problems faster, even as they continue to tune production to ever-higher levels of productivity.
Having the fastest, most efficient production and being the first to create new products and processes has always been critical to manufacturing success. Automation—mechanization, the assembly line, computers and robotics—has consistently been the means to achieve those goals and establish a competitive advantage.
By deploying smart analytics, manufacturers automate and accelerate intelligence, giving plant managers and operators the necessary tools to compete—and succeed—in today’s industrial environment.