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Data driven solution revolutionises manufacturing

Smart Factory Package utilises IIoT to collect, store and analyse manufacturing data in cloud

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With digital transformation sweeping across different industries, it is only natural that digitalisation is changing the manufacturing sector. Physical systems – like the shop floor, machinery and supply chains – have always been an important aspect of manufacturing. What digitalisation is doing, through Industry 4.0, is adding a digital layer of information to the manufacturing set-up that is making it more efficient. 

As a result, manufacturing is moving beyond just increased automation to becoming digitally interconnected with the network that is ever-expanding both in depth (from the plant floor to the top floor) and in breadth across sites from the source to distribution. Manufacturing facilities are becoming smart factories.

This is being enabled by Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), connected devices which can process information. IIoT is revolutionising the entire manufacturing value chain by enabling data exchange between connected industrial equipment, processes and users. This has both its advantages as well as challenges. 

The advantages are obvious, in terms of more streamlined and flexible manufacturing facilities. Given that this is an industry where profitability is determined by agility and efficiency, manufacturers have a lot to gain from using IIoT-supported technologies to overcome challenges.

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However, there are a number of challenges. For example, due to multiple heterogeneous processes, applications and systems, the volume and variety of data can quickly get overwhelming. Mountains of data are not only laborious to consolidate; the hidden value within all the data remains buried and untapped. 

Apart from this, with regulators and consumers pushing for safer and more sustainable practices, manufacturers are increasingly expected to ensure full traceability of product genealogy and supply chain, from source to distribution. More importantly manging these massive amounts of data streams and deriving the maximum benefit out of them is, in most cases, not the core competency of the manufacturing entities.

Despite the challenges, IIoT sets the standard for companies to improve efficiencies, make decisions faster and save money. The question is how to best leverage digital transformation in a way that matches up to the manufacturing principles of simplicity, fast turnaround and cost control?

Help at hand

In order to help companies to manage their IIoT manufacturing networks, NTT Communications (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communication business within the NTT Group and AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software have launched the Smart Factory Package.

The solution leverages the strengths of both companies to accelerate a customer’s transformation journey. With a smart monitoring and control portfolio, the solution provides a cost-effective approach to data collection and insights that will enhances manufacturing efficiency. It has the flexibility to be adapted for disparate situation to best help the customer in their digital transformation journey.

The solution is driven by AVEVA’s industry leading Monitoring and Control solutions powered by Wonderware and NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud Computing platform, which offers a highly effective and cost-efficient approach for manufacturers to embark on their digital transformation journeys to help streamline and simplify operations. 

The solution is especially relevant for the manufacturing sector in South-east Asia (SEA) which is undergoing a period of disruption and digital transformation. Industry players are looking to exploit advanced technologies to improve productivity and transform business processes. 

A report by McKinsey notes that 96 per cent of manufacturing companies in SEA believe digital transformation will create new business models, yet only 13 per cent have begun their transformation journeys. Common obstacles of adoption include a lack of information, internal integration and talent.

The Smart Factory Package addresses these challenges by helping SEA manufacturers to seamlessly kick-start their digital journeys in a cost-effective and scalable manner. The solution takes advantage of connectivity and data collection ability provided by IIoT and combines it with pervasive network sensors, a scalable cloud platform and advanced analytics capabilities to unlock the value of industrial data.

Customers can use the industrial data for business intelligence or decision support, resulting in greater intelligence, efficiency and opportunity.

All IIoT data generated by devices across different customer locations worldwide are securely stored in a private cloud platform that can be remotely accessed anytime, anywhere. The speed of data collection and processing went up with fewer errors.

With real-time monitoring of product parts, managers and operators can now stay up to date on the health status and environmental conditions of the equipment. This vital information enables them to maximise the functional lifespan of equipment parts, hence reducing waste and costs. The level of maintenance service and customer satisfaction has improved. 

Maintenance staff can now work proactively instead of reactively, thanks to visibility of the equipment’s status at any given time. Along with predictive analytics, they can pre-empt defects or breakdowns and resolve them before customers complain.

The launch of the Smart Factory Package is the next step by NTT Com to provide industry leading technology solutions for businesses of all sizes. 

For more details on the Smart Factory Package solution by NTT Com and AVEVA, please visit: https://create.ntt.com.sg/smartmanufacturing