Att koppla samman den smarta fabriken med kundupplevelsen

Manufacturers can win big when they connect the smart factory with the customer experience.

Preventative maintenance is an early example of connected manufacturing, but there are greater benefits to be gained from  Industry 4.0 .

Pioneering manufacturers such as the Kaeser Compressor and Lockheed Martin have already connected physical products to the industrial stuff’s internet to create systems for preventative maintenance and more reliable products. Customers have even been offered products “as a service”.

Other organizations with many assets in, for example, mining, energy and supply, oil and gas and chemical industries have also begun to pursue improvements in areas such as equipment reliability.

A study conducted by Deloitte 2018  showed that “senior executives in the oil and gas sector felt that it was more likely that data from asset management programs could provide business value compared to other areas of smart manufacturing”.

In early 2019, this professional service company asked the same managers about how digital technology could be used in the best possible way. Then they ranked data from asset management programs lower than cost reductions in maintenance and operation, and also lower than security improvements.

The report stated: “Establishing only asset management programs and digitizing existing processes is unlikely to improve core business and deliver the financial results that managers wish (and investors demand)”.

Instead, the study found that the unexplored, transformative aspect of digital technology was considered to be interconnecting different systems within the business: from ERP, security and quality to inventory management.

Manufacturers’ constant quest  to deconstruct technology silos and gain access to Industry 4.0 is a topic highlighted by Wolfgang Lucny, Manufacturing Industry Manager for the Northern and Central European region of DXC Technology.

– Many companies have not laid the digital foundation before embarking on Industry 4.0 projects, states Wolfgang Lucny.

– They must solve basic factors such as connectivity: how to connect machines on the factory floor belonging to different generations – obsolete, semi-old or new.

The maturity of Industry 4.0 will also include interconnecting silos on the factory floor with the rest of the business, Wolfgang Lucny emphasizes:

– Digital products and customer experience that are not backed up by production systems – it does not work.

DXC has announced its intention to  acquire Luxoft customer experience specialist  with the aim of improving its
integration capacity between factory floors, operations and customer experiences, Wolfgang Lucny points out.

In the meantime, DXC will help customers expand their connected manufacturing projects by ensuring that the proposal is defined in terms of business value.

– All kinds of [Industry 4.0-related] pilot projects are run from below and up by nerds who test the latest and coolest technology, says Wolfgang Lucny. – These projects may work at the technical concept validation level, but provide no evidence of the business value.

The business value inevitably lies in increased sales, higher productivity or a better customer experience. However, as Wolfgang Lucny points out, it must also be defined by each manufacturer in the form of user stories:

– It’s about what problems they think they can solve and how they can make profits – or remove obstacles. This is what Industry 4.0 can really offer.

Also read:  The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry

Read also:  IoT in manufacturing: you create business value

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