Digitalization is the buzzword of the moment. It seems like every week, an industrial company announced a new ‘Head of Digitalization’ – how long before we see the Harvard Business Review call it the new ‘sexiest job’ as they once did with Data Science (now 6 years ago if you can believe it)?
Industry 4.0, the highly digitized environment rich in data and interconnected devices, is ushering in a new era for manufacturers. Seamless and intelligent digital platforms are set to boost productivity- ty, promote flexible production capability, tackle cyber-security concerns, create high-value jobs, aid competitiveness in a global marketplace and drive commercial growth.
From a business perspective, it is clear that Industry 4.0 is the cornerstone of a digitalization movement and the benefits that it can bring are a fundamental factor in the future economic success of all industrial & manufacturing organizations.
For a while, we’ve maintained that the most interesting use of Industry 4.0 is prognostics, though with hindsight I’d expand that catch-all to refer to Predictive Maintenance rather than prognostics specifically. What I’m sure we can all agree on is that digital adoption will drive higher productivity levels across manufacturing and industrial sectors and, ultimately, the achievement of long-term economic prosperity that will benefit society at large– along the lines of the ‘Society 5.0’ vision that has a lot of traction in Japan specifically.
But there is still some way to go. According to EEF, the manufacturers’ organization, just 11 per cent of manufacturers think the sector is geared up to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution. This mindset must be changed through collaboration and communication, so that companies can gain the confidence to embrace digital technologies. Platforms like Siemens’ innovative MindSphere open cloud platform with data analytics and connectivity capabilities (like Senseye built-in!), are able to overcome whatever barriers stand before them and the potential of new financing and ‘servitized’ offerings bundled with new technology is quite exciting.
Interestingly, we can look to the Aerospace & Defence industry to learn how to implement and execute a servitized business model as for some time these complex assets have been sold as packages of 'uptime'. With new technology and ubiquitous industrial platforms, industrial and manufacturing companies have the opportunity to adopt servitization in an extremely cost-effective manner, deserving of the 'Smart Industry' moniker .
It’s easy to get blinded by the sheer volume of technology and solutions on the market. There’s a solution for every size of company (and with every budget) and it’s important not to waste time on something that isn’t appropriate for your situation.
Senseye, supporting servitized business models
Senseye® is the leading cloud-based software for Predictive Maintenance. It helps manufacturers avoid downtime and save money by automatically forecasting machine failure without the need for expert manual analysis. Its intelligent machine-learning algorithms allow it to be used on any machine from any manufacturer, taking information from existing Industrial IoT sensors and platforms to automatically diagnose failures and provide the remaining useful life of machinery.