For the manufacturing industry, the opportunities offered by digitization represent a revolution: new supply and service chains are emerging, new business models are replacing old ones. The challenges are great. But if you find the right answers, you can look forward to great opportunities.
In the era of the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturing companies are concerned with nothing less than their future viability. In 1998, only one of the ten most valuable companies in the world based its business model on a platform solution, Microsoft. By 2018 there were already seven out of ten, led by Apple, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft.
The triumph of the platform economy continues with giant strides, the Internet also fundamentally changes the industrial sector. One thing is clear: only those who work with a suitable high-performance technology will participate in the digital business processes of tomorrow.
Manufacturing companies will start into the era of IIoT if they overcome silo structures on the IT side. Data silos are the enemies of the industry 4.0 concept. They limit productivity and profitability. But that’s exactly what digitization is all about: increasing profitability.
The three keys to greater competitiveness
When deciding whether to invest in platform technology or not, three things should be decisive: The solution can be easily and quickly integrated into the existing IT architecture, it creates comprehensive transparency and clarity through a unified production data model for all departments, it is flexible with the required IT infrastructure (on-premise, edge or cloud) and open for the integration of current and future applications.
Central to this is that an IIoT platform solution must ultimately be able to help increase the overall value of the company. Three elements distinguish such a IIoT platform solution:
1) Opem technology platform:
Open technology platform: Being smart means being open – from the output signal to the app partner. The solution networks all existing machines, controllers and systems and contains open web interfaces (OPEN API) to integrate any desired current or future application – whether predictive maintenance or artificial intelligence. This enables companies to design their own IT architecture at any time through composition and collaboration.
2) Multidimensional Data Model
Multidimensional Data Model: Data is the oil of digitization. How oil has to be refined into fuel has to be converted into information – into Smart Data. Central to this is a real-time computer intelligence (rule engine) whose semantic data layer gives each signal the right meaning every millisecond. The result is a uniform production data model with objective information for all areas – from production to finance, from signal evaluation in the shop floor to unit cost analysis in Topfloor. The entire company benefits: It increases its productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
3) Vital Ökosystem
Vital ecosystem: the speed of digitisation makes it necessary to keep abreast of the latest developments. This ensures a vital ecosystem for many partners. You take part in this communicatively and can also quickly participate technologically in desired innovations if the IIoT platform solution is correspondingly open and flexible.