8 months ago

Smart Industry 1/2018

Smart Industry 1/2018 - The IoT Business Magazine - powered by Avnet Silica


Smart Solutions Smart Factories Smart Factories Beyond the IoT Hype Thanks to IoT, managers have a tremendous opportunity to improve operations through productivity, quality, and flexibility. Making the most of them requires more effective connectivity and information flow between all the various data-generating and data-consuming devices, processes, systems, and people within the organization. n By Gordon Feller* Manufacturing plants are running at a much higher utilization capacity than ever before. Often, it is a 24-hour a day, seven days a week operation. With downtime costing plants up to $20,000 a minute, they simply cannot afford disruption to their processes. Manufacturers face multiple challenges. They need increased flexibility in their manufacturing process to meet their evolving consumer demand and global landscape. They have constant pressure on them to keep up with ramping demands from limited CapEx spend, in many cases relying on their existing resources and assets. They need better access to data to make informed decis ions on where to invest and want access to leading-edge experts, but suffer from limited resources and ageing workforce issues. Consider the makeup of the manufacturing infrastructure: over 50% of the devices connected to industrial applications are not automation devices. One can’t merely focus on connecting to specialized devices – solutions are needed that seamlessly connect all devices reliably and securely. IoT helps us deliver a proactive go-to-market strategy for our customers Mike Cicco CEO Fanuc America Consider the lessons learned at Fanuc, one of the world’s largest industrial robot manufacturers. The company was struggling with a lack of visibility of how its customers were leveraging its equipment on the factory floor. The only insight gained came after a problem had already occurred resulting in costly downtime for customers. After meeting with Cisco and exploring possible solutions, Fanuc saw the potential to change its entire go-tomarket business strategy. Leveraging new tools from the digital world, Fanuc now extracts customer data from its processes, stores it in the cloud, and employs predictive analytics to remedy any potential problems before they can negatively impact customers. The company called on its technical expertise to influence customers’ IT departments into sharing their data in the cloud. "By using this data and improving its response time to potential incidents, Fanuc is leveraging the Internet of Things to deliver a proactive go-tomarket strategy for our customers," says Mike Cicco, president and CEO of Fanuc America. IoT is just one part of a much bigger transition that’s been happening for a long time in manufacturing. More “things” on the plant floor are being connected using the technology that powers the Internet. Sensors can measure almost anything Things (machines of all kinds, and even non-machines) are being embedded with smart sensors and gaining the ability to communicate. These are not just sensors for the measurement of temperature, pressure, humidity, and other parameters. They can be almost anything. For example, a camera can be a sensor and it can be used to monitor movement, quality, or even temperatures using infrared imaging – which all makes for a more intelligent manufacturing environment. Input/output (IO) devices on the factory floor are becoming more intelligent, which means they can generate and transmit more insights in real time and benefit from the diagnostic data created by the sensors. Meanwhile, connectivity is going deeper, well beyond the plant controllers, and on to other factory assets, such as robots. Video cameras, scanners, diagnostics tools, 84 *Gordon Feller is an advisor on tech trends based in Silicon Valley:

and even personal mobile devices can be added to this growing list of IPenabled devices. These connected things become the tools for a better understanding of all the factory’s complex processes – and then using that knowledge to more rapidly adapt to change. Smarter machines can be better controlled, thereby increasing efficiency, in what has come to be called “plant-wide optimization.” When it’s a success, IoT is often a combination of connectivity with realtime analytics and new cloud services. The result can include an increase in manufacturing output, higher uptimes, more flexible manufacturing, and lower costs from the consolidation of siloed systems and proprietary networks. Securing the new architectures from attack is becoming more important as more of the factory floor devices get connected. Hooking up these devices to the whole enterprise is a noble goal but it means an increasing number of operations can become the focus of attacks. Reducing risk in today’s largely unprotected plants is the direct result of bringing in new security solutions. Still questions proliferate. Can IoT help with deploying a converged network infrastructure? Help manufacturers improve business performance? Simplify the network architecture and build IT-friendly machines? Those advocating IoT inside the factory are looking for some key goals: Lowering total cost of ownership: A single network architecture and open standards help to eliminate the costs associated with multiple isolated networks and proprietary systems. Improve operational responsiveness: Deeper insight into operations and real-time collaboration between manufacturing, engineering, and suppliers improves the quality of decisions and helps manufacturers to quickly and efficiently adapt to changing business requirements and supply-chain management needs. Reduce time to market: By replacing a multi-tier networking strategy with one standard network architecture, OEMs can reduce the time it takes to design, develop, and deliver machines. Manufacturers, meanwhile, can reduce their time to market with fewer integration risks and better visibility into data. Protect critical manufacturing systems: The development of a comprehensive security model while enabling secure information visibility and access across production lines. Putting it all together Factory wireless solutions create new flexible communication opportunities between things, machines, databases, and people throughout the plant Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler, says that the pace of acceleration in manufacturing is changing so quickly that he expects to see more changes on the factory floor in the next ten years than we’ve seen in the last 100 years. If you look at the movement toward smart manufacturing, many leading companies are deploying new, more intelligent, connected machines driving significant output and productivity gains as substantial as in previous industrial revolutions, like the impact of the steam engine. It’s a pretty exciting time in manufacturing. It’s time to look at the Internet of Things as a key enabler in manufacturing, not just the trends but some concrete solutions and use cases that can be deployed to help get started in capturing some of that value. Looking at what’s connected today, it is apparent that an inflection point was passed near the beginning photo ©: Fanuc 85