June 23, 2020

Digital Manufacturing and the IIoT – Part 1/5

This is Part 1 of our 5-part blog series based on the…
Avatar Kim Terca

This is Part 1 of our 5-part blog series based on the IoT World Today white paper, “Digital Manufacturing and the IIoT: Success with a Single Platform.”

In the current trend toward digitalization, manufacturers increasingly rely on a range of technology platforms to help streamline and accelerate their production processes. These organizations often deploy multiple, single-use systems and tools, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics, or Virtual Reality (VR). One of their goals is to better understand and utilize Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data. However, vendors sell these technologies individually and since they lack integration, companies are unable to capitalize on the information they’ve gathered.

It’s only after deployment that business and IT leaders realize the value and effectiveness of a unified platform. Instead of achieving their goal of fast and improved production and operations fueled by the IoT, these companies become mired in pilot purgatory, unable to meet the digital demand across their internal value chains and broader supply chains.

In fact, a recent report from McKinsey found that only 30% of survey respondents transitioned diverse IIoT deployments into unified, large-scale rollouts. In this white paper, we examine the reasons for IIoT pilot purgatory and explore the importance of a single, unified platform for meeting strategic business and manufacturing production goals.

Part 1: Moving Beyond Pilot Stage Purgatory

Digital transformation represents a major shift and a top strategic priority for manufacturers across the globe. According to IDC, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) spending in discrete manufacturing will exceed $150 billion by 2022*. The transition from traditional industrial manufacturing approaches to digital platform adoption offers the potential for significant value and meaningful ROI across all areas related to the manufacturing process, from design and engineering to production and customer service.

In general, data generated by IIoT devices can provide companies with deep insights enabling them to build products faster and more effectively.

Manufacturing executives and operations leaders largely assume that these digital, IoT-connected technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics, can provide new capabilities to help them achieve their production goals.

However, these isolated, single-use technology platforms are insufficient for meeting the broad range of manufacturing needs. Ultimately, they function as a collection of ineffective, siloed technologies as compared to the value of having one unified platform. Organizations thus lack the ability to gain a comprehensive view of their internal value chains, improve production, and enable the necessary collaborations. As a result, single-use deployments simply mirror outdated manufacturing hierarchies.

In general, IIoT systems span IT, operational technology (OT), and core business functions and thus require broad stakeholder alignment. Success also hinges on executive buy-in and forward-thinking leadership to spearhead these deployments.

True transformation is driven from the top, spurred on by the ability to communicate the intrinsic value of the IoT and its potential for driving digital manufacturing at scale.

Yet companies still face hurdles. For example, vendors position the IIoT as simply a connectivity resource. Lacking effective integration, companies simply store massive amounts of data they’re unable to incorporate into their manufacturing processes. This leads to overspending and an inability to establish large-scale deployments beyond the pilot stage.

In order to achieve business value and a strong ROI, manufacturers require a unified collaborative environment that can synchronize operations across design, engineering, production, and supply chains.

*IDC Forecasts Worldwide Technology Spending on the Internet of Things to Reach $1.2 Trillion in 2022. 

Part 1: Moving Beyond Pilot Stage Purgatory

Part 2: Confronting Data Challenges

Part 3: IIoT Success: More than Just Connectivity

Part 4: The Value of Single-Platform Collaborations

Part 5: Ensuring Customer Satisfaction & Future Outlook

Download the IoT World Today white paper 

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