Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, and the use of smart machine technology positions OEMs to more effectively meet the demands of manufacturers for more flexibility. Article by Kumaravelu Sokka, Rockwell Automation.
Flexible manufacturing is increasingly a requirement for machine builders to stay ahead of the curve and offer value-added solutions to their customers. The importance of integrating flexible, solutions-oriented software to the plant floor is particularly apparent in a region as diverse as Asia Pacific. Operating in the fastest-growing major region in the world, OEMs in Asia Pacific are challenged to evolve at a rapid pace as they are the driving force behind a huge variety of global production lines. With manufacturers in the region striving to meet increasing global demand, OEMs can bring significant added value to their customers by making their machines smarter, and their production lines more adaptable.
Advances in smart machine technology have brought about an era in which OEMs can build solutions that meet the needs of manufacturers now and in the future. Customers in the region benefit tremendously from a differentiated machine offering that leverages their existing platform and data, and delivers more insights and value as a result. Smart machines seamlessly connect the plant floor with the enterprise, and generate actionable intelligence that add an invaluable degree of operational flexibility.
Scalable analytics platforms such as FactoryTalk Analytics illustrate this as they leverage smart machine technology to provide advanced analytics capabilities, such as machine learning. OEMs can initiate this with minimal cost, ultimately helping their customers to use their operational data to generate actionable insights and empowering them for more responsive, informed decision-making about their business performance. This capability can be further supplemented with FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, which connects disparate devices and machines on the plant floor. Integrating data from these different sources into a single model, this solution helps to detect any operational issues before they cause downtime and increases the overall efficiency of operations.
The industry is also taking advantage of developments within the field of augmented reality (AR), in which OEMs can maximise the potential of their machines while improving the efficiency of operating and maintaining the machines both remotely and onsite. Implementing a series of step-by-step instructions to guide employees helps end users move closer to securing a competitive advantage, optimising resources by reducing employee training needs and improving downtime and changeovers. These are just a few examples of smart machine technology solutions that take companies to the next level of their digital transformation journey, and they’re being put into practice throughout the region.
Companies across Asia Pacific are transitioning from predominantly hardware manufacturers, to solutions-oriented providers of fully-digital production capabilities, equipped to meet the challenges and requirements of the IoT market growth. This is exemplified in the case of 3V, one of the leading machine builders in the automotive industry, which partnered with Rockwell Automation to optimise their processes with IIOT technology. Their integration of information solutions, analytics and AR allows them to improve production, and grants the flexibility to solve problems before they occur, reducing both downtime and the costs and risks associated with maintenance. The digital transformation will open up new revenue streams for them, and will garner return on investment for their customers.
Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, and the use of smart machine technology positions OEMs to more effectively meet the demands of manufacturers for more flexibility. By optimising the use of data across existing platforms, productivity and visibility are improved, enabling customers to differentiate in the marketplace and bring solutions to life even faster.
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