Author: Beth Parkinson, market development director for The Connected Enterprise, Rockwell Automation
Continuous improvement in manufacturing has always required laborious effort.
At first, managers and front-line associates manually tracked metrics and identified problems and abnormalities, and then implemented solutions that created new performance benchmarks.
Automation helped these managers and workers to update and review status boards regarding production, equipment, suppliers, etc., but still required them to manually intervene.
There’s now a better way, one that is superseding human intervention: A Connected Enterprise that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT).
In an IoT-enabled Connected Enterprise, real-time production information is collected from embedded smart devices, updating executives constantly about production conditions.
Dashboards highlight problems in real time — and mobile apps reach workers on the plant floor, in their offices, or on the golf course.
Advanced diagnostics and algorithm capabilities implement pre-determined solutions immediately, without human oversight:
- Asset management
- Product design
- Customer support
Even more valuable is the use of this real-time data in detailed analytics to identify hidden opportunities for continuous improvement that deliver meaningful boosts in quality, safety, productivity, profitability, etc.
An IoT-enabled Connected Enterprise also offers customers visibility into the production of their products, strengthening relationships and increasing opportunities for sales of value-added services (which often generate higher margins).
When will your enterprise start profiting from being connected?