Manufacturing smart and connected products requires a Smart Factory.
Making tailor made products in small lot sizes requires intelligence on the shop floor, and manufacturing facilities that are as configurable as the products they produce. Additionally, manufacturing operations need to be smart and connected, within the factory, and across the extended enterprise.
Cloud plays a critically vital role in connecting technologies across the manufacturing domain. Industrial IoT specialists today offer standard modules with computing, sensors, and communication to make machines smarter. Edge computing technology captures shop floor data to improve decisions. These are, often, devices installed right at the edge in the factory, to boost accurate decision making.
Next generation factories that offer smart manufacturing facilities have gained traction among manufacturers globally. They offer diverse positive impacts, such as asset efficiency, lower costs, enhanced quality, and improved safety and sustainability. Cloud lies at the heart of digital transformation in the manufacturing domain, and most innovative solutions today are being built in this sphere.
Pathways for cloud – Industry 4.0
Modern day manufacturers are under constant pressure, as they need to decrease waste, while increasing uptime, throughput, and quality, to compete effectively in an increasingly cut throat market. Manufacturers are no strangers to disruption either. In recent years, lean manufacturing practices, and automation, have added further pressure on them, even forcing some out of the game altogether.
The next disruptive phase in manufacturing is already well underway. Industry 4.0 builds on the previous three industrialization phases – mechanization, mass production, and controls. It is an intelligent production environment enabled by an integrated platform of enterprise data systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. Cloud technologies, especially IoT, are critical to achieve the goals of Industry 4.0.. Today, most cloud providers offer an IoT suite of services, which can be leveraged to boost manufacturing use cases.
The Value Proposition of Azure for the Manufacturing Domain
Azure offers a platform and a range of services for the manufacturing domain. The Microsoft Azure Industrial IoT cloud platform provides a reference architecture and open data model framework for community members, who can contribute, as well as learn from others around industrial IoT projects.
The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) provides a single open platform architecture that liberates data from legacy industrial assets, and standardizes data models for efficient data correlation. Most importantly, it enables manufacturers to share their data with their ecosystem partners in a controlled and secure way, allowing others to benefit from their insights. With pre built industrial use cases and reference designs, community members can work together to address common industrial challenges, while maintaining ownership over their own data. Apart from this platform, Azure also offers services and support in the following areas:
Connected Factory: A connected factory uses sensors and inexpensive Azure based storage and analytics (ML, powerBI) to analyze historical and real time data from manufacturing devices and processes. This provides timely, detailed intelligence into productivity and efficiency, ranging from inventory levels, the status of production machines, to yield levels at the manufacturing facilities.
Industrial IoT: Industrial IoT gathers, analyzes, and acts on data from sensors and devices (Azure IoT suite) to anticipate and prevent problems, maximize quality and efficiency, and guide the design of future products. It utilizes machine learning, Azure Compute, mobile, and Azure Edge computing to remotely monitor and optimize manufacturing, logistics, and other operations.
Connected field service: Connected Field Service (CFS) is used to seamlessly integrate IoT data with a field service delivery system, to provide service professionals and technicians with real time proactive information about field assets. This data is delivered via cloud on their mobile devices. Dynamics CRM and Azure IoT work together to achieve this.
WIPRO Solution/IPs for the Manufacturing Domain
Wipro offers a wide range of solutions and IPs for the manufacturing domain. Most are cloud ready solutions, designed for the public cloud. Many of Wipro’s key customers have implemented these solutions and are enjoying the wide ranging benefits of cloud, from advantages to suppliers, to aftersales. Here is the list:
Wipro has used this solution for one of its largest chemical clients in the US. The client uses multiple containers to dispose of hazardous chemicals as per state regulation guidelines. Asset Track and Trace helps the client's platform to track the chemical containers using location mapping on a real time basis. It also determines the fill level of the containers. Using this system, an end manufacturer was able to get back their empty containers and recycle the same, with the following value adds:
Smart Twin: The solution helps visualization of assets for simulations and advanced analytics. It provides contextualized information of the asset in real time. It leverages anomaly detection and statistical models to generate predictive alerts, and provides information on the remaining useful life of assets. It also provides KPI's and charts that display insights into the performance aspects of key assets within the utility network, and automatically creates incidents on detecting anomalies in the assets being monitored. Below is a high level view of Smart Twin utilizing the Azure platform.
Wipro has used this solution for its pump manufacturing customers, to save 30-50% energy consumed by their pump systems through equipment or control system changes. Using the Smart Twin solution for pump asset and predictive maintenance, a customer was able to graduate from being a pump manufacturer to an intelligent pump services organization.
Intelligent visual analytics platform: The solution uses visual analytics, along with inputs from existing infrastructure, like CCTV, IP Camera (or any other camera that can be installed) at the manufacturing facility, and combines it with AI to detect non compliance. The dashboard displays global and zonal analytics based insights. Some of the key benefits of this solution include:
Co-track: This is a tracking and screening solution for COVID-19, that enables social distancing in retail stores, workplaces, facilities, etc. It helps create a safe place to work and makes day to day operations smoother and digitized. It can be deployed globally or locally and can be monitored through a central location /dashboard. Wipro is utilizing this solution for its retail customers. Its advantages include:
Director - Cloud
Vipin leads Azure’s Ecosystem Practice in the USA and is a key contact for Azure globally. He forefronts all Azure deals, as well as transformations focused on the energy, manufacturing, and technology verticals. He also works with Microsoft Alliance to enable support from MSFT on funding, the Azure platform, joint GTM solutions, IPs, and co-sell opportunities.
He has 20+ years of experience in Enterprise Architecture & Cloud Transformation. Vipin helps enterprise customers drive business success through innovative technology solutions across multiple cloud adoption models, bringing significant changes in people, processes, and tools.
Vipin works with customers across North America, helping them in Azure Transformation across the enterprise, including cloud migration, application modernization, Dev-ops tools chains expertise, and DC exit strategy consulting and delivery.