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: