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Equip, utilize, make it actionable – steps to realizing the Industrial Internet

Data doesn’t lie, according to Harvey Shovers, the President of MSI Data. In baseball, for instance, it’s a commonly known fact that all of the teams today analyze huge amounts of data that is produced on the field. In 2013, the Pittsburgh Pirates managed to break their 20 year losing spree by applying sophisticated data analytics to the baseball field. The same idea can be applied to different manufacturing industries like the steel industry.

“With the steel industry being one of the oldest industries out there, you can imagine it is very traditional when it comes to managing. These kinds of industries have been pretty reserved of the idea of managing by data.  But the steel industry, just like everybody else, is going to benefit from the capture and analysis of that data”, Shovers says.

If you take the right mix of experience and reliance on the data that you have never been able to act on before, the steel industry, like any industry, is able to make better decisions that can more quickly affect the manufacturing process.

As an example, for service technicians, having the right data means that they can update their old methods of doing maintenance.

“It isn’t beneficial for the service technician, or the customer, to come on site and not be able to identify the problem, and then have to come back again and again. It’s expensive and it doesn’t drive good relationships with the customer. Now, with the proper data, the technician can come and fix the problem before it occurs and come equipped if a problem does occur. With access to machine data, the technician knows exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. This way the first-time fix rates go up and the service technician gets his job done faster, better and more professionally. This improves the relationship with the customers. It’s a win-win-situation,” Shovers says.

Getting everyone on board is key

Speaking on the hot topics in Industrial Internet, Shovers mentions that there’s a difference in the emphasis between the consumer side of the IoT and the Industrial Internet. When thinking about the Internet of Things, people tend to associate it with consumer-type applications.

“For most people, they like to think of things you can do with your smartphone. The Internet of Things makes day-to-day activities for people easier. We now have apps to control the lights in our apartment, to record TV-shows and to change the thermostat. On the industrial side it’s more about collecting big data.”

According to Shovers, the companies on the leading edge are the ones who are already capturing data and are starting to utilize it. The main problems companies face in getting to this point is getting the whole company on board and having a clear vision as to why other companies are already collecting data and most importantly being able to see what the payback is.

Three steps to an Industrial Internet

For Shovers, the implementation of the Industrial Internet takes place in three distinct phases. The first one is making everything internet-enabled. For example, in the auto industry, most cars that ship today are equipped with some kind of data-collection and telematics devices.

“Not all of the data that can be collected from devices is actually used today, but everyone is putting hardware and software into their products,” Shovers says.

The second phase is capturing the big data, and then being able to utilize it.

“That data helps companies drive their business decisions, or manufacturing and design decisions faster.”

The third phase is making that data actionable. The end result might be, for example, that we have a car that drives itself, compared to cars now that can already change lanes for you automatically, or notify you if something negative is about to occur.

What kind of advice would Shovers then give for company CIOs in charge of implementing any of these three phases?

“The point would be to get started now; don’t wait. The technology is already here, and if you wait two or three years for the perfect solution to become available, you’re going to be behind everybody else”

“I’m a big proponent of taking steps to get things started now, because you can talk about these things forever, just like anything else,” Shovers says.

According to Shovers, an ideal scenario for a company would be to come up with a multi-year plan of where the company aims to get to and of the results they aim to achieve with the implementation of the Industrial Internet.

On the way there they should be able to report back to their stakeholders every step along the way, within or outside the organization, of the progress they’re making towards achieving these long-term goals.

“The point would be to get started now; don’t wait. The technology is already here, and if you wait two or three years for the perfect solution to become available, you’re going to be behind everybody else”, Shovers says.

Finally, coming back to baseball, only 20% of the data-collecting teams make their decisions based on it. The ones using data to guide decisions also happen to be the ones leading the surge and becoming the winners in their sport.

Harvey Shovers is the President of MSI Data, a Wisconsin based company that is the leader in field workforce automation software.

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Interview w/ Harvey Shovers

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Arranging hackathons to make IoT-innovation easy

Hackathons have been making their mark as a way of offering novel solutions to industrial companies. One of the most interesting concepts is Industryhack, a Finnish start-up which aims to shake up the traditional hackathon formula by arranging weekend-long events for teams of coders to come up with promising new solutions for industrial partners.

“[We] were started to create concrete IIoT experiments and learn what it really means for different industries”, Ville Riikkala, co-founder of Industryhack says in this ZDNet article. Read more about the current state of hackathons at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/industrial-iot-from-cranes-to-prototypes-how-hackers-are-digging-out-new-openings/

Image credit: Spectral-Design / Shutterstock.com

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Audi leading the way for smart automotive production

As automotive industry is taking steps towards automated production processes, Audi has decided to take the trend to the next level. According to the article by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions Audi’s vision for the future encompasses collaborative robots, 3D printing and cars driven from the assembly line in piloted mode. “Automobile production as we know it today will no longer exist in the future. It will become more connected, more intelligent and more efficient,” remarks Hubert Waltl, Audi’s board of management member for production. Some intelligent production processes have already been implemented in Germany. Read more about Audi’s smart factory concept:
http://www.automotivemanufacturingsolutions.com/home-page/audi-moves-toward-smart-factory-concept

Image credit: TheWorst / Shutterstock.com

Via Automotive Manufacturing Solutions

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The most read articles of Industrial Internet Now in 2015

The past year has brought numerous new advancements in the field of the industrial internet, and also sparked a great deal of thought-provoking discussion and articles. Some of the most discussed topics this year include those relating to hackathons, leadership and the change in the tasks of the industrial workforce. Below are the five most read articles in Industrial Internet Now in 2015.

5. Big data a key factor at the beginning of the supply chain

Jacqui Taylor, CEO of FlyingBinary, explained why people are the key for the Internet of Things. Taylor gives concrete advice on what a company should pay attention to when the transformation initiated by big data starts. Taylor explains that the technology on its own is there, but the question is what you can do with it, and how you’re going to explain the impact and the transformation that is needed in the organization. Nonetheless, using big data technology to construct the supply chain in a new way allows you to put your focus on the customer in a way that has never been possible before.

http://industrialinternetnow.com/big-data-a-key-factor-at-the-beginning-of-the-supply-chain/

4. Industrial Internet changes the way we approach a machine

How has the way of operating a machine changed with the Industrial Internet? Juha Pankakoski, CDO at Konecranes aims to explain how the changing technology gives us new ways to operate machinery, and what possibilities this brings for businesses. According to Pankakoski, new technology and the Industrial Internet enable us to rethink existing processes. In his experience, the amount of possibilities and benefits brought on by those applications often exceed all expectations.

http://industrialinternetnow.com/industrial-internet-changes-the-way-we-approach-a-machine/

3. How to hack an industrial crane

First ever IndustryHack Hackathon event was held on February 6-8. The Hackathon was the first to be organized as part of the IndustryHack series of ten industrial Hackathons, and the article addresses some of the key results from the event. The winning application in this Hackathon was an application developed by Valuemotive. The winning team’s idea focused on the customers’ challenges and included integration of ERP systems and crane operation.

http://industrialinternetnow.com/how-to-hack-an-industrial-crane/

2. Key findings from the Industry of Things World Survey report 2015

A report on a large survey sent to hundreds of IoT-professionals around the globe. Although many of the results were as expected, there were also a number of striking findings. Maria Relaki, Director of Product & Content at we.CONECT Global Leaders, shares some of the key insights the study found. According to Relaki, a decisive factor for companies aiming to be the early birds in IoT adoption is the presence of an innovative and forward-looking leadership.

http://industrialinternetnow.com/key-findings-from-the-industry-of-things-world-survey-report-2015/

1. New renaissance in manufacturing

Gary Mintchell, an acclaimed writer, advisor and speaker on technology and manufacturing shared his thoughts on the ups and downs of digitalization and what role humans play in the process of manufacturing goods in the future. The technological developments allow us to focus on how we can further use technology like robotics, working alongside people to make processes more effective and, furthermore, how we can have people and technology working together safely.

http://industrialinternetnow.com/new-renaissance-in-manufacturing/

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Industrial Internet Now

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IoT creates flexibility and optimized manufacturing processes

Industrial Internet for manufacturing is quickly affecting the efficiency and down time of factories. Predictive maintenance and flexible manufacturing concepts are making it easier to fix problems and adapt to the fast changing conditions companies face every day. From automotive to pulp-and-paper, these innovations make companies more creative in their offerings and help them to be more competitive. The concept of a smart factory is deeply discussed in a Control Engineering article by Daymon Thompson. “Manufacturers need flexible manufacturing lines that can quickly adapt to rapidly changing customer demands. This calls for flexible machines that are able to run a multitude of product types, with the ultimate goal of profitably production at reduced lot sizes, enabling a complex mixture of products to be run and filled on-demand,” Thompson writes. Read more about how Industrial Internet could be put into smart factories at:
http://www.controleng.com/single-article/putting-industry-40-and-the-industrial-internet-of-things-to-work-in-smart-factories/87544dce4b1534f49b51514730908386.html

Image credit: Iaremenko Sergii / Shutterstock.com

Via Control Engineering

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