I’m always surprised that some people think of manufacturing as stodgy, old school and slow to change – in my view, nothing could be further from the truth! All the evidence shows that the manufacturing industry has consistently led the way from mechanical production, powered by steam in the 18th century, to mass production in the 19th century, followed by 20th century automated production.
The data center merging with the factory floor
Fast forward to today. The fourth industrial revolution is well underway, driven by IoT, edge computing, cloud and big data. And once again, manufacturers are at the forefront of intelligent production, leading the way in adopting technologies like augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, cloud-based supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) plus programmable automation controllers (PACs). Watch the video below that addresses how manufacturers are changing to embrace Industry 4.0.
In fact, I always visualize the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise known as Industry 4.0, as the data center merging with the factory floor, where you have the perfect blend of information and operational technology working together in tandem. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Helping monitor and manage industrial equipment
One of our customers, Emerson, a fast-growing Missouri-based company with more than 200 manufacturing locations worldwide, provides automation technology for thousands of chemical, power, and oil & gas organizations around the world. Today, Emerson customers are demanding more than just reliable control valves. They need help performing predictive maintenance on those valves.
To address these needs, Emerson worked with Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions to develop and deploy an industrial automation solution that collects IoT data to help its customers better monitor, manage and troubleshoot critical industrial equipment. With our support, Emerson successfully developed a new wireless-valve monitoring solution and brought it to market faster than the competition. This is just the first step in what Emerson sees as a bigger journey to transform services across its entire business. You can read more about our work together here.
Bringing AI to the supply chain to reduce waste and energy
Meanwhile, San-Francisco based Noodle.ai has partnered with us to deliver the world’s first “Enterprise AI” data platform for manufacturing and supply chain projects.
This solution allows customers to anticipate and plan for the variables affecting business operations, including product quality, maintenance, downtime, costs, inventory and flow. Using AI, they can mitigate issues before they happen, solve predictive challenges, reduce waste and material defects as well as cutting the energy required to create new products.
For example, one end-customer, a $2 billion specialty steel manufacturer, needed to increase profit per mill hour, meet increasing demand for high quality steel at predictable times, and reduce the amount of energy consumed. Using the “Enterprise AI” data platform, the customer reported $80 million savings via reduced energy costs, freight costs, scrapped product, and raw material input costs.
Helping design innovative and secure voting technology
Yet, another customer, Democracy Live wanted to deliver a secure, flexible, off-the-shelf balloting device that would make voting accessible to persons with disabilities and that could replace outdated, proprietary and expensive voting machines.
After a comprehensive review of vendors and products, Democracy Live asked us to design a standardized voting tablet and software image. Our Dell Latitude solution complete with Intel processors and pre-loaded with Democracy Live software and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system provides strong security and advanced encryption.
And the good news for Democracy Live that we take all the headaches away by managing the entire integration process, including delivery to end-users. The result? Secure, accessible voting with up to 50 percent savings compared with the cost of proprietary voting machines. Read what Democracy Live has to say about our collaboration here.
Change is constant
Meanwhile, the revolution continues. Did you know that, according to IDC, by the end of this year 60 percent of plant workers at G2000 manufacturers will work alongside robotics, while 50 percent of manufacturing supply chains will have an in-house or outsourced capability for direct-to-consumption shipments and home delivery? More details available here.
Unlock the power of your data
Don’t get left behind! Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions is here to help you move through the digital transformation journey, solve your business challenges and work with you to re-design your processes. We can help you use IoT and embedded technologies to connect machines, unlock the power of your data, and improve efficiency and quality on the factory floor.
And don’t forget we offer the broadest range of ruggedized and industrial grade products, designed for the most challenging environments, including servers, edge computing, laptops and tablets. We’d love to hear from you – contact us here and do stay in touch.
- Learn more about our work in industrial automation at Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions.
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