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Infosys 2019 Predictions: Industrial IoT in Digital Transformation

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Nitesh Bansal, Senior Vice President and Global Head for Engineering Services, Infosys

Industrial IoT in Digital Transformation

One of the key purposes of the Industry 4.0 maturity index was to provide a clear evolutionary path for industries in their IoT adoption journey. With the inherent nature of IoT having multi-skill, multi-technology and multi-provider challenges, manufacturing industries in 2017-2018 executed multiple proof of concepts to kick start their Industrial IoT journey. These PoCs initially covered a small footprint of their large setup covering either a single shop floor, machine or factory, with the purpose to prove the technology stack and thereby the benefits for the industry in terms of operational intelligence, improved asset and process efficiencies, migrating manual to digital processes, and so on. Driven by multifold business benefits that these offered, many of these companies moved on to industrialize their PoCs to entire factories and multiple factories.

Most of the manufacturing industries are at the ‘visibility' level of evolution trying to solve the data problems. In brownfield industries the assets are not smart, without sensors, nor digitized, and the OT systems in silo/compartmentalized. Hence solving this problem has been the focus over the last couple of years with end to end integration to achieve visibility and transparency of systems. In 2019 this evolution will continue with focus on greater integration of systems, as well as inculcating other emerging technologies that will fuel an exponential increase in new use cases with their combined power.

Industrial IoT is the top engine firing up digital transformation in industries today. Digitization is happening across the lifecycle of manufacturing which are Design, Manufacture, Sell and Service. Manufacturing is a critical link in this digital transformation, and the Digital Thread across the life cycle helps in aligning to a common digital blueprint across the product. Three examples in which these manifests are:

  • Integrated Lifecycle Management - Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system/application plays a pivotal role in establishing the single source of truth. The digital artifacts of the product starting with digital engineering enabled by CAD/CAE, Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Engineering Services (MES) and Quality Management helps in product tracking and tracing across the lifecycle stages. Industrial IoT enables the IT-OT integration allowing data from machines, assets, process and systems to be integrated onto a common platform to derive insights. Through this end to end connected system information flow, it helps in establishing and tracking the lifecycle stages. This integration helps the manufacturing industry to track "as designed" vs. "as operated" vs. "as serviced".
  • Digitization - Industrial IoT has removed manual/paper work thus enabling digitization and automation of work process. Sensor enabling the machines and assets has helped automate these processes as the data is available. For example, with integrated ISA-95 stack the production process is digitized by integrating MES and PLCs. Real time visibility of the operations, process and the machine condition and health are now integrated onto a single dashboard helping all personas in the factory to access the information and make decisions faster.
  • Organizational Change - Due to the paradigm shift in the way things are run in the day-to-day life of the various personas like operator, technician, plant manager, production manager, etc., there is a need and stress on learning things to be done in a new way. The personas should get seamless user experience and unambiguous work instruction that should be agnostic to the technologies that goes behind the experience. The learning of new skills and way of work will help in the transition to digital manufacturing. The Industrial IoT led digital transformation impacts the current organization, and the current silo and compartmentalized organizations within the enterprise will become more collaborative and integrated.


About the Author

Nitesh is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Engineering Services, Infosys. He has been a part of Infosys since 1998 and has been a passionate advocate of AI, machine learning and process automation to amplify business value. He is a regular speaker at recognized business schools such as ETH Zurich, Rotterdam School of Management and St. Gallen University. He is also a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Tauber Institute of Global Operations, Ross School of Business and University of Michigan where he chairs their committees on leadership and programming. 
Published Thursday, January 31, 2019 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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