The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has advanced faster than we could have ever imagined. From a supply chain and manufacturing perspective, technology is no longer the biggest barricade. It’s more about selecting the problems that you want to address and choosing the right technology to solve them. Amazing results are being achieved by applying IIoT technology in high-tech, highly regulated manufacturing environments including medical, automotive, and aerospace. The convergence of IIoT with advanced analytics, big data capabilities, and emerging technologies, such as augmented reality, has opened a world of innovation, automation, and optimization opportunities for manufacturers worldwide.
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From machine sensors that maximize factory equipment uptime by prescriptively indicating just-in-time maintenance and repairs, to robotic assembly cells that perform microscopic assembly operations more accurately than humans, the need to digitally transform the manufacturing enterprise is changing business processes, production operations, and maintenance and repair services. Even the relationship between producers and consumers is changing as manufacturers build in more service components using IoT technology.
Most importantly, with IIoT-based systems, manufacturers can achieve new levels of interoperability, visibility, control, and responsiveness by integrating shop floor components with each other and with cloud-based management systems — all of which brings the business and production operations into closer alignment. In an era when global competitive pressure squeezes timelines and budgets, extracting maximum efficiency and performance from every part of the value chain is critical. When machines and sensors are cloud-connected, the resulting intelligence enables factory managers to understand where and how their very best assets are out-performing expectations and which assets should be a focus for improvement.
Real-Time global supply visibility across multiple factories
We are currently in an environment of tight supplies for a number of critical electronic components, such as multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC’s). The chief procurement officer (CPO) is responsible for keeping multiple factories around the world supplied with high technology components and subassemblies. Supply chain managers need a system that gives them real-time visibility and alerts associated with emerging delivery and supply chain issues. This type of visibility is achievable with the latest generation of cloud supply chain software.
Using a laptop, supply chain executives on the road can quickly check status of work in progress (WIP) or finished goods inventory (FGI) levels of key components or assemblies at their feeder factories, and even third party suppliers using this cloud based supply chain software. Because most factory and test equipment is connected to the cloud, they have real-time access to critical WIP information.