In light of recent developments – Our top priority is to protect the safety and health of our employees, customers and community and to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

We are continuing business as we have for the last 24 years to serve our customer needs while also taking all the necessary precautions to keep our employees and customers safe.

However, we are minimizing larger gatherings, such as conferences, trade shows, workshops, and on-site meetings and training. We are offering customers the option of live video conferences and webcasts conducted online in a safe virtual space – we have found this to be very effective in most circumstances.

We want to help you overcome remote challenges

Productivity improvement, process optimization, and maximum return on investment have become the watchwords of industrial production worldwide, especially at a time like today.

Our organization has grown over the years by helping companies leverage remote access and monitoring connectivity solutions. In fact, almost everything we do helps enable remote access to data.

We invite you to explore options that may help your team overcome any remote challenges you may be experiencing. As we know it is critical to continue conducting business as usual during this time.

Vuforia Chalk: Quickly solve technical challenges via remote transactional AR app

AR Instruct: Convert technical content to AR experiences

Vuforia Studio: Create AR experiences to enhance sales efforts with virtual product demonstrations

EAC Productivity Apps: Avoid disrupting engineers with role-based access to product data

Design & Engineering Services: Overcome backlog of engineering projects

Remote Software Training: Help your team stay sharp during this transition with PTC certified training courses. We deliver everything from Windchill Administrator courses to training classes for specific PTC Creo tools and functionality.

Although our variety of solutions expands much wider than what we have highlighted in this article, we would love to help you navigate affordable solutions that could easily integrate with your business environment and help you work better remotely.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly. We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to assisting you in anyway we possibly can. 

Warmest Regards,

The EAC Product Development Solutions Team

The very definition of many industries is changing in no small part due to the of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its’ ability to disrupt and generate new business opportunities. Industry leaders across the board are starting to embrace IoT projects, use IoT devices, and build smart connected products using IoT platforms.

This article references real IoT case study stories and internet of things examples from John Deere and Nike to provide you with a better understanding of how the IoT is starting to shake up and disrupt industries.

 To paint you a picture of exactly how the IoT is creating business opportunities for organizations today, let’s start with a company you might already be familiar with – John Deere.

Before the rise of IoT

John Deere has been making tractors and agriculture equipment for over 175 years.

For many years, though, they made simple tractors that weren’t ‘smart’ or connected products, they were just mechanical.

Soon enough, over time, John Deere’s products started to become smart and connected– changing everything for the organization.

Creating smart products & connecting devices

John Deere began to equip their products with digital dashboards, engine control units, sensors to alert users if they are running out gas, if oil pressure is too high, if hydraulic pressure is too low, etc.

By doing so, John Deere began to realize the countless benefits that came along with connecting their agricultural equipment to the internet of things, which eventually would provide the ability to remotely monitor the equipment’s performance.

Now remember, at this point, John Deer was still a tractor company, but as the organization moved forward with their vision of smart connected products, they also created what is called a smart connected product system.

The evolution of a smart connected product system & Digital Transformation

At the heart of John Deer’s product system is what is called a combine harvester. Their combine harvester harvests grain from fields, separates the head or the ear from the stalk, and divides the hulls, cobs, and the husks from the kernels of grain.

Today these smart connected combines have the ability to smartly monitor how many kernels came from a single patch of land, and how many kernels came from another.

In fact, they even collect, store, and send data to the cloud for the following season – so the machine is able to perform what is called a smart planting scheme.

During the smart planting scheme, the tractor hooks up to a tiler, which is basically a plow. As the plow works the soil, the equipment frequently fertilizes it, particularly with nitrogen. The equipment then follows its smart planting scheme – if the yield was low, nitrogen application should be high in a particular spot. If the yield was high, nitrogen should decrease.

Next from the connected product system comes the tractor pulling the planter that puts kernels in the ground for next year’s crop. It’s doing the same thing.

With a wide variety of seeds, the planter makes smart decisions for specific spots as needed. The smart connected equipment even knows when to use different drought resistant seeds in particular dry patches of land.

Smart products and the internet of things

John Deere created their own unique smart connected product system with the equipment they manufacture.  By using smart connected devices, sensors, and building on top of an IoT platform, they slowly started to connect their entire product line.

This breakthrough in farming equipment enabled their products to work together and share data back and forth.

Farmers are now able to correlate their inputs and outputs, while reducing inputs and maximizing outputs. This means productivity and profits.

Taking it a step further, John Deere designed a smart farm system where, depending upon commodity prices, the equipment has the ability to plants different seeds.

Farms that irrigate now have the ability to place sensors in the soil to that read moisture levels. Using this knowledge, the smart equipment is able to determine whether it should apply more or less water to particular locations.

Agricultural equipment can now even assess upcoming weather forecasts and determine if irrigation is critical.

New business opportunities with IoT

John Deere went from selling tractors to selling sophisticated information systems that can run smart farms.

With the technological advancements around today, a company like John Deere now has to determine the actual business they are in.

IoT presents new industry opportunity

Somewhere along the way, while developing smart connected products, John Deere became a software company and a systems integrator.

The internet of things presented John Deere with an opportunity to compete within an entirely new industry. 

In fact, some say with this the new industry opportunity, John Deere even has the ability to compete with other well-known IT system integrators – such as Accenture.

The internet of things and smart connected products present a very interesting phenomenon, that’s happening right now.

Homes are beginning to transition to smart homes. Automobiles are starting to become smart. It’s happening everywhere you turn, even if in some cases it might be very subtly, or slow.

Products are evolving

Nike is another great example of how the IoT has started to accelerate and transform organizations.

Historically, Nike has made shoes, clothes and sunglasses – but today, their product line is now much more than that.

For Nike, it’s no longer just about clothes and shoes anymore. Their products have evolved from fitness equipment to fitness monitoring systems – driving personal health and wellness goals.

They too, started connecting their products by adding sensors into their shoes, clothes, and Fuel Bands.  This has enabled their smart connected products to help people maintain physical fitness and health.

Businesses possibilities of IoT

With the real-world examples from John Deere and Nike, it’s easy see how businesses are starting to expand their industry boundaries with the internet of things.

The world is changing, smart connected products are continually evolving. What is your organization doing to stay ahead?

Explore the business possibilities of IoT for your organization

Organizations today are adopting valuable IoT solutions to lower operating costs, increase productivity, and develop new products.

The Internet of Things can offer your organization an opportunity to be more efficient whether its connecting devices with automated systems that gather information, analyzing IoT data, creating an action to learn from a process, achieving the pinnacle – remote control, support and maintenance.

We want to help you achieve your IoT objectives

Not sure what the advantages of IoT are for your organization? We would love to help you define and push your boundaries!

Our technology specialists are experts at devising what IoT solutions, devices, projects, and business models are best suited for your organization. Let’s have a conversation.

The future of digital transformation is happening now, and it is driving the future of all industries. This article highlights just about everything you need to know about the impacts and trends involving digital transformation.

No matter where your company resides on its digital journey – or even if you have yet to start with digital transformation, this article is just for you.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation refers to the concept of applying innovative uses of digital technology to solve traditional business problems.

For example, in a narrower sense digital transformation might refer to a simple concept such as ‘going paperless’. Yet, on a larger scale, it might refer to ‘achieving digital business maturity’.

Digital solutions not only enable organizations to achieve new levels of efficiency through automation, but they also open doors for creativity and innovation (rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods).

Although applying the use of digital technology to solve traditional problems can offer numerous business advantages, many organizations have yet to begin the journey with digital transformation.

Digital Innovation: Where to Start?

With numerous applications, methods, and strategies, it can be difficult to know where to even start with digital transformation!

If this is the case with your organization, – don’t worry, you’re not alone.

According to a research study performed by Accenture and the World Economic Forum, 80% of executives stated they were completely convinced ‘digital’ advancements would fundamentally change and transform their industry within the next 5 years!

That’s right. Eighty percent! … And they’re not wrong at all!

In fact, digital technology has not only already begun to transform industries, but it has also started to transform the way the world experiences products. Despite the ability to recognize the effects that digital processes will bring, only 17% of the studied executives stated they had a strategy in place to address the challenge of digital transformation.

This left a shocking 87% to admit they had no current digital strategy in place whatsoever! This is exactly why, if you have not yet started your digital transformation journey, it’s important to realize A) It’s not too late and B) You are not alone. There is no better time to start than now!

Organizations are realizing the significant impacts that the digital transformation era brings and how it’s going to drastically change just about everything when it comes to the way we do business.

The Impact of Digital Transformation

The process of digital transformation is creating entirely new ways of doing business. It has begun to create new experiences for customers while adding entirely redefined value propositions for mature product segments.

This era of digital transformation has started to impact and define what products are and what they mean to businesses and consumers.

Product perceptions are changing

Digital trends have also started to influence purchase decisions and sales processes. As the digital world has advanced, the average consumer is making purchase decisions with a Product as a Service (PaaS) mindset.

This means the rise of digital transformation has driven consumers to be sold by the outcome of the product – the recurring value. Manufacturers can address this shift in the market demand archetype by embracing three technology categories – Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, and mobile.

The future and advancement of technology is happening now

Established power plays and industry lines are beginning to blur. You cannot wait until some time in the near future to start your digital journey.

If your organization is going to succeed going forward, you won’t want to be left behind in this new industrial revolution, or you will fail.

Whether or not you’ve noticed if your industry has been affected yet, the key message is the effect of these disruptive technologies doesn’t discriminate one sector or industry. Every industry will see a major impact due to these digital technology advancements… And it is happening right now.

‘Business as usual’ is no longer an option. Organizations must adapt in order to survive.

The future of Digital Transformation: Smart, Connected Products

Digital transformation is reinventing products. Products from cars, to jet engines, to pumps, to heavy equipment, to medication, and more!

Machines, assets, and devices are starting to communicate, learn, and react to newly accessible context as they exchange and leverage data from sensors.

We are talking about the area of ‘living products’ – meaning transformative products that are responsive, collaborative, reactive, and responsible. Whether products are B2B or B2C, there will be a totally different process in the way we think about how our customers are using our products in the near future.

The future is now. Don’t let the opportunity slip away.

The first step in your digital transformation journey should be a strategic one. Understand where you are, where you want to be according to your current framework or understanding, and where you’d like to be as you embrace future technology and evolve with changing markets and new opportunities.

EAC Product Development Solutions would like to help you begin your transformation. We provide the people, technology, and services to make any transformation successful. The first step should be a Product Development System Assessment (PDSA). This will help you understand the opportunity that lies in front of you. Request more information on the PDSA today and start taking your digital transformation seriously.

Product Development System Assessment | EAC Product Development Solutions

Our Product Development System Assessment will help you start your digital transformation journey

Remember in 1977 when Ken Olson, the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation said, “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”? Boy was he wrong. Not even a leader in the technology industry could predict how quickly our usage of technology would change.

If you don’t make an effort to keep up with the fast pace of technology; you will fall behind. It’s critical that you proactively embrace and move towards digital processes to ensure that future products better meet the needs of customers.  

What better way to keep up with the future than making highly accurate product performance and behavior predictions with the right design tools? 

PTC developed a Creo extension called Creo Product Insight. It lets designers and engineers incorporate the latest sensor technology into their designs.

What is Creo Product Insight?

Creo Product Insight captures and analyzes product data from live sensors on prototypes and products directly within your CAD model. This tool produces a digital twin, an exact replica of a physical prototype in a virtual CAD model, to mirror the performance of a product under real-world conditions.  

How does it work? You add digital sensors from a library directly into your CAD models in Creo. Then you connect them to the data streams from physical products. Whether you’re looking to get more value out of your prototypes, design smart connected products, or use data to improve the quality of existing products, the Creo Product Insight Extension allows you to design smarter. 

So how are organizations keeping up with the digital transformation with the Creo Product Insight Extension?

Improving New Product Design

When you’re improving new product design you’re most likely basing your design decision on assumptions and historical data. This puts you in a difficult spot because you may not have up-to-date-information which may cause inaccurate solutions and error-prone results. 

Creo Product Insight Extension | EAC Product Development Solutions
Sensor data from CAD model shown in picture above

Creo Product Insight allows you to validate design assumptions using real-world data from the field directly in Creo’s simulation and analysis tools. Using this extension also decreases your reliance on building prototypes because it gives you live product performance and behavior. 

Improving Existing and Next-Generation Product Designs 

The absence of real-world product data stunts the optimization of current and future products. If you had access to real-world data, you would be able to validate design criteria against customer usage data and mitigate risk of product failure, warranty, repair, and liability. 

With Creo Product Insight and ThingWorx you can analyze field data and provide meaningful information back to engineering. Using real-world data allows you to identify opportunities for new products in the market and understand over and under engineered designs to reduce product life cycle costs. 

Improving Smart Connected Product Design 

The lack of specialized tools that support smart connected products puts you at risk of falling behind the digital transformation process. When sensors and a strategy to capture real-live data are disconnected from your design process there is no way to deliver the value that your customers deserve out of their products.  

Creo Product Insight gives you the ability to optimize sensor replacements, choose a sensor type, and validate data capture requirement during the design process. The extension creates an integrated design process that delivers optimal value from smart connected products.  

Creo Product Insight Digital Twin | EAC Product Development Solutions
Digital Twins bring value to design engineers by showing one twin’s real-world data synced into its other twin’s CAD model datatracking product performance along the way

Creo Product Insight Capabilities and Benefits

Capabilities:

  • Reuse and instrument released designs
  • Embed sensors into new designs
  • Connect CAD models via digital twins to real-world data
  • Use real-world sensor data in CAD design
  • Integration with ThingWorx, the world’s leading industrial IoT platform
  • Prepare for Product as a Service

Benefits

  • Eliminate manual workflows to use real-world sensor data in design
  • Optimize products to real-world conditions
  • Ensure that future products better meet the needs of customers
  • Creo analyses outside of the design office
  • Decrease reliance on physical prototyping

Creo Product Insight Licensing and Creo Version Capabilities

The Creo Product Insight is an add-on extension that is available for subscription licensing only. You do not need ThingWorx to use this extension – although using ThingWorx with it will fully optimize your results.

“Physical” Sensors – Creo 4 (M020):

  • Easily define and place ‘measure’ sensors by adding physical sensors to Creo Assemblies
  • New Instrumented sub-type to protect reused/released design data
  • Associated parameter and input definitions and associated calculations
  • Define (physical) calculating sensors (M020) to report analysis results (center of gravity, mass, area, etc.)

UX Sensors – Creo 4 (M030 & M040):

  • Connection to ThingWorx to support reporting analyses results (M040)
  • Run Creo analysis using Behavioral Modeling, Simulation, and Mechanism Dynamics (M040)
  • Read real-world data from ThingWorx (or CSV data file) and use input variables to run analyses and report results back to data tables

“Virtual” Sensors – Creo 4 (M050):

  • Specialized Virtual sensor handling – (excluded from BOM, meshing, and graphics)
  • Directly connect and read sensor data from file or ThingWorx
  • Use real-world sensor data to drive simulations
  • Creo as a Service from ThingWorx (M050)
  • Save/Export analysis results together with input values back to data file

Get live data from CAD models

Download the Creo Product Insight datasheet or watch this webinar replay to learn more and see if your organization could benefit from collecting live data directly within your CAD models. I’m willing to bet it can.

It is not too bold to say the Internet of Things (IoT) is just about everywhere. Some even say that IoT will have a greater impact on business and productivity than the introduction of the Internet itself.

Whether you embrace it or attempt to look past it, the wave of IoT has already started disrupting many industries.

So what exactly is the Internet of Things? Well, if you haven’t read the HBR article by Michael Porter and Jim Heppelmann, I encourage you to do so.

I am referring to the concept that our physical and digital worlds, in which we have always compartmentalized into separate realities, have begun to converge into a single new reality.

This new reality with the IoT has started to change the way we do business.

Our strategies have begun to take our physical products, parts components and factories, and connect them to our digital systems.

This has allowed us to collect data, analytics, performance measures and much more.

Although there is so much that you can learn about IoT, Here are 10 things you need to know about the Internet of Things. 

1.  IoT Can Fuel Your Existing Business Initiatives

The Internet Things should not be thought about as something separate and distinct from your business strategy, but rather as an opportunity filled with unlimited capabilities.

This revelation could possibly be the exact catalyst needed to meet your existing business initiatives.

No matter what your business is specifically looking to achieve, IoT can be a real game-changer.

Some businesses have used smart connected operations to discover efficiencies while reducing risk.

Others have integrated smart connected products by modifying and creating new assets and services to increase revenue.

I have also seen companies incorporate smart connected solutions to quickly bring products and services to the market.

Despite your industry, an IoT strategy can be shaped to help fuel your existing initiatives.

2. Everyone Over Designs

Moving from IoT strategy to value is complex.

There are lots of distractions and rabbit holes to go down.

Achieving your IoT initiatives requires focus.

By this, I am referring to the importance of strategically mapping out the innovation that you are looking to drive.

Before deploying an IoT strategy, make sure to ask yourself if the concepts you are looking to implement match to the strategies you are pursuing.

3.  There Is No Time Like The Present

Don’t over think it, just get started.

Your company has a chance to take part in one of the greatest economic value adding opportunities of a lifetime.

This is your chance to embrace change and see all it has to offer.

Companies that are able to identify the opportunities and quickly bring to market solutions with IoT will be the leaders of decades to come.

4.  Think Wrap/Extend, Not Rip/Replace When it Comes to the Internet of Things

The idea behind integrating the IoT into your business strategy should evolve around bettering your processes, not replacing what you have done so far.

This is your time to pro-actively use the IoT to drive growth and optimize your current business operations.

5.  The IoT Stack is a Huge Help

The IoT stack is a handy way to break down any IoT project into manageable chunks. Think about it this way.

Before adopting innovative technologies your company must establish frameworks, protocols, and standards that are consistent with your business strategy.

Your framework should revolve around the problems your business is looking to solve.

By breaking down your IoT solution into 5 layers you can better understand the business technology tradeoffs that are needed at each level and the system as a whole.

6.  Zealots and Laggards Are Everywhere. Beware.

It’s easy to get distracted by the daily grind and to put off getting started.

Change is a scary thing for all of us, so it’s easy to procrastinate.

Doing nothing is one of the biggest threats when it comes to the Internet of Things.

The reality is, big change is what can define success.

Don’t let your company develop a reputation as a technical laggard in the IoT arena.

7.  Avoid The Simple Small Tool Sets

If you’ve ever heard the saying “go big or go home”, it defiantly applies to an IoT strategy.

So often I see companies who are hesitant to make a big change, resorting to small easy to adapt ideas.

If your company wants to see real results, you must avoid wasting your time on the small and simple projects.

Running test pilots to assess potential value is not how you will reach your real strategic initiatives.

To see change, you must make a change. This is when you need to roll up your sleeves and make a connection to your real business issues.

 8.  The Control Engineers Are The Key to Success

On IoT projects, get to the Controls engineer — this is who has the keys to unlock the room or path to data that might already exist.

Who is your control engineer? This is the person that brings together disparate systems within your network.

A good control engineer knows how to design, develop, and implement the systems that will control your specified applications, networks and machines.

9.  IoT is a Big Concept and Many Have Different Views

After introducing the concept of the Internet of Things to many different companies; it has become apparent there are many diverse views of IOT along with its purpose and benefit.

It’s important to remember that two people who seem to differ on the topic of IoT may simply be looking at opposite sides of the same spectrum.

IoT solutions offer limitless capabilities that can easily be tailored to your specific business needs.

This means what IoT can offer for your business, may be completely different than the purpose and benefit it can offer for another.

 10.   There Is Always a Way To Do Something with IOT

The Internet of Things can be applied to just about every business strategy that exists; it’s just a matter of working at it.

For example, IoT has been used for the complex systems of products like John Deer’s Farmsight to optimize the farm, to simple examples like the Babilat tennis racket that provides data about a player’s performance.

Device connectivity and data analytics enable a closed-loop, real-time digital thread that can connect your people, systems, and equipment across the entire supply chain.

With the rapid creation and developments of new IoT applications, any organization can connect, manage, and optimize complex sets of disparate systems.

See how IoT goes beyond connecting products and has expanded to enable manufacturing and service processes by reading these case studies from PTC.

When it comes to IoT, there is always a way to do something.