They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a hypothetical situation to paint the story ‘how real-time information and predictive analytics unlock value.’

To start, imagine a fully functioning assembly line with a robot, pneumatic system, a series of conveyors, and a vision system.

Lets pretend the supply station in the back is bringing in our raw materials. The robot is assembling those materials with precision. The resulting assemblies are than passed on to the quality station, and the vision system inspects each of those assemblies to insure proper alignment of the parts.

This is a pretty generic operation, but it can show how unified real-time information and predictive analytics unlock value.

Now imagine yourself as a maintenance engineer, who wants to check the status of your asset pool.

Using a software, such as ThingWorx Navigate by PTC for example, you launch a role-based maintenance application. All of a sudden you see a complete list of your assets with real-time performance stats and relevant alerts or notifications. You also have a complete list of all your outstanding maintenance work orders.

From here, you have the ability to drill into any of your assets, but you start with the quality station. You immediately see the key characteristics of the station.  You see that speed vibration and temperature are all operating within their specified range. You could also see notifications of any warnings, malfunctions, or potential future problems. 

Next, you use your device to take a look at the pneumatic system.  The pneumatic system also looks fine. Both pressure and flow are operating within the specified range, and there are no outstanding maintenance tickets or work order notifications on your screen.

Now, let’s consider a situation where there was a leak in the pneumatic system.  Let’s say a loose fitting was releasing pressure, a fairly common problem in pneumatic systems. Now, rather than looking fine,  your device displays flow readings outside of the designated operating range. Furthermore, an alert has automatically been sent to notify you of a system has an error. The overall status indicator on your screen has now switched from green to orange – operational, but not optimal. 

Your software solution’s machine learning is now predicting that this air leak, if not repaired, will result in a pneumatic gate failure in approximately 10 day’s time. The good news for you is the system has already issued you a maintenance work order address the problem before asset failure and unplanned downtime.

This scenario is made possible by a system equipped with primary and secondary sensors, and a complete Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution that can turn raw machine data into valuable information.

For example, your pneumatic system has an air flow sensor, as well as a pressure sensor.  The conveyor systems are equipped with motor temperature sensors and vibration sensors.

In addition to the sensors, the rest of the assets on your line are controlled by typical PLCs, which are connected to a software such as ThingWorx and Kepware.

You have also used your software to integrate manufacturing floor systems with a real-time IT applications, asset maintenance tools, and ERP systems. This provides you with a real-time alignment of your IT and OT systems.

Now, all of your systems are throwing data out at a staggering 800 data points per second.

Your software’s machine learning then uses that real-time streaming data to establish a baseline of normal operating conditions. This way it can immediately connect and broadcast any anomalies that occur. It uses these anomalies, in conjunction with its prediction capabilities to notify you of future problems, just as in the case of the pneumatic failure.

Now that you have an understanding of what is happening under the hood, let’s take a look at how all this comes together to enable real-time operational intelligence.

Pretend you are a production manager. Using software like ThingWorx Navigate and Kepware you have complete visibility into all of your factory operations. You can see all of your work orders, lines, and all of their critical KPI’s.

On your device you notice an orange status indicator on line one (that was created from the air leak earlier). Once that air leak has been repaired, everything returns back to normal, just as you would expect.

Let’s explore one more hypothetical situation. Consider yourself to be an operator. In this case, you have just been assigned a new order for a thousand units that need to be delivered and expedited for an end of day delivery.

You’re notified of the order and in this smart connected scenario you, as an operator have a single portal from which you can see and execute all of your work. Through a single pane of glass you now have access to your business systems information and your operational data including the KPIs from your line.

On your device you also have up to the minute visibility of the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). You see real-time data measurements of your manufacturing operation’s availability, quality, and performance.

Let’s see how some of these metrics might change if we go ahead and speed up the line to accelerate the current order, in order to make room for that expedited order.

To do that you switch the line speed from level one to level two. What you see in seconds on your device is that line speed has increased, and your assemblies are still passing the quality check.

Within a couple minutes and a few additional cycles, on your device you see both your performance and OEE trending upwards.

As an operator you now are assured that you are going to meet your end of the day deadline.

Using these hypothetical situations, together we have painted a picture demonstrating how you can connect disparate assets from different vendors, to provide real-time information.

You’ve also seen how you can leverage role-based applications that combine business systems information and operational data to empower your workforce with real-time actionable intelligence.

By integrating machine-learning capabilities you brought a whole new level of predictive intelligence to your factory floor, identified problems, and resolved issues with minimal impact on operational performance.

This is exactly how real-time information and predictive analytics can unlock value for your organization.

Download the Ebook On PTC ThingWorx Navigate

The internet of things (IoT) is a business and technology revolution. It not only enables the connection and communication with ‘things’ but allows us to manage them.

It allows our organizations to do preventative and predictive maintenance on ‘things’, do guided service on ‘things’, and create digital twins of ‘things’. It enables us to improve operational efficiency, significantly reduce downtime, and to develop new revenue streams.

What makes up the ‘Internet’ in IoT?

The internet is composed of two separate communities; the internet of people and the internet of things or IoT.

The Internet of People

First, let’s break down what we mean by ‘the internet of people.’

The internet of people has grown organically over the past 20 years and has evolved into becoming an interconnected network of billions of people. That’s right, billions. Its primary purpose is to connect people, collate information, and enable people-to-people interaction.

The internet of people allows people to connect by becoming a clearinghouse of information. People post information available to other people, generating a great deal of information that is being pumped into the cloud.

The Internet of Things – IoT

The internet of things has been growing organically for the past 10 years and has the potential to become much larger than the internet of people. Its primary purpose is to connect machines, people, and data.

The IoT also enables people-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions. In the Internet of Things, things are pumping data into the cloud so products can be monitored, controlled, optimized, and automated. During this process, information and data are streaming into the cloud from both people and things.

Combining the internet of people and things

This leads us to the internet. As mentioned earlier, the internet is the combination of internets of people and things into one integrated network. (Of course, they never were really separate, but it helps to think of them that way to facilitate the study of IoT).

Why are businesses investing in IoT?

The market for IoT is huge! Today there are over 20 billion connected devices, and that number is growing at an incredible pace. With connected devices comes a tremendous upside opportunity for IoT investments.

Through 2020, estimates are as high as 1.6 Trillion dollars! In fact, McKinsy has determined that the economic impact of IoT will top 11 Trillion dollars by 2025! The reason companies are starting to make such big investments in IoT is because so much value can be created.

How the Internet of Things is impacting product value

The internet of things isn’t about the internet – it’s all about the things. The things are what’s changing. The trend of smart connected things is really accelerating now that there’s a computer of sorts inside just about everything! 

Today, according to the US government Census Bureau, there are about seven billion people on the planet Earth. About one-third of these people are connected to the internet with smartphones, tablets, and computers- yet in 2010 we hit an important milestone where there were more things connected to the internet than there were people on Earth This suggests these connected ‘things’ aren’t just smartphones, tablets, and computers anymore – they are fitness bands, thermostats, vehicles and more! This is where real innovation is happening.

Today, almost everything we have around us is capable of connecting. I’m talking about buildings, appliances, machinery, farms, hospitals, cities – all kinds of things. Now there’s a massive investment that is feeding this rapid expansion of the smart connected products – the internet of things solutions market. The IoT solutions market includes the smart connected things, the connectivity services, the software platforms and applications, the security, the analytics, and really everything related to smart connected products.

IoT Development Workshop

At EAC, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on any revolution with respect to potential capabilities that you can add to your products- while we also realize the importance of basing your IoT initiatives around your mission statement. That’s why we created what we call our IoT Development Workshop.

We have made it our mission to help guide organizations like yours to explore and embrace the uncertainty of the emerging IoT market.

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

Modernized service strategies combine enterprise IT, ‘smart’ technology, and information.

Manufactures are expected to be more demand oriented, data driven, and technologically focused. This means focusing on the customer, using the data collected from many different areas, and digitally executing strategies using platform technologies.

Many companies today are focusing on the current stage of achieving field service excellence. This tends to be an easier, stand-alone area to focus on as it incorporates vast amounts of technology available to help and support them.

The next stage deals with moving towards connected service platforms which oftentimes involve an integration of smart, connected products. This is when companies will start to deal with how to capture data, leverage the insights, and turn it into actionable results for various stakeholders throughout the organization.

The last stage deals with achieving servitization optimization. Servitization is an important concept because it holds the potential to transform how products are delivered and monetized. This is really the movement towards product service systems and products-in-use value.

Ultimately, providing access to product and parts information is a crucial step in on the path to successful profitable growth.

Technology is fueling service transformation for many organizations.

For instance, here’s how ‘service’ has begun to transform with the help of new technologies:

  • Cloud technologies have enabled greater access to service parts visibility and information.
  • Mobile technology has put information in the hands of service technicians, at the right time.
  • Big data analytics now capture asset and product information, enabling enhanced service quality with better first-time fix rates.
  • And social technology has allowed engineers, service, and customer support to collaborate.

These cloud, mobile, social, and big data analytics technologies have enabled manufacturers to transition from systems to service, from information to innovation.

Our team is prepared to help you achieve field service excellence. Our Product Development Information Services team is experienced in the architecture, implementation and support of a technology portfolio making service excellence a reality for many of our customers.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about IoT (the Internet of Things).

‘Start improving the way you do business’, ‘connect with technology’, ‘responsive solutions’, ‘amazing results’.

It’s safe to say that the internet of things along with smart connected enterprises have easily become technology’s theme of the year.

Businesses everywhere have started to look at how they can make more money by inserting this “IoT” thing into their business processes.

The truth behind your success and IoT:

No matter where your journey begins with IoT, it’s essential to recognize good business models rely on technological processes, but technology on its own is not enough.

When it comes to IoT and connected business model innovations, if you don’t have a solid business case, you’re not going to have success.

A connected strategy is about business and business transformation. It’s not just about the technology, it’s about using technology as an enabler.

It’s important to realize there is no value in your IoT platform alone. The real value for you, the success of your business case, lies within your application.

The future is smart and connected. 

Whether you choose to build connected solutions into existing products, enter new markets, change your business model, or connect your manufacturing floor; you need to be ready.

Transforming the way you connect with your products, organization, and customers all starts with smart connected design and the right Internet of Things (IoT) platform. The right platform allows you to connect and scale your business.

This is exactly what our company specializes in, in fact we have even created a dedicated connect services team to design and implement custom connected strategies for any organization.

Being able to monitor a product from design into manufacturing, throughout its complete lifecycle makes it possible to improve product quality, increase production, reduce costs, and even predict failures. 

Building a smart connected strategy that works for you:

Integrating company initiatives with the Internet of Things needs a strategy, this is what we are here for.

Our connect services team works with your organization to deliver workshops, prescribe technology solutions, and create an IoT strategy that coincides with your company initiatives.

We want to help you define a strategy that makes a connection between your products and operations that already exist within your company and the smart, connected world that we live in today.

We transform the way companies design, manufacture, connect to, and service their products.

To fully grasp how we assist and serve our customers, you need to understand our core organizational beliefs:

  • We believe the product development process is broken.
  • We believe that there is a better way to achieve business initiatives through product development processes and it all starts with learning.

This is exactly why we created the EAC Value Model. We’re a learn first organization. We focus on taking the LAMDA approach.

What is LAMDA?

The LAMDA is a basic learning cycle of lean product and process development. It literally stands for “look, ask, model, discuss, and act.” Ideologically it is a way to learn and optimize within a closed-loop learning cycle that continually looks to improve a situation by defining and improving root-cause issues.

Our LAMDA based EAC Value Model works as follows.

The first phase of the EAC Value Model: Learn

During the learn phase, our specialists take a first-hand approach with your business. This is when we learn about your business initiatives, ask open-ended questions, and gather information so we can truly understand the key drivers of your business’ success, any the root-cause of any potential areas of improvement.

Throughout this phase we take time to learn about your people, your team, your processes, your technology, and the ways of your organization.

We take an in-depth look at your business from front-office to back-office to determine the how your company can extract the most value from its interaction with EAC.

This leads us to the second phase of the EAC Value Model – The Mutually Agreed Upon Plan or M.A.P.  

The second phase of the EAC Value Model: The M.A.P.

Using the knowledge acquired from our learning exercise, our team creates a unique customized M.A.P for your organization. Your M.A.P. is a Mutually Agreed Upon Plan that incorporates a multiple step strategy, with actionable steps and business cases for your organization.

This phase provides an understanding of what needs to be accomplished in order to achieve your desired results.

Throughout this process we evaluate solutions that may address your organizational needs. Wither they may be through engineering services, educational training services, product development consultations, system implementation services, software solutions; we configure a plan to fit your specific needs.

The creation of the M.A.P. provides a clear path to value for your organization. It holds everyone accountable for the actions needed to solve business problems and tackle initiatives.

Once we have created your mutually agreed upon plan, the implementation phase begins.

The third phase of the EAC Value Model: Implementation

During the implementation phase we put the M.A.P. into action. This is where our teams move your solution from the developmental stage into production.

You could also refer to this stage as ‘deployment’, ‘go live’, ‘roll-out, or even ‘installation’.

The tasks performed during this phase might include installing or implementing CAD, Windchill, Industrial Automation, IoT or any number of other systems. Perhaps your M.A.P. incorporated training programs for your current teams or additional services for product information. No matter what your plan includes, our team works with you to provide any service, system, or additional skill necessary to achieve your desired results. 

Throughout this phase our focus remains on helping your organization become a smart, connected enterprise.

The fourth phase of the EAC Value Model: The Score Card

This is the phase that sets EAC apart. Once we have implemented your solution(s), we never lose focus on gathering feedback on how we did, how a solution is working, or whether the desired outcome or return on investment is being realized…

Remember, our overall goal is to build a long-term relationship with your organization. We feel the best way to do this is by making sure you achieve the success your company needs.

Our business is built around the way your company designs, manufactures, services and connects your products and we recognize, its’ happy customers like you who keep us in business!

With the help of our EAC Score card, we obtain your feedback on how we can continue to help your organization grow. 

Our dream for your organization is to create a smart connected enterprise where you have the ability to connect to your products, your shop floor, and know your predictive downtime before it even happens. We make it our priority to help your organization achieve more than you had had imagined.