Industry 4.0 is transforming the way operations teams and factories work. Smart factories, which are at the heart of Industry 4.0, offer great promise of real-time insights to reduce downtime, increase output and stimulate higher margins.
At VMworld 2019, DXC and VMware shared the Smart Factory solution blueprint. In our session titled “Unlocking Business Value with the Unified Management of OT and IT“, I collaborated with Peter Tapley, Americas Workplace and Mobility Sales Leader at DXC to help customers navigate through their Smart Factory journey. Here are the key take-aways from the session.
A. Bet on vendors that demonstrate ecosystem momentum
The complexity of Internet of Things (IoT) integration often surprises integration leaders. IoT projects can involve large numbers of devices, a proliferation of application programming interfaces (APIs), and huge amounts of data — all of which can tax the traditional strategies, skills and technologies used by integration professionals. There’s no single technology vendor that can help you build an Industry 4.0 solution.
That’s why, DXC, VMware & Dell EMC have come together to deliver end-to-end solution that aims to simplify end to end integration and automation of IoT implementations for Smart Factories.
- VMware provides an enterprise IoT management solution that onboards, manages, monitors and secures your IoT use cases to run smarter factories with optimized production, enhanced process efficiency, and reduced downtime.
- DXC brings deep knowledge of manufacturing process and technologies with incremental capability improvements within a carefully managed change program and on-going support capability
- Dell offers purpose-built Edge Gateways for the Internet of Things (IOT). Ruggedized, with a variety of input output connections, these intelligent devices aggregate data and support analytics at the edge of the network.
B. Focus on business outcome
- “We are carrying over $500m excess inventory.”
- ”If our production line stops due to unavailable parts, that costs us over $500k per day.”
When beginning smart factory initiative, the focus should be on the unique problems that affect optimizing operational and production impacts while managing risk. It’s important to understand what metrics the organization is focusing on and which need to be improved.
We discussed the business outcome focused approach at a leading global aerospace and defense customer. Client was facing increased demands to improve efficiency in a very competitive marketplace. Customer’s business goal was to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and factory availability. DXC and vmWare Pulse IoT team worked with the client team to understand the financial benefits through a value engineering exercise. Working with the business side of the organization rather than IT, we determined the specific business outcome or measurable KPI: achieve 80% OEE by a target date.
C. Ensure security in the Industry 4.0 era
Connecting machines directly or indirectly to the Internet, or even to a private cloud environment, enlarges the potential attack surface area significantly.
During the evaluation phase, client focused on a production line in an ammunition manufacturing facility. Working with DXC, VMware and Dell EMC, client built a secure foundation layer for data capture through PLC integration and retrofitting WW2 era machines with sensors. Pulse 2.0 SaaS was used to securely monitor and manage the Dell gateway infrastructure, connect and control machines and capture and present key operational data.
Post successful evaluation, client will leverage Pulse IoT Center On-Prem version. This is generally available on Sept 5th 2019 and it introduces new capabilities focused on enhancing security in addition to accelerating the device on-boarding process, and extending container management to edge environments.