Accenture: making the most of industrial IoT
Defined as “a universe of intelligent products, p...
Manufacturing Global takes a look at the key factors driving the accelerations of smart production.
Defined as “a universe of intelligent products, processes and services that communicate with each other and with people over the Internet” by Accenture, the industrial internet of things (IoT) “promises to be the most transformative industrial revolution yet for manufacturers, changing the way they think about resource allocation, production processes, materials handling, and the workforce.”
Key factors driving innovation
Level of investment
Transformation comes with a price, modernising equipment and facilities can be costly. Accenture highlights that the key to success will be adopting strong business cases, based on a set of use cases, to allow for ease in identifying return on investment (ROI).
Ability to align OT and IT
Those that have started the alignment process will be better equipped to take full advantage of intelligent technologies. Those who organise operations, planning and engineering separately, will find it more “difficult to integrate processes even if they’ve already adopted technologies that make it easier to integrate supporting IT systems,” says Accenture.
“Many traditional OT systems are proprietary and closed so significant investment will be needed to facilitate their participation in a larger, open IT ecosystem. It will also be critical to define governance between OT and IT (especially on security policy) early in the process,” the company adds.
Affinity for technology change
In order to reap the most benefits from industrial IoT, manufacturers will need to embrace new technologies and change their processes, states Accenture. Companies will require an infrastructure that enables them to commit both people and equipment. Those who embrace new technologies quickly and easily will be better positioned to compete.
“Cloud services can accelerate delivery of new types of applications and add-on services. Connected equipment, devices and wearables can help people interact with their machines and work together in new and different ways.”
Speed to reskill workforce
As the adoption of industrial IoT increases, more complex skills such as equipment development, maintenance and repair will be in demand.
New technologies will allow manufacturers to harvest talent globally, but their ability to manage up-skilling and retraining their existing workforce will be critical for how quickly they adopt these technologies.
Agility in deploying industrial security solutions
“As industrial environments move to open protocols, wireless sensors and connected operators, and as OT and IT systems integrate, security issues will be amplified,” says Accenture. “Traditional field devices will need replacing with more sophisticated solutions, with increased vigilance around security will be paramount.”
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After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
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Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
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Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.