Accenture: top four innovation challenges in manufacturing
“Innovation is kn...
Manufacturing Global details the four biggest challenges the manufacturing industry is facing, when it comes to digital innovation.
“Innovation is known to impact much more than the direct bottom line of the product in which it is implemented,” highlighted Jorge Guzman, Assistant Professor of Business at Columbia Business School in Accenture's report on Scale Digital Innovation Like a Champion. “Besides net income for a specific product or service, innovative work also changes the capabilities of a company to tackle the future and helps them try new ideas that could be risky, but potentially highly profitable.”
While there are huge benefits to innovation and digitally transforming operations in order to exceed customer needs and expectations, the process does not come without challenges. When speaking to executives within the manufacturing industry, four key issue were repeatedly ranked as the top barriers for scaling proofing of concepts
Defining digital value
When it comes to adding digital value, ‘value’ can mean different things to different people. It is important for leaders to define and align on what it is they want to deliver to avoid the conflict to flow down the company, which can be deeply problematic.
Aligning with middle management
In order to build, execute and scale up pilots and innovate efficiently, top management needs a vision for middle management to ensure that the company doesn’t fall short of its goals.
Syncing talent pools with IT assets
Currently, a lot of manufacturers are battling the challenges of legacy IT tools and solutions, as a result new systems upset business processes, requiring investment in organisational change and technology.
“Digital technology today not only imposes new work structures but also requires new business models and rapid adjustments to accelerate innovation. The new work, delivery and business models require a new mix of skills, culture and governance that will deeply change existing organisations. Without those complementary investments in organizational change, the technology simply cannot deliver tangible results,” commented Nicolas van Zeebroeck, Professor of Innovation & Digital Business, Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management, Université libre de Bruxelles.
Aligning in-house innovation with the digital ecosystem outside
Finally, there needs to be an alignment between in-house innovation designs, with the agile digital ecosystem outside
“Many large businesses in the EU are going after agility, sometimes obsessively so, to prepare their organisations for an ever more digital future,” van Zeebroeck said. “The first step is often to set up some agile team or digital office that springs new ideas or solutions. But most of them have a very hard time scaling these initiatives internally and externally. In many firms, agility remains an abstract concept that should apply to teams, but it’s not entirely integrated and applied by the top management itself, where it should start.”
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Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.