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September 21, 2021

Challenges in Sustainable Battery Manufacturing and How Makoro can help in Improving Operations

Three Human Factors Critical to Industry 4.0 initiatives

To assist the rapidly increasing e-mobility sector, as well as the energy transition, climate change, and sustainability, all of these initiatives require novel solutions. Additionally, alternative propulsion concepts must be developed to considerably cut CO2 emissions. 

That is why advancements in battery manufacture are becoming increasingly important. 

However, which batteries and production techniques are capable of meeting escalating demand and stringent specifications? How can manufacturers maximize the sustainability, efficiency, and quality of their plants while automating their processes? New comprehensive automation concepts, such as those based on artificial intelligence and robotics, are critical. Additionally, these notions should consider market requirements, as well as the demands of policymakers and the battery industry. Thus, what are the current trends and future approaches in battery manufacturing that will enable European companies to seize the lead in energy storage for electric vehicles?

Battery makers must excel in terms of quality, increased efficiency, and resource optimization in order to compete better. As the field of e-mobility advances, more advanced battery technologies are being developed. It ensures the vehicles’ durability, safety, and operation. Lithium-ion pouch batteries suit a number of critical current industrial and automobile manufacturing needs. However, pouch cell manufacturing is more complex and time-consuming than cylindrical battery manufacturing. This, in turn, puts unique demands on manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are looking to artificial intelligence to assist with their manufacturing processes. For instance, AI can assist in optimizing machine efficiency and ensuring defect-free output.

Combining artificial intelligence, sensing, control, and robotics delivers higher quality.

While battery producers must react to the market’s ongoing evolution, they demand production processes that can be altered more quickly and flexibly than ever before to suit changing requirements. Combining artificial intelligence, sensing, control, safety, and robotics into a single automation platform enables manufacturers to meet customer criteria for product quality and predictive maintenance while also reaching critical sustainability goals. 

Additionally, assistance with integrated battery cell inspection solutions, as well as solutions for electrode and battery module manufacture, can assist in streamlining the testing and providing end-to-end traceability throughout the battery cell’s life.

The technology ensures sustainability.

Battery manufacturers and suppliers require a dependable partner that can give theAsset Performance Managementm powerful technology and relevant advice from a single source in order to be inventive, adaptable, and future-oriented. A holistic, artificial intelligence-based solution can assist industries in reducing waste. When used in conjunction with an intelligent warehouse system and mobile robotics, firms can significantly increase process efficiency and productivity. 

Simultaneously, battery cell quality – including capacity and battery life – should be covered sustainably by a manufacturing and lifecycle control solution that is backed up by an in-line inspection system. This solution must take into account all stages, from manufacture to usage and recycling. By applying these technologies, businesses take a critical step toward the future of sustainable industrial and battery production.

Recommendations based on data maximize utilization of production resources.

 Today’s batteries as well as their production generate massive amounts of data. Makoro™ provides a range of device and enterprise system connectivity protocol options, and a recommendation system powered by digital performance twin, enabling manufacturers to translate the data generated by the manufacturing processes into a wealth of real-time recommendations. Leveraging these recommendations in battery production helps manufacturers improve their productS and production systems efficiently. They are able to create new business opportunities based on recommendations based on aggregated, correlated, and analyzed operational data.

As a result, battery manufacturers achieve::

  1. Improved productivity of existing plants
  2. Reduced inventory and throughput time
  3. Maximum utilization of production resources

Research indicates that proactive asset recommendations result in an 11% – 13% reduction in raw material usage and a potential savings of up to 15% – 18% in energy utilization.

August 17, 2021

Digital twin & its practical implementation in Industries

Digital twin

Digital twin refers to the exact virtual prototype of an object, process, or system covering its entire life cycle. This prototype is based on real-time data and uses simulation, machine learning, and reasoning to help decision-making.  

Digital twins form a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. 

The concept of the digital twin was first used by NASA. With the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the usage of digital twins is expanding. With the onset of Industry 4.0, the digital twin is becoming inevitable to be used by businesses of all scales to optimize and increase profits of their operations. By allowing the creation of digital copies of real-time objects digital twins have opened new avenues of production, maintenance, design, research, and innovation.

Digital twin allows designing, and real-life simulation of an entity even before it is created. This enables the production of only those products that match the standards defined. For instance, with digital twins, 10 different car models can be digitally created, and with real-life simulation can be digitally checked for possible shortcomings, and based on this a near-perfect product can be created. 

Similarly, with digital twins, it is easier to test products in different scenarios without physically requiring the test scenarios. It helps in the optimization and customization of products. In the automobile industry, a digital twin of a car can be tested to handle different collision scenarios, and accordingly, the safety procedure of the car can be updated.

Digital twins in combination with the Internet of things allows for real-time monitoring of objects. With the usage of sensors, the digital twin is continuously monitored remotely. This enables early diagnosis of any future breakdown of the object or system.

Digital twin equipped with real-time data is a tool without rivals in making predictions about possible breakdowns, future wear, and tear. This enables businesses to undertake more efficient preventive maintenance. This reduces the downtime of any unit. With a digital twin, it is also possible to identify the part most likely to malfunction and possible routes to fix the problem.

Teleoperations is one of the key advantage areas of the digital twin. Through teleoperation, it is possible to control the physical object,  system, or process remotely. It allows controlling physical objects virtually, virtual objects physically and virtual objects virtually. The combination of these possibilities helps in creating a teleoperation ecosystem.  It is of indispensable value in controlling operations in hazardous industries and the environment. 

As businesses adopt digital operations and industry 4.0, the firms employing this technology are already gaining an edge in the market. Digital twins are enabling them to better predict, design, maintain and operate their products. The availability of increasingly accurate models and predictions gives them an edge over those that have not adopted the norms yet. 

INDUSTRIES EMPLOYING DIGITAL TWIN

POWER GENERATION- Power generation industries employ humongous machinery and operation designs. Digital twin not only helps in better design and modification but also in time maintenance. This sector cannot face shut down as it provides power to all other sectors. Digital twins help in checking any possible fault well in time. 

LARGE PHYSICAL STRUCTURES AND THEIR SYSTEMS-  Digital twins are imperative in designing large physical structures such as bridges and offshore drilling operations. At the same time, the digital twin is used in the maintenance and remote operations of systems within these structures. For instance,  in the case of oil drilling, it helps to predict the depth and exact location of drilling operations most viable for the equipment.

MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS- The manufacturing operations are increasingly using digital twin at all levels. Ffom product design, customization, process, maintenance to delivery of the product.

HEALTHCARE SERVICES- Just like with physical objects, a digital twin of a human can be created. In the healthcare system, the digital twin is used to make a prognosis of the patient, try the possible treatments, check their consequences. It is being used to develop better medical facilities. 

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY– The automobile industry operates in complex interwoven systems. The digital twin helps in the design, simulation, and prediction of the automobile as well as that of the environment surrounding it.

These industries are the most prominent employers of digital twins but by no means the only users of digital twins. 

DIGITAL TWINS AND BUSINESS FUTURE

As per the The “Digital Twins Market by Technology, Solution, Application, and Industry Vertical 2020-2025” report

  • Up to 89% of all IoT Platforms will contain some form of Digital Twinning capability by 2025 
  • Digital twinning will become standard feature/functionality for IoT Application Enablement by 2027

How can Makoro™ assist?

July 1, 2021

Pharma 4.0 – Road to the Smart factory

Pharma 4.0 - Road to the Smart factory

Smart factory development is a top priority for manufacturers across all industries and sectors. It is a component of a business’s digital transformation, and it is critical to maintaining competitiveness while also meeting the demands of consumers and end-users, as well as B2B customers and regulators.

This is all part of Industry 4.0, the umbrella term for the revolution currently sweeping the manufacturing sector.

As with previous industrial revolutions, Industry 4.0 will evolve over many years and decades as new technologies and processes are developed, and as businesses, regulators, and consumers grow.

What are the critical smart factory developments worth examining today if you work in the pharmaceutical or medical technology industries?

Why is Industry 4.0 even more critical to the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry?

  1. Increased Productivity — Automating processes enables them to be completed more quickly and accurately. Reduce downtime through automation and the use of sensors and predictive systems that enable equipment to function autonomously.
  2. Improving the supply chain’s efficiency through integration –  They are making it feasible to transition from batch to continuous manufacturing, a production approach that results in much less downtime and increased efficiency.
  3. Increased Quality – Increased automation and continual monitoring of your manufacturing plant will result in fewer mistakes and higher-quality final products.
  4. Risk ReductionThis follows naturally from the preceding two arguments – increased manufacturing precision reduces the danger of substandard items reaching end customers.
  5. Facilitates Regulatory Compliance –  Compliance with existing and upcoming laws in the E.U. and other parts of the globe is made more accessible via the use of Industry 4.0 technology. To comply with the Falsified Medicines Directive, new track and trace systems and serialization solutions are presently being deployed.
  6. Improved Business Oversight  – Industry 4.0 technologies enable real-time reporting, increased data collection, improved data analysis, and improved data presentation in usable formats.
  7. Development Of New Business Prospects –  Industry 4.0 will also open up new commercial prospects for pharmaceutical businesses. For instance, Industry 4.0 technologies enable seamless and highly efficient end-to-end supply chain integration. This increases productivity, which helps your business immediately. A more connected and efficient supply chain, on the other hand, is also more scalable, opening up new potential for your organization. Covid-19, a quick-win situation.
  8. Increased Profitability – When all of the aforementioned are combined, the outcome is improved corporate profitability. Additionally, your firm will be more competitive and better able to address future difficulties and opportunities. Covid-19 has accelerated the advancement of biotechnology problems.

The pharmaceutical industry has only recently begun to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies, despite the fact that it has been using batch manufacturing for more than 50 years. However, the traditional batch process technique has been demonstrated to be lengthy: after each stage in the process, production is generally halted to allow for quality assurance testing of the material. Each break lengthens the lead time and increases the likelihood of defects and errors (FDA, 2016).

This encouragement comes at a critical time – we are entering an era of precision (personalized) medicine, “where medicines must be produced with unique characteristics and made available to people in need more rapidly.” (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2016).

To create customized medications, pharmaceutical companies no longer need to produce large batches but rather tiny ones tailored to a limited group of individuals who require a certain treatment in a specific dosage. Batch production is not the answer to these demands, but continuous manufacturing that is connected, smart, adaptable, and accurate.

Continuous manufacturing is used in the pharmaceutical business to move substances nonstop inside the same facility, eliminating wait times between process steps; the materials are fed via an assembly line of integrated components. Manufacturing that is continuous “saves time, decreases the risk of human mistakes, and enables a more agile response to market changes. It can operate for an extended length of time, potentially reducing the probability of medication shortages.” (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2017).

Pharma Opportunities 4.0

  • Gains in economic terms, such as greater revenues as a result of reduced transaction costs
  • Increased reliability and consistency in production and output, as well as higher-quality products
  • Energy-efficient and ecologically friendly manufacturing systems
  • Utilization of human and material resources effectively.
  • Changes in work structure, with a greater emphasis on remote, flexible, and on-demand labor

Pharma 4.0’s Obstacles

  • Gaps in infrastructure
  • Policies and regulations that are out of date and do not take into account 4.0 Industry
  • Ownership and security of data
  • Transparency, confidentiality, and ethics
  • Changes in the fundamental characteristics of innovation processes and their implications for competition and entry barriers

Take away points

We may now re-evaluate our industry’s accomplishments while simultaneously re-strategizing our future strategy toward offering high-quality therapy at scale and bringing fresh hope to humanity.

By strategically integrating the production process, we as an industry will be able to stay ahead of the problems and expectations on which the rest of the world is so reliant.

Predictive analytics enables you to foresee issues, minimize risks, capitalize on opportunities, and ensure that resources are directed appropriately.

Predictive analytics is already being used by pharmaceutical and medical device makers in the field of equipment maintenance. It is possible to forecast the effect of a variable on a piece of equipment, a production line, or a process using technology such as digital twins.

About Makoro™:

Makoro™ leverages #AppliedArtificialIntelligence and #NaturalLanguageRecommendations powered by #DigitalTwin in solving transformative problems in the manufacturing supply chain. 

If you are still leading with reports and dashboards, you are falling behind. You are leaving money at the table. When you can shave off minutes and hours you spend making the right decisions on your assets.  

Asset performance recommendations from Makoro™ deliver improved asset and process performance consistently through recommendations. These recommendations are backed by data and can be traced to the sources of data. 

Makoro™ recommendations deliver direct operations savings and indirect compliance savings.

 

June 21, 2021

The Future Factory: Developing Sustainable Industries

The Future Factory: Developing Sustainable Industries

The epidemic altered our daily life and the world we live in irreversibly. Each of us now has a unique perspective on our surroundings, as our susceptibility to natural disasters becomes more palpable.

While population expansion, urbanization, and globalization aided in the virus’ spread, they also boosted CO2 emissions and had other detrimental environmental consequences. Despite the need to concentrate on immediate issues, we must forget about those that will face us in the future. Climate change is the single greatest problem of the modern era, with about two-thirds of the world’s population now perceiving it as a worldwide emergency. We just cannot ignore it any longer.

Indeed, we are the generation most equipped to resolve it. In fact, we may be the last generation capable of altering the course of history and taking the necessary actions to address climate change. It is our responsibility to utilize our knowledge and the resources at our disposal to help us win the battle for climatic stability. These tools comprise emerging technologies that have the potential to increase resilience. 

Digital Technology and Green Electricity are the two keys to resolving this conundrum.

Digital technology is the most visible breakthrough in reshaping humankind. Consider how digital technology has transformed the way we work and live together. The Internet’s first episode was all about connecting people. The next episode will focus on reimagining how we live and interact with our surroundings. It’s going to be about machine-to-machine communication and human-to-machine communication. This is made feasible by the combination of the Internet of Things (IoT), which connects everything in our environment, and Big Data, which is the process of gathering, aggregating, and analyzing enormous volumes of data in data centers to provide actionable intelligence. And the capability for training machines and developing algorithms to make sense of all this data is essentially limitless now. The adoption of smart manufacturing technologies is already paving the way for a more desired future, in more effectively sharing and conserving the resources we use.

The second technology, which is arguably less apparent than the first since it has existed for a long period of time, is green power. Consider solar energy, microgrids, net-zero-energy structures, and electric automobiles. Because electricity is the only method to decarbonize energy, prepare for a far more electrified future. However, the electricity will not be the same in the future. Renewable energy will be used. Green is the way of the future.

The equation has four straightforward variables:

  1. Digital. Thanks to digitization, we can be considerably more efficient in every area. By using digital technology, whether in smart buildings, smart manufacturing, or smart cities around the world, we may achieve significant increases in efficiency over current levels.
  2. Circular. This is about ensuring that everything we do contributes to the development of a more circular economy than the one we now have.
  3. Electric. The percentage of electricity in everything will double in the next few years. We talk a lot about electricity, although it accounts for just around 20% of the energy we utilise today. It will double to 40% in 20 years.b 
  4. Renewable. Today, just 6% of power is renewable. By 2040, it is expectedl be 40% renewable.

And it is not a case of waiting for one of these factors to change before shifting emphasis to another. We must work on all of them concurrently. We cannot afford to wait, since what we construct now will remain for years to come. If we want to combat climate change, we must immediately start taking actions.

Sustainability fosters adaptability.

Pandemics like the recent one and climate change are the two greatest risks to our society’s future. It is critical that we take action and build a sustainable world that prioritises resilience. Maintaining the present momentum is critical for attaining the really sustainable and resilient future that the whole planet so desperately needs.

COVID-19 may have shifted our emphasis, but it has emphasised the need for adaptability and agility. With the economy put under strain, it has acted as a wake-up call for increased awareness of long-term sustainability. Businesses must recognise that they can do better and must emphasise sustainability across their operations.

A more sustainable organization starts with your assets.  

Considering that each asset has a finite life cycle and will eventually need to be replaced, a sustainable approach is to extend its life. Makoro™ helps extend the asset life through increased operational efficiencies. Sensors monitor assets, and Makoro™ continuously combines real-time asset health data with data from operations and enterprise systems to make accurate and relevant recommendations that optimise their operations more effectively. For example, as you reduce the number of routine maintenance trips, you save the engineer’s time and energy costs; at the same time you save on parts consumption through accurate and timely parts optimization; and improve overall process efficiency, thereby producing higher quality products with less rejection. 

Multiply those efficiencies across your enterprise and the sustainability gains become extremely significant. 

Research shows that proactive asset recommendations result in a 11%-13% reduction in raw material consumption and potentially saves up to 15%-18% on energy expenses.

 

June 18, 2021

Manufacturers must embrace the digitization steps taken by direct-to-consumer businesses

Asset performance recommendations

The #IndustrialManufacturing world is poised to learn (and benefit) from the massive digital pivot that their B2C counterparts are already benefitting from.

Industrial companies must learn from the B2C experiences and pivot into digital. They must adopt digital through the entire #SupplyChains to get back the operational cost advantages.

A recent McKinsey & Company survey showed that two-thirds of business-to-business (B2B) customers prefer remote human assistance or digital self-service when making purchases.

Per Gartner, 36% of heavy manufacturing CIOs reported that digital disruption caused operating cost competitiveness to fall behind their digitally advanced competitors.

Recommendations (customer, product, etc.) have delivered consistently higher customer engagements and driven massive growth at #retailers. #MakoroAI delivers the benefits of recommendations powered by #DigitalTwins to asset manufacturers, owners, and operators.

With the exploding volume, format, and velocity of data from sensors, enterprise, and operational systems, #DataIsNotEnough to make fast, transparent, and consistent decisions. #AssetPerformanceRecommendations from Makoro™ is the future for medical, #industrial, and #manufacturing processes.

Take a read below.

https://www.asme.org/topics-resources/content/manufacturing-blog-how-manufacturers-can-implement-digital-transformation

June 17, 2021

Industry 4.0 for the Indian Manufacturing Supply Chain

Industry 4.0 for the Indian Manufacturing Supply Chain

The global manufacturing industry is amidst a massive transformation that encompasses the entire supply chain. The previous industrial revolution was a giant step in modernizing the industry, but the impact of Industry 4.0 is seen to be much larger. It is the process whereby the automated industry of Industry 3.0 is geared towards digitization and creating smart industries. It entails the usage of connected assets, IIoT, Digital Twins, Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Advanced Analytics to improve the efficiency, transparency, and consistency of the overall supply chain.

How is Industry 4.0 relevant for India?

  1. Bridge the Gap between Supply and Demand: The population of India is on an upward growth curve and so is the consumption rate, which tends to rise further each day, thereby putting tremendous demand pressure on the manufacturing industries. At the same time, this increases the gap between demand and production capacity. To bridge this increasing gap and increase productivity, manufacturing in India must adopt newer technologies. Productivity gaps identified by analysis of comprehensive and real-time data from production processes are the first step towards understanding the current state of the systems. This can be further improved through the adoption of predictive and prescriptive technologies.
  2. Eliminate Waste: Industry 4.0 uses real-time data and artificial intelligence to improve production operations. The real-time data provides updated information about the functioning of the machinery. It helps in optimizing the timing for the purchase and storage of raw materials, thereby eliminating wastage. It also helps in identifying malfunctioning machinery and gives timely information for their maintenance, preventing high wear and tear, and ensuring the best utilization of raw materials. Industry 4.0 is a multi-pronged approach for waste elimination and sustainable production.
  3. Improve Quality: Before the fourth industrial revolution, the quality check was aimed at maintaining the flaws in the products limited below a certain threshold. The process itself was heavily reliant on the quality check personnel. The data available, even though abundant, was not put to use and stored away for later analysis, which was never performed. But with Industry 4.0, the real-time data provides the exact checkpoints for products, improving quality continuously.
  4. Enhance Customer Satisfaction: India is a diverse nation. As a result, products have significant variations due to consumer preferences. Multiple factors such as culture, age, language give rise to ever-changing and evolving consumer preferences in the same time-space. This poses a challenge to manufacturers to produce personalized products. Demand for personalized products is growing – and appears to stick on. We all seem to want products personalized and right-sized to fit our preferences, personalities, and lifestyles. This is a trend that OEMs can’t afford to ignore. Manufacturers must implement strategies to meet this new demand for customization. Industry 4.0 technologies lead in the direction of agile, small-batch, personalized manufacturing, to deliver products customized to specific consumer personalization requirements, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.
  5. Increase collaboration among manufacturers, startups, and research institutions:  Industry 4.0 relies heavily on the knowledge workforce. Its success is driven by active collaboration among manufacturers, researchers, and startups. India, with its technology boom and the startup ecosystem, already has a skilled workforce to cater to the needs of innovation in the manufacturing supply chain. At the same time, there is also plenty of active research in technologies like Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence, Process Optimization, and such. Bringing together startup innovation and advanced research can deliver immense value to the adoption of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing supply chain in the country. This collaboration will also diversify the economic base of the nation.
  6. How can Makoro™ help?

MakoroTM drives process optimization in the manufacturing supply chain by delivering continuous intelligence through Makoro™ Mind, the data-driven core which leverages IoT, Digital Twin, AI, and advanced analytics to recommend solutions that make assets perform better. 

Moreover, Makoro™ leverages customer’s existing infrastructure (without any bias for Edge, Cloud, or On-Premise). It deploys seamlessly across customer’s existing private/public/hybrid cloud, on-premise, and edge systems.

The Recommendations Dashboard demonstrates the continuous value of Makoro™ to customer’s processes, correlating asset, maintenance, and workforce metrics in real-time with sentiment, acceptance, confidence, and relevance of recommendations.

Take our 10 day outcome challenge and see the results.

June 7, 2021

The rising demand for connected worker solutions worldwide

The rising demand for connected worker solutions worldwide

Globally, the market for connected worker solutions is predicted to expand at a high pace, owing to growing concerns about employee safety and increased throughput. Connected worker solutions are used in a wide variety of industry verticals, with manufacturing serving as a specialization.

Digitalization, productivity enhancement, and industry 4.0 have all been vital growth indicators.

The digitalization of the supply chain and the integration of connected worker solutions within the plant are ensuring the market’s potential growth. IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) deployment for the purpose of enhancing plant productivity and ensuring employee well-being is expected to fuel market expansion over the forecast period.

The global market for connected worker solutions is expected to expand at a CAGR of around 23% between 2020 and 2030.

What Are the Advantages of Using Smart Wearables in Manufacturing?

Smart wearables consist of intelligent headgear that delivers intelligent solutions, such as determining when to replace the helmet and its state of repair. Additionally, smart glasses that enhance visibility and enable real-time troubleshooting are just a few of the advantages of smart wearables over conventional ones.

For example, the healthcare industry makes extensive use of wearables such as the Fit Bit to record and track patients’ chronic diseases, alerting both the patient and caregiver to concerning trends.

Similarly, CBT’s wearable computing headset can be worn with conventional headgear such as a ball cap or a basic headband. This device is intelligent due to its IoT capabilities; it does not have any extra attachments. Additionally, this device responds to basic voice instructions, making it more user-friendly. These elements contribute significantly to the enormous benefits of smart wearables in connected workforce solutions.

What Role Do Connected Worker Solutions Play in the Evolution of Smart Manufacturing Practices?

The implementation of computer-integrated manufacturing with rapid design modifications and higher adaptability, as well as the digitalization of the manufacturing process with more agile personnel training, constitutes smart manufacturing practice. To summarise, the smart manufacturing environment is comprised of automation, real-time monitoring, and networked, and real-time data & analytics.

These manufacturing methods lay the groundwork for the integration of connected worker solutions into industrial processes. Industrial activities benefit from connected worker solutions that provide a consistent experience of competency and floor management in real-time, leveraging critical statistical data from business software.

Smart manufacturing methods are already being implemented in a variety of industries, and the combination of smart manufacturing practices and connected worker solutions is positioned to generate significant growth potential for the market in the future years.

What Impact Will IT/OT Convergence Have on Demand for Connected Worker Solutions?

IT is an acronym for information technology, while OT is an acronym for operational technology. The next section discusses how the convergence of these two technologies would affect demand for connected worker solutions.

The integration of manufacturing processes, regulating processes, and physical occurrences with back-end software and hardware for processing and evaluating the acquired data is referred to as IT/OT convergence. Due to widespread wireless Internet connectivity, the convergence point between these two technologies has gotten very near over the years. Convergence of IT and operations technology creates an enormous opportunity for manufacturing processes by combining IT capabilities with operational technology components and by structuring direct machine-to-machine learning with centralized servers, which has altered the overall dynamics of manufacturing processes.

Convergence has now created value for connected worker solutions that provide unmatched real-time visibility and a complete understanding of production processes, affecting the overall market. As a result of enhanced convergence, connected worker solutions are expected to grow at an exponential rate during the projection period.

What Impact Will Efficient IIoT Deployment Have on Connected Worker Solutions?

The Industrial Internet of Things is accelerating the adoption of modern technology in manufacturing processes. The Industrial Internet of Things is wreaking havoc throughout manufacturing industries and changing current industrial processes. This, in turn, is certain to restructure nearly every area of manufacturing, from the way items are researched, planned, fabricated, produced, disseminated, and consumed to the way manufacturing supply chains, and factory floors operate.

The IIoT enables the convergence of IT and OT, which is a critical part of connected worker solutions. Consumers have long desired this implementation, which enables the user to leverage an IIoT platform to accumulate massive data via machine-worker interactions. This mobilization aids in the prevention of safety issues by predictive analytics, ultimately increasing staff productivity and safety.

Additionally, IIoT provides consumers with intelligent computing. Cognitive computing is the process of using computer models to simulate human thought processes in puzzling situations characterized by ambiguous and tentative responses. North Star Bluescope has teamed with IBM to develop a cognitive computing platform that integrates with IBM’s Watson Internet of Things platform to assist personnel in dangerous areas where their lives may be at risk.

Applicability of Connected Worker Solutions

The United States has a history of early technological acceptance and utilization, including digitalization of supply chains and mobilization of advanced technologies such as 5G and electric car infrastructure.

The extensive use of connected worker solutions in the automotive and oil & gas industries has been the primary driver of the market’s clear expansion in the country. Additionally, with a majority of firms such as Honeywell, Oracle, and Intel headquartered in the United States, the implementation of connected worker solutions across a variety of industrial applications is positioned to create enormous opportunities in the short-medium term.

Effects on a variety of industries

Mobile devices/tabs are configured to expand most of the hardware. This expansion is aided by the simplicity with which mobile devices can be used and their compatibility.

Mobile devices and tablets are also likely to see an increase in popularity as a result of BYOD (bring your own device) usage. Additionally, mobile devices assist in supplying an employee with up-to-date analytics, ensuring the employee’s safety.

The oil and gas business is undergoing transformational changes on a scale never seen before. With uncertainties over industrial output and opposition from environmentalists, the market faces significant headwinds. However, the oil and gas business has a greater adoption of connected worker solutions.

This industry requires workers to evaluate and harness available data in order to make timely and correct important judgments. These characteristics contribute to the efficient and comprehensive adoption of connected worker solutions.

Connected worker solutions are applicable to both small and large businesses. However, there is a sizable market for huge organizations. This is because major firms have ample finances available to invest in sophisticated technologies.

Small and medium-sized businesses account for a smaller portion of the market because deploying connected worker solutions inside the industry is not cost-effective. The cost of solution deployment may burn a hole in the company’s wallet, a factor limiting widespread adoption.

Natural language recommendations from Makoro™ augment your workforce, so you can capture tribal knowledge, rapidly onboard new employees, and enable them to be productive from day one.

May 29, 2021

Why Industry 4.0 Adoption Has a Significant Upside

Why Industry 4.0 Adoption Has a Significant Upside

When manufacturing began to embrace digital technology a decade ago, it acquired a new term: smart manufacturing, or Industry 4.0. By incorporating cloud, automation, advanced analytics, machine learning, and big data into manufacturing and supply chain management operations, a connected ecosystem for manufacturing and supply chain management was created, which grew into a market that is experiencing rapid growth.  In Jan’20, the sector was poised to double in size to more than $300 billion over the next five years.

Then came the pandemic. By early spring, millions of workers had been laid off. Several plants halted production temporarily or reduced output to allow workers to spread out and maintain a safe distance from one another. Investment in smart manufacturing also decreased by 16%. According to some researchers, such a pullback would dampen investment through 2025.

However, manufacturing executives and service providers indicate that investment in smart manufacturing will accelerate. It is more than $400 billion by 2025. This is because Industry 4.0 technologies improve operational efficiency, strengthen supply chains, and enable a more personalized customer experience and the potential for data-driven top-line growth.

Before COVID-19 impacted the manufacturing and delivery processes for every conceivable product, some businesses had already begun a digital transformation.

For instance, the automotive industry has already embraced new business models in order to address strategic imperatives such as connected and electric vehicles, as well as automated and shared solutions. The pandemic provided additional impetus for businesses to rethink their digital strategy, accelerate their migration to these technologies, and reduce their reliance on specific locations, thereby increasing their operational resilience.

As a result, supply chains in manufacturing have become increasingly complex and integrated. The Demand for more efficient equipment and increased manufacturing yield has increased significantly. Enterprises are now leveraging applied analytics to predict and mitigate operational disruptions within and across plants and the supply chain.

Instruments of the New Age

Businesses are increasingly using digital twins. AR & VR technologies are being used in a variety of applications, most notably for equipment maintenance and employee training in manufacturing plants. 4G, LTE, and 5G networks are being established to support low-latency communications required for machine-to-machine communication and edge computing within plants. Cybersecurity, cloud computing, and the IoT are also gaining traction.

At the same time, cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a challenge that is getting a lot of attention. We’ve already seen numerous instances of hackers attempting to penetrate manufacturing sites, such as the malware attacks that brought a pure-play semiconductor company to a halt. The number of IoT devices could triple to tenfold its current level. And each device provides a point of entry for hackers. Simultaneously, multinational manufacturers must comply with local regulations.

Smart manufacturing enables more adaptable, customized manufacturing setups, frequently utilizing additive manufacturing solutions to deliver personalized products and enhance the customer experience. At the heart of these capabilities are the digital platforms and backbone: 5G network technology, IoT-related technologies, cloud-based applications, and systems, as well as automation and artificial intelligence, which serve as the foundation for analytics used to optimize manufacturing operations.

Since the lockdown, businesses have figured out how to operate without physically entering the plant. Businesses are shifting their focus to cloud computing, automation, and AI, and advanced analytics. Additionally, they are relocating supply chains closer to their locations and exploring alternative sources for raw materials and components.

However, despite this high level of interest and activity in predictive analytics, the adoption rate is only about 25%. This bodes well for future investment and a stronger recovery post-COVID. By 2025, the growth rate could add an additional 30% in industry 4.0 investment over what was anticipated.

What does this all mean?

One thing is certain: to reap the benefits of smart manufacturing technology, manufacturing companies will require partners who can assist them in implementing and rapidly scaling up the technology. The more providers that can assist manufacturers, owners, and operators in maximizing the value of their investment in digital initiatives, the greater the frontline adoption of these technologies.

How can Makoro™ help?

In order to accelerate deployment, Makoro™ uses a cloud-agnostic model and leverages customer’s infrastructure 100%, and deploys on the edge, in public/private/hybrid cloud, and in customer’s data centers. Makoro™ also optionally deploys on Makoro™ Cloud as a fully managed application suite.

Makoro™ Predictive Asset Performance Management solution continuously and effortlessly gathers and correlates data from the manufacturer’s internal applications, inventory management systems, and maintenance management systems. It generates recommendations for optimizing asset and workforce utilization while lowering overall maintenance costs. 

The digital performance twin in Makoro™ Mind uses data from connected devices to construct the asset health and performance model and keeps it updated through periodic re-training. As a result, engineers have a complete view of how the asset is performing through real-time IoT data from the asset itself. The Performance Twin in Makoro™ helps identify potential asset problems, troubleshoot from anywhere. It integrates with Makoro™’s Recommendation System to deliver contextual recommendations to proactively improve asset performance.

And since Makoro™ provides secure access to your plant predictions, insights, and recommendations anytime, anywhere, and from any device, it plays a key role in your remote operations strategy, allowing your operations executives to make better, faster, timely, and consistent decisions about their plant operations remotely.

Schedule a demo to see what Makoro™ can achieve for your business.

May 26, 2021

Industry 4.0: Strengthening Maintenance and Reliability

Industry 4.0: Strengthening Maintenance and Reliability

Industry 3.0 pioneered the idea of automated mass manufacturing, enabling the efficient production of millions of similar goods. As the process’s pace and size grew, labor became an impediment, ushering in an era of outsourcing. Manufacturers rapidly outsourced labor-intensive operations to countries with lower labor costs.

Machines are increasingly driving production processes rather than humans, emphasizing the importance of maintenance and reliability teams.

Maintenance and reliability teams ensured that equipment met efficiency metrics over decades of service during Industry 3.0. Machines were the means of development, and technicians ensured that they worked properly.

The only drawback to this strategy was that it pitted repair and reliability teams against other development departments. For instance, if a computer was required to be shut down for recommended repairs, production would be halted as well. Though machine health could improve, production output decreased in the short term.

Considering the innovation and cutting-edge technology that Industry 4.0 uses, it’s clear that future maintenance and reliability teams will look very different from those in the past.

Manufacturers now face new demands. Usually, Industry 4.0 is synonymous with cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and advanced analytics. But the real reason for their adoption is to drive manufacturing innovation in response to large shifts in market demand in the twenty-first century.

Consumer demand is much more diverse now than it was before, owing to the internet. A viral moment can literally cause demand to spike (or plummet). People demand more customization and sustainable production practices. When all of these factors are considered, it becomes clear that manufacturers now lag behind by 20-30 years.

Demand, sustainability, and cost pressures are all compelling manufacturers to adapt — now, not later. 

Maintenance and Dependability in a Changing World:

The irony of Industry 4.0 is that while technology defines and drives it, each advancement increases the need for human input. The fully integrated factory is only a few years away.

In the near future, maintenance and reliability teams will continue to play a critical role in development. Historically, these teams were primarily responsible for planned maintenance and required repairs. That is no longer the case in Industry 4.0, where teams must optimize efficiency while remaining attentive to conflicting demands and shifting forces. Operations and maintenance teams alike will need to consider asset health holistically — both in terms of what they require to accomplish their strategic goals and how best to accomplish them.

Makoro™’s dynamic learning system takes operations management a notch up, where sets of validated recommendations with very high relevance and confidence score can be replicated across multiple locations to derive the maximum value. So instead of sharing data as reports and dashboards, manufacturers and operators share recommendations/prescriptions across locations.

Aligning Reliability and Maintenance with Industry 4.0:

Currently, maintenance and reliability teams are unprepared for the critical role they will play in development. They lack the technologies necessary to track machine health in real-time across several locations. Additionally, the use of siloed systems keeps maintenance and operations disconnected.

For all of these factors, maintenance and reliability teams would need to fully rethink their approach to manufacturing. To start with, recognize the critical role of maintenance and reliability teams in all aspects of factory operations. Second, begin equipping certain teams for the future roles they will fill. Whether by increased preparation, technology, or talent, or a combination of the three, maintenance and reliability teams will need additional resources to handle the additional responsibilities.

Makoro™’s Recommendations Dashboard tracks asset performance metrics and correlates them to recommendations in real-time. Leaders who have embraced Makoro™ have achieved more than 11% improvement in the agility of their operations.

May 24, 2021

Three Human Factors Critical to Industry 4.0 initiatives

Three Human Factors Critical to Industry 4.0 initiatives

Manufacturers worldwide are under pressure to modernize their factory workforces, but 57 percent of manufacturing leaders report that their company lacks the trained staff necessary to support digitization plans, according to a Gartner, Inc. survey.

The survey found that manufacturers are currently experiencing a challenging phase in their digitization journey towards more intelligent manufacturing.

Connected factory workers rely on a variety of digital resources and data management strategies to enhance and incorporate their experiences with their physical and virtual environments, increasing decision precision, spreading information, and reducing uncertainty.

1. Change Management is the Most Difficult Task

Complexity in the organization, integration, and process reengineering are the most common barriers to implementing smart manufacturing initiatives. When taken together, these issues represent the most significant change management roadblocks.

83 percent of respondents believe that their leadership recognizes and supports the need for smart manufacturing investment. It does not, however, reflect whether the majority of leaders grasp the scale of change ahead of them – both in terms of technology and talent.

2. Intelligent Manufacturing Needs Technology 

Businesses are beginning to recognize the importance and potential of smart manufacturing. However, implementing new innovations alone is insufficient. The most critical action is for businesses to recognize that this is about more than digitization, as it entails coordinating activities for capability growth, capability enablement, and human empowerment.

3. Human capital needed for Smart manufacturing

Factory staff must adapt in lockstep with technology and be prepared for future changes. In the long run, it is critical to embed a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations through governance and training – without choking employee innovation and imagination.

Makoro™’s Dynamic Learning technologies help retain tribal knowledge. This assists in onboarding new employees and provides them with the augmentation necessary to make them better at their jobs immediately,

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