News & Updates
May 29, 2021
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 17, 2021
The current IoT landscape is highly OEM-centric – it is heavily OEM-data-biased and at first services the interests of the equipment manufacturer. The end customers, the asset operators, plant owners, and process owners, have been sharing their operational data with their OEM equipment suppliers in return for insights into asset conditions and improved maintenance. And depending on the strategies deployed by the OEM, the end customers and operators often have valid concerns about the credibility of these insights delivered by the OEMs. And more often than not, it is impossible to get a true understanding of the approaches that led to the insights. (Take the over-simplified example of auto-manufacturer-recommended oil change every 3,000 miles.)
However, the end customers are increasingly demanding improved equipment and process reliability across their whole asset/equipment estate. This estate includes operational assets from multiple OEM providers across the entire set of manufacturing and medical laboratory processes, across multiple geographies, with multiple technologies and wide variations in equipment age. And every organization needs a systematic and coordinated set of activities and practices which sustainably manages all its assets’ performance, risks and expenditures over their life cycles for the purpose of achieving the organizational strategic plan.
Given these conditions, reliance on OEM recommendations not only leads to fragmented asset management strategies across the estate, but these recommendations have mostly proven to be the least effective for assets with medium to high criticality.
End customers and asset operators require clear and accurate recommendations on process optimization. Unfortunately, many consider this information to be their proprietary data, their playbook, their operational cookbook, and this is confidential to their ecosystem. In addition, many manufacturing or process operations are competitive and thus deferential to their product offering and cost.
There is a trend in which end-customer business models move to a lower-cost model, with the lower deployed operational resource. However, employed process technology generally is increasing in complexity.
Makoro™, therefore, recommends and delivers continuous improvement in quality and asset/equipment total through-life cost while maintaining high process availability (OEE) and delivering a reduction in downtime based on the end customers proprietary data from their whole ecosystem while still sharing nominated data with selected OEM providers.
Makoro™ is a technology for the end-user, the asset operator.
Makoro™, by design, works with multiple and simultaneous data sources, protocols and connected and non-connected devices, legacy operational, and maintenance data. You do not have to have IoT fully deployed with every edge device reporting to get immediate value.
We sell directly to the asset operators, through process consultants and also to OEMs that recognize any IoT platform must support all the process stakeholders while protecting the intellectual proprietary of the end customer process.
We also licence our technology via API to extend the capability offering of already deployed Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Field Service Management (FSM), Asset Performance Management (APM), Computerized Maintenance Management (CMMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
Too many people tell you where the problem is, but shy away from recommending solutions. This is where Makoro™shines – we not only pinpoint the problem but also recommend solutions.
Makoro™ lets you take control of the proprietary data you collect from your line and your manufacturing process devices. You decide what you wish to share with the OEMs providing your equipment maintenance.
Sign up for a 10-Day Outcome Challenge to learn more about what Makoro™can do for your business.
May 12, 2021
Manufacturing is embarking on a data-driven revolution, but as with all transformations, realizing its full potential will take the right actions, both individually and collaboratively. Within a few years, manufacturers will collaborate in hyperconnected value networks where data and analytics technologies will drive competitiveness, new consumer experiences, and societal and environmental impact.
Indeed, data and analytics are critical to realizing the “Factory of the Future” because they allow transparency, prediction, and augmented and autonomous systems.
Already today, leading manufacturers are leveraging data and analytics to meet their performance, sustainability, and resilience goals. The imperative to increase efficiency and productivity is motivated by extreme cost pressures as well as liquidity concerns resulting from market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses prioritize sustainable operations – 79% have set a net-zero target, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey of over 1,700 manufacturing executives. Simultaneously, businesses are attempting to create more robust and connected supply chains in order to predict and react more quickly to disruptions.
The majority of businesses are aware that data and analytics are transforming the way they produce products. 81% of survey respondents report having introduced at least one data and analytics use case, and 72 percent report that the value of data and analytics has risen over the last three years.
Despite their lofty goals and compelling value propositions, businesses have yet to realize the full potential from their analytics initiatives. Currently, only 16% of manufacturing executives report that their business has derived value from data and analytics. While the majority of companies have deployed at least some use cases, only 37% have scaled applications outside particular areas of a factory.
One factor is the focus on data. That may sound like an oxymoron, and it is. The holistic purpose of what your business needs is lost when you focus too much on the data and how it should be made available.
Instead, Makoro™ focuses on the value that your data can deliver to your business. Specifically in terms of predictions, insights and recommendations, thereby providing companies with the agility and capacity to foresee. It helps in planning for changes in process efficiency, employee engagement, and asset performance.
This results in a rapid increase in decision-making continuity and transparency.
Leaders who adopt Makoro™ report an increase in operational agility between 21% and 35%.