Digital transformation offers OEMS new ways to win business
Digital transformation offers OEMs new opportunities to develop their value proposition and competitive advantage to win new orders. Several new trends are converging that make digital transformation both affordable and scalable. Now is the time for OEMs to rethink both products and services and leveraging the benefits of digitisation.
Most OEMs have succeeded in optimising their mechanical designs through more powerful electrical equipment and drives as well as CPU-driven PLCs. However, according to Schneider Electric, there is still potential to streamline the design, build, and support processes. The following trends represent the key enablers:
Today almost every automation product (from a sensor, to a drive, to a controller) is connectable. “Connected” implies a machine or a device that can link to the cloud. Edge control and gateways make it easy to connect machines with very limited effort. Also, built-in cybersecurity capabilities help to reduce the threat of cyber security risk.
Mobile devices allow access to machines and plants from anywhere at any time. 5G, offering high capacity, flexible and low-latency wireless networks with support new services. New technologies like augmented reality will make it simpler and more cost effective to support machines both on and off site.
Cloud data centres store the vast amount of data collected by smart machines at a very low cost. Access to more data enables directed and precise analysis via information dashboards which help drive faster, more accurate business decisions.
AI and Analytics
Analytics leverage data to identify improvements, gaps and problems, and to increase process efficiency. AI analytic capabilities also allow OEMs to adopt related artificial intelligence and predictive models to improve the performance of their machines
Powerful algorithms identify asset issues of the monitored machines. Learning algorithms begin with data taken from of a reference machine with optimal behaviour. When the data start to deviate from optimal, this can be an early sign of failure. Results appear in the form of case notifications for review and actions.
Measured data can be then assessed to predict the future behaviour of the machine. The more machine data gathered, the more reliable, precise, and powerful the prediction. For OEMs this could mean less time invested in building physical models to perform simulations. Using analytics software can notify support personnel, giving operations plant more time to react to reduce unplanned downtime.
Open platform supports digital transformation
New digitisation technologies are mature and ready to deploy in field situations and create new busines models. Cost of entry is low for OEMs willing to invest as a framework already exists for linking the technologies. Schneider Electric EcoStruxure connects and integrates digitalised products in an open fashion, enabling new OEM productivity gains and end user support services. Those OEMs who manage the digital transformation earlier rather than later will position themselves for scalable growth and soon differentiate themselves from their competitors.
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