What are Smart Manufacturing Services?

October 07, 2021 by Stefanini

Discover how Smart Manufacturing Services can help overcome the challenges associated with digital transformation while sustaining industry 4.0 value.

Smart Manufacturing Defined

Smart Manufacturing can be understood as the combination of existing and modern technologies with standards that work to create hyperflexible, self-adapting manufacturing capabilities. Key smart manufacturing technologies include big data analytics, internet connected machines through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), process virtualization with digital twins, improved worker safety and automation with advanced robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) assisted process analytics, additive manufacturing, machine learning, and more.

Smart Manufacturing Defined and its key technologies

The enhanced levels of real-time information that can be shared internally and with suppliers during and across the manufacturing process creates a whole new level of “visibility” throughout the supply chain. These modern capabilities have transformed how the factory floor operates and in particular small manufactures, retail customers, OEMs and business-to-business customers will all have to face this integration of OT and IT to stay a valued part of the supply chain as an integrated partner.
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4 Types of Smart Manufacturing Services

There are many forms of Smart manufacturing services. Our solution portfolio offers 4 approaches that initiate Digital Transformation and sustain value over time:

Types of manufacturing services

1. Consultative Solutions - Enabling Digital Transformation

The benefits of industry 4.0 technology are not one-size fits all and some manufactures may not know where to start. Before trying to simply purchase new technologies, a consultative approach helps manufactures describe the problems their factory is facing while defining a digital solution. This is made possible by bringing in experts who take a big picture view of your operations and then work to design and engineer a digital transformation roadmap.

Whether digitizing manufacturing processes, implementing open innovation strategies that apply a proven innovation process, working with outcome-based KPI improvements, or partnering with us a Digital Transformation agent, our Customized Solutions help manufactures in making their smart factory roadmap a reality.

2. Specialized Solutions – Resolving Industry Specific Problems

While each production line faces unique problems, there are major challenges familiar to industrial settings. Our Specialized Solutions are designed to address existent challenges with configurable and flexible services. These solutions can create more robust tracking for assets and orders across production, translate a large amount of data into real-time performance insights, streamline value chain sustaining logistical processes, all while eliminating waste associated with misplaced inventory, Non-Technical Losses (NTL), or equipment failure

3. Live Performance - Operational Technology Service Management (OTSM)

Similar to the value sustaining IT support services seen in ITSM, our Live Performance or OTSM solutions offer service packages designed to help manufactures sustain operations. The diversity of the IIoT devices and sensors enable manufactures to redefine how they track performance, automate processes, and predict maintenance schedules. This strong methodology sustains value by employing remote monitoring and field services to ensure process reliability that keeps industry 4.0 tech performing at expected levels.

4. Prepackaged Solutions – Subscription-Based Self-Service

These Off-the-Shelf-Ready prepackaged solutions provide a swift means of accessing and accelerating Industry 4.0 benefits:

  • Quarterback acts as an industrial use smart data router software that creates the most efficient data flow between manufacturing systems.  Manufactures often have siloed information that arrives at a control room. Quarterback works to coordinate data flows and bring disparate data to a single source allowing for robust data transfer.
  • Pandora Box serves as an automated system for non-data scientists that leverages advanced analytics to gain actionable insights. This application allows manufactures to evaluate the predictive potential of an industrial problem in minutes while using process data to define which projects will yield the best results.

Benefits of Smart Manufacturing Services

Our Smart Manufacturing products and services are designed to directly address industrial sector pain points. Here are several highlights of the benefit our solutions can provide to manufacturers:

  • Identify Pain Points and Transformation Roadblocks: Often, the most challenging step for manufacturers looking to implement Digital Transformation initiatives is understanding where to begin. Our services connect you with experts who co-create a transformation roadmap that begins with your factory’s digital maturity level. We work with our clients to define challenges while implementing sustainable practices that increase production asset reliability at scale.
  • Overcome Equipment Obsolescence: As new technologies flood the market it becomes painfully apparent how quickly manufacturing equipment can become outdated. Our services help identify what improvements will lead to best outcomes and ensures that your production line will perform at desired levels.
  • Minimize Waste Associated with Logistical Planning and Misplaced Inventory: Leveraging connected digital tools, our smart manufacturing portfolio revolutionizes plant logistics by creating a real-time communication network with automated processes hat eliminate downtime. And IIoT sensors provide real-time tracking for inventory placement.
  • Enhanced Process Visibility: Whether in need of a new process control systems or robust alarm protocols, we can you bring information from various control panels and create a single panel view. Our services heighten process visibility and ensure greater reliability.
  • Eliminate Downtime with Real-Time Monitoring Services: With options for both onsite maintenance needs and specialist supervision, our field and remote services ensure that plant operations remain stable. Likewise, our robust alarm management systems help identify potential signs of equipment failure in order to create predictive maintenance schedules.
  • Ensure Endpoint Security: As more and more manufacturers leverage network connected devices and sensors the risk of cybersecurity threats increases as well. We work to keep threats out of your network and ensure that connected endpoints remain secure.

The Challenge of Building Smart Factories

Industry 4.0 technologies have been available for nearly 10 years and have resulted in the transformation in the industrial sector on a global scale. Despite this, according to a recent Forrester Report, while more than 90% of manufacturing decision-makers believe that digital transformation is important to their organization’s success, only 12% say that they have delivered digital transformation programs across their business.

This can in large part be understood by the difficulty for manufacturers in enabling Digital Transformation. Poor integration between legacy systems and digital technologies, or IT/OT convergence, can lead to slow downs and can become a hindrance to the very benefits this technology promises. Further, a recent Gartner report states, “By 2025, three out of five manufacturers’ smart factory initiatives will stall from a lack of supply chain integration.”

Achieving the desired transformation is not the result a single sudden change, but is instead achieved through agile sprints where new technology and changes in culture are implemented and evaluated against long term benchmarks. The same Gartner report suggests that determining which use cases are most suitable to your enterprise, and by partnering with both autonomous things ecosystem providers and broader IT/OT services companies, manufacturers can, “Bridge the skills and experience gaps that currently exist in most manufacturing organizations.”

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Enhance Smart Manufacturing Capabilities with Stefanini

Developing smart manufacturing capabilities requires a careful examination of the existing components and features that make a production line successful.

Our team of experts will examine your processes and use their knowledge to find the technology that meets the unique concerns of any production line.

Ready to get started? Contact us today to speak with an expert!

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