The Record Issue 11: Winter 2018

80 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F E ATUR E V I EWPO I NT Meeting technology goals Manufacturers need to know how to integrate disruptive technologies into the company without completely disrupting it, says Michael Kanellos of OSIsoft To realise the value of new technology, companies should determine clear goals and take inventory of what they are already doing in this regard. Many companies already collect the raw material for analytics – machine data from operations – but aren’t using it as extensively as they could. Companies need a datacentre or cloud services and a data management/infrastructure layer that captures and organises machine data so people can act on it quickly. One customer identified a wind turbine problem through the OSIsoft PI System early to cut repair costs by 90%. Analytics can go on top of the data layer, mining its structured data for more answers. A data management system like OSIsoft’s can spot problems hours to days in advance. Analytics can provide predictions weeks or even months in advance. The two systems are complimentary. Finally, manufacturers need wireless protocols like WiFi and SigFox. OSIsoft provides the most widely deployed internet of things (IoT) analytics and information management platform, the PI System. It is broadly implemented in process and discrete manufacturing, energy, utilities, pharma, life sciences, transportation and facility management organisations. The time series data managed in the PI System is leveraged by virtually all IoT analytics platforms for machine learning-based predictive analytics. Michael Kanellos is IoT analyst at OSIsoft V I EWPO I NT Building blocks for competitive advantage A holistic approach to modularity delivers real competitive advantage for manufacturers, says Mahesh Deshpande of Dassault Systèmes Customers expect manufacturers to provide an increasingly vast range of product variants, along with higher quality at less cost and rapid delivery. As companies continue their journey towards holistic modularity, they can gain competitive advantage in one or more of the key axes to meet those demands: speed, cost and differentiation. Reuse and standardisation of modules – with shared visibility into what is available to reuse – enables manufacturers to achieve greater speed by significantly reducing development cycle times. On the marketing and sell side, they can substantially reduce delivery and customer lead times because they have all the insights they need into which building blocks they can keep together to serve those ends. These insights can also be used to gain significant advantage on cost elements, such as the cost of materials and assembly. As product systems become more complex, including electronics and software components in what used to be pure hardware, differentiation can be a challenge. But with end-to-end modularity, companies can shield the complexity of product systems, creating modules and interfaces that can be combined to deliver technological and customer experience innovation – achieving significant differentiation. Each company might start from a different point, depending on its unique needs. Some will start with the cost structure because their operating margins are critical, for example, while others will focus on differentiation. Being able to do that can itself bring competitive advantage. Mahesh Deshpande is senior director and High Tech Industry business consultant at Dassault Systèmes