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How do I build a smart, connected enterprise from scratch?

It’s a question you and many other manufacturers often have before embarking on a digital transformation. You may wonder whether you have the resources, budget, or time to connect your entire enterprise.

Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to begin benefiting from Industry 4.0.  Attendees at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 will see how they can connect key parts of their organization using a phased approach to digital transformation.

It’s a process that doesn’t have to begin with a bang.

Incremental improvements, beginning with plant-floor connectivity, can yield significant results. This includes greater operational efficiencies and less downtime related to equipment failures. The key enabling tool is a cloud platform that integrates different business functions using built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

OpenWorld attendees will have access to an industry 4.0 demonstration area showing a robotic factory environment with interactive demonstration pods where they can view these technologies in action. They’ll also have an opportunity to attend breakout sessions that focus on various topics related to implementing Industry 4.0 in discrete manufacturing environments.

A Phased Approach to Industry 4.0

The first breakout session will help manufacturers understand how they can take the initial steps toward digital transformation. The session, called Achieving the Vision of Industry 4.0 One Step at a Time [GEN6492], will focus on how to adopt Industry 4.0 incrementally. Representatives from Cisco, Mazda, Noble Plastics, Infosys, and Cohu, Inc. will discuss what they are doing to transform their businesses and prepare for the future. At this session, an Industry 4.0 maturity model will be discussed to help you regardless of where you are on your path. If case you are just getting started, you will see a live feed from a factory showing how Noble Plastics is using IoT to enable 24/7 manufacturing. For those already connected, you will see how Oracle AI can help you to predict and resolve manufacturing issues. For those somewhere in the middle, you will hear about automated execution, model based engineering, and other ways of transforming your business one step at a time!

You can realize many quick wins by simply connecting your plant-level devices to the cloud. It’s typically the first step for companies that haven’t adopted any IoT technologies. Sensor-based data delivered to the cloud can help you understand how your machines are performing and provide the key production data you need to adjust your operations accordingly. At this stage, your organization will begin to see how actions on the plant floor impact actual results.

Having this information is critical for manufacturers focused on continuous-improvement initiatives, such as lean manufacturing. Another breakout session, called Lean Manufacturing for the Cloud [BUS6495], will demonstrate how scalable, flexible cloud solutions can help manufacturers in their lean journeys.

Once you have basic connectivity, you can begin tying information from your ERP systems to IoT data to dig deeper into performance issues. For example, you might identify a particular production problem, such as a defect, and be able to link a single part to a specific supplier. This detailed level of information helps you work with suppliers to identify or correct issues and make better purchasing decisions in the future.

As your IoT capabilities mature, you can begin extending connectivity to your field service operations. Imagine being able to automatically generate work orders as soon as a maintenance issue arises. Field service workers can address problems faster because they’re not relying on manually written work orders.

Each stage along the journey generates new wins, and you will begin to see a true transformation taking shape. 

In the later stages, you will begin applying machine learning and advanced analytics to predict outcomes, such as machine failures, or supply chain planning. This process is more complex, but it’s where you will achieve the most significant benefits.


The Digital Thread Delivers Results

At this point you have established a digital thread that links data from every function across the organization, from engineering to the plant floor—all the way through the supply chain and out to the field. It’s a key characteristic of a truly connected enterprise.

This is where some of the more dramatic wins are possible, and we’ll discuss how Industry 4.0 can play a key role in developing future business strategies during a breakout session called Integrated Business Planning for Manufacturing – Mission Possible [BUS6529].

Future strategies may include how you service your customers. For example, in the demonstration area we’ll show how a manufacturer can monitor asset usage to automatically replenish raw materials. Usage or condition monitoring allows you to fill orders as needed rather than replenishing material based on a set schedule. This helps to optimize your inventory investment by having the right materials at the right place at the right time.

Specific to manufacturing, will see how the expanding Oracle manufacturing eco-system is enabling industry 4.0 with live connected robotic and controller demonstrations featuring Bosch Rexroth, Mitsubishi, and Fanuc.  Included in the Industry 4.0 demonstration area, you will also see IoT enabled digital twin models and engineering collaboration from Anark. Expanding into the supply chain, you will see how integrated business planning and various blockchain use cases, including track and trace and supply chain transparency, can help to transform your business.    

This Industry 4.0 digital thread can also help you understand how your products are performing in the market. The engineering team can use customer-usage and product-performance data to tweak product designs. Design teams are no longer relying on word-of-mouth or lengthy paper-based reports to make critical decisions. They have intelligent, sensor-fed information so they can respond to market changes faster and reduce their time to market. Your entire organization is working together through a common, cloud-enabled thread that leads to greater productivity, improved service, and a competitive edge in the marketplace.

If you’re still uncertain on how to get started, join us Oct. 22-25 in San Francisco at OpenWorld to gain a first-hand experience of a digital transformation. 

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