Data evolution, innovations provide new solutions for companies, workers
The focus for industries today is an outcome-based, services-based world, according to Çağlayan Arkan, GM Worldwide Manufacturing and Resources, Microsoft in his presentation "Reimagining the Enterprise in the Digital Age" at the 2015 Schneider Electric Software User Conference in Chicago on Oct. 20. Data collection needs to move beyond just collection and move to better analyses and decisions, he suggested. Data compliance, security, privacy, and control can help improve manufacturing operations.
Arkan said that today’s technology solutions require integration and capacity building, and that is a work in progress. And it always will be, regardless of how advanced technology becomes. There’s always room for improvement. Arkan said that it is imperative to continue to strive for improvement because customers are looking for more integrated and efficient solutions. Integration and efficiency are particularly important when it comes to data.
Arkan said that data use has been going through a lot of evolution over the decades. It used to be that data was based on premise and was structured. Then it became personal and unstructured in the new era with the Internet. Now, he said, with virtually unlimited computer data and augmented machine learning, the era of systems of intelligence has begun, which will enable new outcomes.
Innovations in technology are already transforming how we receive data. Arkan highlighted the Internet of Things (IoT) and speech recognition technology as some of the industry innovations happening right now. These developments will lead to enhancements in machine learning, holographic computing, and 3-D technology. And these innovations will provide new ways to visualize, process, and use the data whether it’s big, small, or complex.
However, these new developments and innovations are dependent on the human element. "The data is only as good as the actions you take on them," Arkan said. "And they’re only as good as the outcomes that are delivered."
This technology, he said, is only useful if the basis is right, which comes down to trust. "Trust is about meeting compliance, providing security, and providing privacy and control. Your data is your data."
Arkan said that those involved in enterprises are reimagining their businesses and reshaping industries as a result of these innovations and developments. Some of the enhancements Arkan discussed were using the IoT and the cloud and advanced analytics to manage quality, efficiency, and energy costs while improving performance.
Collaborative robots, cloud
In manufacturing, Arkan said that collaborative robots are going to have a major impact in making operations more efficient and safer. Robots are getting lighter, smarter, and able to work on very sensitive projects thanks to more joints and more movements. From a programming standpoint, companies are enhancing intelligent industrial robots with IoT services. Use of services allows companies to streamline data to the cloud and proactively engage workers. It also makes robots more intelligent by linking them to one network. "Once one robot learns one thing, all the other robots will learn the same thing," Arkan said.
Current changes in manufacturing are having a profound impact in perception and in practice, Arkan said. Companies and industries are already jumping onboard, particularly with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0. "Industry 4.0 will change manufacturing forever," Arkan said. "It is truly a revolution, and it is already happening."
– Chris Vavra is production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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