3 years ago

MDA Technologies 4/2016

MDA Technologies 4/2016

Competing for “the

Competing for “the most intelligent product” NEWS AND MARKETS In the not too distant future, there is likely to be a global or national competition for the title of “The Most Intelligent Product”. And here is a prediction about the winner – it will not be a smartphone, or a car and definitely not a refrigerator. In all likelihood it will be an industrial product like an agricultural machine, a transport robot, or a fleet of trucks that can interact thanks to swarm intelligence. There are two simple reasons for this. First, “intelligence” is not simply created by embedding microprocessors and sensors with software, connectivity and a link to cloud-based management systems. These are just the prerequisites. A product or device only becomes smart in the narrower sense of the term when it interacts autonomously, or on its own, with its environment. Thanks to sensor technology, many industrial applications can already do this better than “smart” phones or wearables, which only respond to their user’s input. Second, the market for intelligent products is already growing most strongly in industry. More than 1 in 2 IoT pioneers polled in a Cognizant/EIU study indicated that they are developing smart products in an industrial context. Indeed, a smart factory provides the ideal environment for intelligent products as almost all its components can be interconnected. It is not only machinery, transport vehicles and robots that can be smart products here, but also complete production lines and buildings which, for example, use sensors to record which workplaces are occupied and regulate lighting, heating and security systems accordingly. However, the most successful use of smart products does not just depend on an optimum technological infrastructure. Manufacturing companies wishing to sustainably change their value creation process through the use of smart products and transform them successfully into digital, platform-based business models should consider the following three fundamental principles. n Be open to change: What are the chances of survival for core products if they are offered without intelligence or smart components and utilization scenarios? Might customers already have requirements that could be met with a corresponding enhancement? Best-practice companies use smart products to design monitoring, management, optimization and automation on a continuous basis. In the optimum case, a product will fulfill several functions, or improve other working processes through information. n Start with small steps: A smart product like a shift-planning app may only change a small part of the production process, but it is ideally suited as a test bed for larger projects. If a physical product like a machine is involved as the starting point, it should always be assigned to its own virtual identity, for example in a cloud application that contains the interaction details of the product. This information can in turn be gradually integrated into open systems architectures and shared with third-party providers, customers or partners for further product enhancements and variants. n Extend your product ecosystem: Billions of objects and services will be integrated into the IoT/IIoT in the coming years. It is therefore highly likely that customers, partners and suppliers are already working on smart products, or even already have them. It is essential for businesses to be a part of this network. The central challenges in networking beyond the boundaries of a factory or company consist of creating synergies for customers using new models of cooperation and application scenarios and, at the same time, optimizing internal processes and cost structures. It is further possible to reduce e.g. development costs and time to market when shared “data labs” are established with customers and partners as experimental fields for enhancing products and business models. In particular, manufacturing companies should not put off the development of smart products to the near or far future, but instead start the process today in order to transform existing production lines into modular and efficient manufacturing systems. It is worth entering the global competition for the most intelligent product for this purpose alone. Photographs: ROI Management Consulting AG Hans-Georg Scheibe, member of the Management Board of ROI Management Consulting AG in Munich and professional for operational excellence issues, supply chain management and manufacturing MDA Technologies 4/2016

Worldwide News “Sommer-automatic” Brand transferred to Zimmer Group Umbrella Brand The Sommer-automatic brand for gripper, mechanical handling and robot components by the Zimmer Group has been discontinued. The products will, however, still be available under the company’s umbrella brand. This change is just one of a series of strategic decisions taken by the company and is part of an internal restructuring process. The transition to the umbrella brand also represents the transition to Industry 4.0. Components that used to be purely mechanical are now being equipped with sensors and control units, pneumatic drives are being replaced with electric ones, and mechatronic components are now being implemented instead of pure mechanical solutions. All the data, that is generated, is transferred to central control systems via bus systems. The evaluation of this data is expected to generate new possibilities to control production processes. A player emerges in the mechanical drive technology market Drive technology specialists David Brown and Santasalo have been trading under the name of David Brown Santasalo since June 1, 2016. This new player on the market has over 1,000 employees on four continents, seven major production sites and 23 servicing locations. Customers come from all areas of industry for raw materials processing, marine, armaments, power and industrial production. CEO of David Brown Santasalo, Thomas Burley aims to invest in product lines for strategically Better protection EAS ® -Compact ® The airbag for your machine Visit us: PTC ASIA 2016 Shanghai Hall E1/Booth A3 EAS ® -torque limiters important regions and continued training qualifications for their employees in future. The investor Clyde Blowers Capital has already invested in the company in the past in production lines, product development and the expansion of service sites and plans to do so further according to their own statements. • protect reliably against expensive overload damages. • save costs and increase the productivity. • separate input and output in case of overload in milliseconds. • re-engage automatically. Attention! Never without an airbag for the machine. Use only EAS ® -torque limiting clutches. D-87665 Mauerstetten,, Tel.: +49 (0) 8341/8040 your reliable partner