Article

Transforming manufacturing operations with IoT

Transforming manufacturing operations with IoT
Published in
March 2017

The Azure IoT platform can be quickly deployed through easily adaptable preconfigured solutions for predictive maintenance, remote monitoring and stream analytics, allowing manufactures to rapidly arrive at proof of concept and scale to production.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

All factories of the future will be digital, intelligent and predictive factories. The increasing capabilities and decreasing cost of embedded sensors, and the availability of powerful analytics platforms give manufacturers the power to connect, collect, and act on data in ways that weren’t previously possible.

The age of the IIoT is already here. These new digital factories are using machine learning and predictive analytics powered by the cloud to warn of potential equipment failure, rather than having it fail and dealing with the consequences and downtime.

A sensor may identify a piece of equipment or machine part that’s performing poorly, and flag it for maintenance or replacement to take advantage of scheduled downtime. This could be, for example, the ability to predict a solder or component failure on a circuit board.

Taking advantage of such capabilities across all assets delivers a significant increase in yield, a decrease in the amount of scrap and re-work, and a reduction in manufacturing cycle time.

Integrated ERP

The more digital technologies are introduced, the more connections are created. The more connections created, the greater the amount of data generated. And as the volume of data grows, new and faster ways are needed to drive insight and actions, and easier ways to arrive at decisions.

To be able to realise the full value of collected data, manufacturers need the ability to contextualise data and integrate it into downstream process flows. An integrated ERP system is the key to unlocking the value of IIoT generated data.

The Microsoft Azure IoT Suite can connect asset telemetry and your shop floor manufacturing execution system (MES) with your ERP and CRM systems, integrating your production plan with new and existing devices and sensors.

Microsoft Azure IoT

Manufacturers can avoid the costs and problems of building, expanding, and maintaining their own data centres. ERP systems that harness the computing power, scalability, and rapid innovation of the cloud are the most effective and affordable way to take full advantage of IIoT and big data.

Microsoft have been working with companies such as Jabil, Fujitsu, NEC and ZEISS to transform the way they do business in the era of IIoT.

Jabil, one of the world’s leading design and manufacturing solution providers, operates two plants –  in Guadalajara, Mexico and Penang, Malaysia – with digital, intelligent and predictive systems that use Microsoft technology including Azure, Azure Machine Learning, Azure IoT Suite, the Cortana Intelligence Suite, Power BI, SQL Server, Windows 10 and Office 365.

Jabil’s solution, using Microsoft Azure services, analyses millions of data points from machines running dozens of steps through the manufacturing process, predicting failures earlier in the process. The accuracy rate has been at least 80 percent in the prediction of machine processes that will slow down or fail, contributing to a scrap and re-work savings of 17 percent, and an energy saving of 10 percent.

The Azure IoT platform can be quickly deployed through easily adaptable preconfigured solutions for predictive maintenance, remote monitoring and stream analytics, allowing manufactures to rapidly arrive at proof of concept and scale to production.

Written by
Simon Barrett

A native of London and a graduate in economics, Simon began his marketing and PR career in the music and film industries. Simon is fascinated by the compelling ideas that shape our future and communicates them with passion.