Why digitalization is important for machine builders?.
By Poul Kristensen
Demands are changing in the industry where we need to produce more with less and, on top of that, produce with a high focus on the environmental concerns in small-lot production. When including the UN Sustainable Development Goals into this equation many machine builders are looking into a big challenge and change in their traditional mindset.
How to start digitalization
Digitalization can help our machine builders to overcome some of these challenges and to meet the demands of tomorrow.
An interesting article in MachineDesign.com explains how the use of IIoT can help machine builders start the digital journey. The machines and skids we are building today are to a wide extend well equipped with a lot of data in which we can harvest and use to build digital twins that have a direct impact on the environmental concern directly addressing design, commission and running-in but also addresses the requirement of small-lot production where you can test scenarios instead of building mockups which you will destroy and throw out after use.
The data strategy is a must
The challenge in IIoT is not to implement data into the factories or machines but to define a strategy on why and how you want to use the data. The article gives some examples of why you should use the data from IIoT components but what I often meet when discussing with machine builders is the concern on “how”. Getting and harvesting data from machines in production facilities are often met with a lot of questions in terms of security, intellect properties etc. This is where an IT/OT strategy is key to be successful.
There is no need to be intimidated by all the new trends and demands. You need to embrace the challenges of digitalization and meet them with curiosity. It is important for machine builders to start the digital journey and the best way of starting the journey is to define a strategy answering, “How does this fit into my business?” and “What do I want to achieve?”. Once answered these questions the tools are available for you to take the need steps in the journey to be more productive, produce more with less and improve the environmental footprint.