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November 12, 2018

IIoT - Industrial Internetization - Impact on Organizational Structures

From Internetization of people, we have gradually moved towards Internetization of industry. For an industry, organization itself and its competition, both are in a state of flux, and getting reshaped dramatically with the evolution of IIoT Ecosystem. As an outcome of converting non-living products into intelligent, connected and communicating smart devices, a not so envisaged scenario of transformation of organizational and operational structure has automatically started. Organizational structures built over previous three industrial revolutions, have started crumbling with the dawn of 4th Industrial revolution. 

While change has been a norm across all organizations, manufacturing industry has received most lethal hit till date. As Jeff Immelt (GE CEO) pointed out way back that every industrial company must become a software company, and rightly so, massive transformation across manufacturing companies have already begun. Without focusing on external implications (Strategy, Competition, Industry structure and Industry Boundary) which the world of IIoT is bringing in the world of Industry, an observation of internal implications for an Industrial organizations bring following pattern very visible - 


 1. Classical model of manufacturing company being divided into departments like R&D, manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance & IT would give into new models where practice of periodic hands-off across departments would be replaced by continuous co-ordination across functions.

2. As a result of products becoming intelligent, relationship between organization with its products and its customers is becoming continuous and open ended now.

3. Data would drive decisions in place of whims and fancies of individuals.

4. Traditional centralized model of command & control of management would be challenged by rich data and real time feedback. 

       

       There are number of below mentioned noteworthy shifts providing enough indications on how the industrial companies would evolve and how their organizational structure would go through massive changes -

  1. IIoT driving pervasiveness of IT - IT has already started assuming more central role in R&D or Engineering activities which has been the work of core R&D department till now. With the need to embed IT hardware and software in the product itself to make it smart, IT has become pivotal to R&D activities. Only time will tell if we shall continue to have R&D and IT as two separate departments or one would be made responsible for other or vice versa. Truth is, need to create smart and communicating product has ensured that there will hardly be any R&D without IT anymore.
  2.  Industrial Dev-Ops - With product becoming intelligent and connected, there is a continuous feedback loop which has come into existence with products relaying all the key information to its creators. In order to understand, manage and drive value out of this communication loop, similar to Dev-Ops model of IT, Industrial companies are exploring collaboration mechanism between teams responsible for product development and product support/operations. Aim is to reduce product release cycle, to provide better customer services and to get and understand the actual on ground feedback on products through IIoT ecosystem. Concept of Digital Thread is a step in this direction only.
  3.  Data Organization - Data is the new oil of the economy and same holds true for and industrial company as well. With millions of sensors, IIoT ecosystem generating data at enormous speed and scale, getting strategic value out of the data would remain a big challenge. In view of this, there would be an effort towards creation of data specific entity responsible for collection, consolidation, analysis and bringing in the insight aspects of right data. Appointment of Chief Data Officer across organizations is a baby step in that direction itself.
  4.  Consumer Management - Smart connected products through IIoT ecosystem has the capability to drive and deliver the value in PAAS (Product as a Service) model. It would be imperative to monitor product usage and performance data to understand the value being provided to consumer and mechanism to improve this further. Traditional sales & service teams are not equipped to cater to this changing scenario. Would there be a separate group responsible for managing consumer relationship in the world of IIoT? Only time shall answer this question.

 

For an Industrial organization, it is a journey from 'here' to 'there'. Organizational structures efficiently catering to the world of IIoT are yet to come. Changes are huge, while skills are very limited. Whether the structure would involve setting up separate business units, or to answer the change through amalgamated cross functional mechanism, or through COE routes, organizational structures will change for sure.

In this new world of IIoT, things have started speaking between themselves, and, with us as well. Very often, things speak softly, but at times, so loudly that it is not only organizational structure which will be shaken to the core, it is possibly our societal structure itself which may start reshaping someday, because, IIoT is not an evolution, but a revolution. 

September 7, 2018

Address condition monitoring and predictive maintenance challenges in the Aerospace Industry with Krti 4.0

Let's begin this blog post with a story. A man wanted to learn how to swim. He began by speaking to a few people about it and reading a few books on swimming techniques before heading to the lake. But, there began his problem: While he practiced the motions and went through every movement and stroke he had read about and discussed, he was still unable to keep his body afloat. Frustrated, he looked around and saw a person enjoying a leisurely swim in the middle of the lake. He waited for the swimmer to come ashore and asked if he could teach him how to swim. Soon, with a few lessons, the man was swimming by himself in the lake.

 

The message of the story is: It is easier to learn from a practitioner than a theoretician. This approach applies to almost every scenario that requires individual knowledge coupled with the guidance of someone who has traversed the path to successfully accomplish something. Now, swimming may be a simple skill to learn and, in the story, the investments needed were time and money spent on a few interactions and purchasing the right books. But what if an enterprise wanted to enhance its operational efficiency at an organization level? Here, the investments would be much higher and the ROI would need to be well-defined.

 

Take the example of aerospace and defense, a technology and investment-intensive industry burdened by strict safety and regulatory requirements. This industry needs stringent quality and production measures for consistency, reliability and high performance. The success drivers for organizations in this industry are high product quality and operational efficiency. From a theoretical point of view, the following levers can help organizations achieve manufacturing and operational efficiencies:

 

  • Intelligent management of critical shop-floor assets such as time-sensitive raw-materials, kits, molds, tools, and the workforce
  • Sophisticated algorithms powered by AI and data analytics that suggest next steps by sending out context-aware alerts and recommendations

 

Much like the earlier story about swimming, these levers look great on paper. But, without alignment with a practitioner's perspective, these may be insufficient to achieve the desired goals. So, how does one find the practitioner's view? This is possible by accessing processes and frameworks developed by organizations that have already deployed reliable systems with assured performance along with data prediction and connectivity between assets to collect data. In fact, I think that could actually mean the difference between the success and failure of any transformation program.

 

Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance - A practitioner's view

 

KRTI 4.0 is an AI-based operational efficiency framework developed by Infosys and Pöyry by leveraging decades of industry experience working with global organizations. This framework enables aerospace OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to deploy a system that significantly enhances the reliability of operations and maintenance on the manufacturing shop floor. The KRTI 4.0 framework is unique because it leverages the different expertise areas and key operational experience of Infosys and Pöyry to provide a practitioner's view:

 

  • Pöyry specializes in reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety (RAMS) modeling and engineering design for different industrial processes. Its dynamic RAMS models are based on effective use of Industry 4.0 technology and backed by intense field knowledge of asset behavior
  • Infosys leverages its rich engineering experience gained by working with different aerospace OEMs as well as its knowledge of manufacturing practices to create knowledge, operational and maintenance models coupled with data analytics and AI-based resolutions. These models form the backbone of the KRTI 4.0 framework, providing condition-based and predictive maintenance at the shop floor level rather than at an individual system level.

 

As a framework, KRTI 4.0 differentiates itself from other condition monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions by offering a comprehensive shop floor-centric view based on reliability rather focusing on asset availability. This unique capability enables OEMs to schedule maintenance, resources and inventory based on reliability assessments. Moreover, decision makers gain a 360-degree view of risks associated with anomalies in terms of business, human and environmental safety.

 

Connect with us to get real-world guidance on how to improve the operational efficiency of your organization. 

August 7, 2018

Creating a Peer-To-Peer Connected World of Cars with Blockchain and IoT Synergy

 

Leading automotive giant, Toyota recently announced the development of a slew of proof of concepts on IoT and blockchain synergy. Toyota has leveraged blockchain technologies such as smart contracts, Ethereum based distributed ledgers, and data from IoT sensors in these proof of concepts.

By doing research and creating PoCs, Toyota and other original equipment manufacturers have developed ecosystems in which end consumers and enterprises can perform a number of functions in a secure manner. These include,


•Management of peer-to-peer ride sharing and car sharing transactions

•Storage of information on vehicle usage, which can be used in usage-based insurance

•Sharing of driving data to map road and traffic conditions

In this blog post, we discuss peer-to-peer ride and car sharing.

A car ride or share transactions is a use case to monetize cars by selling or sharing rides, and cargo space. It also includes leasing out of vehicles on a peer-to-peer basis without a centralized authority, such as a vehicle aggregator or rental agency.

This can be done by leveraging the advances in blockchain and IoT, and these advances have the potential to disrupt established players and replace their central trust systems with a blockchain-based distributed ledger and de-centralized systems.

Continue reading "Creating a Peer-To-Peer Connected World of Cars with Blockchain and IoT Synergy " »

July 26, 2018

Digital Transformation - Where are we headed?

Continue reading "Digital Transformation - Where are we headed?" »

July 18, 2018

Connected Cars - The Telematics Journey ahead....


The auto industry is going through rapid evolution. The need for speed and fuel efficiency, traverse all types of terrains, and navigate in increasing traffic is pushing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build vehicles with improved power, torque, and speed. As cars get built with increasing technological sophistication and intelligence, the core business of OEMs is shifting from car manufacturing to transportation.

The era of the connected car was launched in the 2000's when the first infotainment systems found their way onto car dashboards. The navigation display and entertainment audio systems got OEM's thinking beyond machines, and scrutinize the business of transportation - moving people and goods from one place to another. Transportation involves planning and execution of a journey. And planners are usually bombarded by a host of questions, which method of transport to choose? For instance, should it be by road, air, or water? If the mode of transportation is road then what vehicle should be chosen, car, bike, or bus? If the choice is the car, then the next question is on the route to be taken, what could the weather be, if it is snowing, then should the vehicle have winter tires, where will the vehicle be parked, when should the vehicle be refueled, where are the fuel stations and how far apart are they, and just some of the questions to be answered.


The rise of smartphones has enabled drivers to connect to the internet via tethering. Technologies such as MirrorLink, a device interoperability standard that offers integration between a smartphone and a car's infotainment system, have started making their way onto the car dashboards, and OEM's have now found a way of connecting the car to the rest of the world. OEM's, as well as Tier1 car companies, have started investing on building their own telematics platform. This is a comprehensive ecosystem of communication and consists of sensors, instrumentation, wireless communications, and more. As almost every industry begins to understand the potential of connected devices we are in a new era where IoT platforms are paving the way for M2M communication. BMW's Connected Drive, Audi Connect, Toyota's Touch 2 and Ford SYNC are a few prominent examples.


Most of the cars today use tethering connectivity through the phone to connect to the Internet. Few have already started on the next phase with inbuilt Wi-Fi.  Big OEM's are already working on Data Communication Modules, built for e-call and disaster recovery, and for telematic services such as remote diagnosis, infotainment gateway, and others. Market studies predict that by 2030 the connected car will expand revenue in the automotive industry by about 30 percent.


With the possibility of faster and dedicated internet connection within the car, and access to data becoming simpler, smartphone apps will have a key role in the future which will start shifting the automotive industry from vehicle manufacturing to transportation, and then on to mobility. This will lead to the emergence of new services,


Pre - Journey - Route planner, send2car, insurance - driver behavior, pay-as-you-go, dealer locators, rent-a-car, carpooling, calendar integration and more.


Journey - Maps, real-time traffic updates, weather updates, fuel station locators, parking garage, Point of interest , follow me, Over the air upgrade , voice recognized apps and services, find-my-car apps and more.


Post Journey - Trip analysis, social networking, share-the-trip, maintenance and service, service reminders, driver tips, etc.

Looking at these services we can expect connected cars to reshape the automotive industry and the business model for OEM's in unexpected ways. OEM's will longer be able to thrive by manufacturing the best cars but will need to plan on how to incorporate them into a highly connected world.

Continue reading "Connected Cars - The Telematics Journey ahead...." »

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