As manufacturers integrate IT and operational technology (OT), they will rely on industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms dedicated to smart manufacturing to manage their devices, connectivity, infrastructure, and data; to implement applications; to derive insights; and to deliver those insights to the correct stakeholders. Every piece of software, infrastructure, or operating system that helps accomplish any one of these tasks calls itself a “platform.” No one IIoT firm can effectively deliver a true end-to-end platform, but when taken together, a combination of platforms can support both new modern factories and manufacturing quality management (MQM) in old legacy facilities.
IIoT suppliers must keep their platforms as open as possible to sustain growth. That means accepting data from as many sources and protocols as possible and building software that can communicate and work concurrently with partners’ platforms. Manufacturers will most likely try to minimize the number of partners with whom they share their data, but many experiment with multiple application enablement platforms (AEPs) on their IIoT journey. Device and application platform revenues for digital factories will reach US$17.6 billion by 2016.
There are major challenges facing today’s industrial market. It can no longer scale manufacturing operations using the same methods by adding more workforce, more shifts, expanding factory floors or dropping prices. Why? Because of global competition, lack of energy, insufficient labor pool, a convoluted supply chain and global sourcing environment, as well as high amounts of customization put pressure on tooling and reconfiguration. Furthermore, batch runs are getting smaller, thereby manufacturers are getting less lift out of every order. There are dire consequences if the same traditional methods are used: companywide layoffs across all levels as well as lack of innovation and relevancy. Furthermore, new manufacturing opportunities will be available to small-to-medium shops, which will be able to compete for more complex manufacturing jobs. To overcome these challenges, manufacturers need to first understand the technologies, invest in them as a key transformation agent and then digitize their operations to become more efficient and remain competitive 10-15 years from now.
ABI Research’s Industrial Solution encompasses 18 modules that are composed of the most compelling transformative technologies. Our solution’s main goal is to help companies digitize their operations, thus enabling them to become profitable by creating better quality products at lower costs, resulting in better margins and better competitive positioning.
All the modules will be released during the next 18 months from January 2019 to June 2020, and each one will include four main Research Deliverables that are released methodically, providing quantitative and qualitative reports so manufacturers have a clear strategic direction.
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