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Enhancing the Business Impact of the Industrial IoT With Digital Thread

What business impact does this innovation have on the product development and manufacturing lifecycle?
By Manu Tayal

Four High-Impact Digital Thread Use Cases Enabled By the IIoT
Although it might have taken a little time to catch on, the IIoT has made significant strides during the last couple of years, and we are now seeing an increase in adoption across varied industries. However, the introduction of digital thread carries with it the potential to significantly accelerate value creation and enhance the impact of IIoT implementations.

In my opinion, the best use cases for digital thread are as follows: enhancing product design and quality; improving parts, accessories and consumables supply chains; improving field service operations and predictive services; and enabling new business models, including product-as-a-service.

Enhancing Product Design and Quality
All the changes driven by technology have only resulted in a significant increase in customer expectations. The key to meeting these expectations is to optimize design-enhancement cycles and compare product quality in testing, versus when they are actually deployed in field conditions. The design and quality of products being shipped out of a plant can be drastically improved by corelating the data from the original design considerations with the data generated from end-of-line manufacturing, along with the health-check data gathered from the field.

The business impact of this could be the following: design optimized for product features for customer segments, continuous design improvement to improve device quality, lesser breakdowns in field devices, and reduced costs and improved efficiency of service operations.

Improving Parts, Accessories and Consumables Supply Chains
Having the best quality and design is still only half the battle. The focus then shifts toward the intricately complex world of supply chain and efficiently managing downstream revenue by effectively managing inventory, accessories and consumables across the value chain. The efficiency with which these requirements are fulfilled can be improved by correlating data about the inventory available at the warehouse with the current condition of products in the field.

The business impact of this could be the following: improved fulfilment process efficiency, reduced inventory management costs of parts and accessories, reduced cost of operations due to parts planning being conducted based on failure analysis, and reduced revenue leakage to grey market due to distribution partners' shipment of devices to other countries.

Improving Field Service Operations and Predictive Services
As efficient as your supply chain operations might be, end customers care predominantly about their own experience and the ease with which they can maintain a product. The IIoT provides the ability to redefine the experience of a customer in servicing the product by corelating the data across the stages of make, operate and service. This is made possible with real-time tracking and predicting product performance, as well as breakdown-preventive servicing and repair.

The business impact of this could be the following: improved SLA compliance based on maintenance contracts, including traceability to component level SLAs with vendors; proactive service enablement of installed products; less unscheduled downtime; improved product reliability and uptime; just-in-time maintenance and breakdown service; improved firsttime fix rates (FTFR); and a reduction in field visits leveraging remote diagnostics and improving the utilization of service engineers.

USER COMMENTS

anna smitish 2020-03-27 06:38:47 AM
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