Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into business processes, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers.Its approach where you enable your industrial machinery (rather complete plant) talk to IT system for exchanging status, giving data about operations, health of machines and so on. We hear lot about digital transformation, and it has become crucial for industry as it helps to overcome previous challenges for businesses as there is lot of data locked in analog form. Once data is digitized, it can be analysed, and actionable insights can be shown to customer. It helps industry to streamline and optimize existing systems and generate new product for end customers.
Internet of Things (IOT) helps you to bring all such data into software systems. Introduction of IOT also changes your model on investment and expenditure. e.g., MRI machine can be become remote diagnostic subscription server. Industrial capacity becomes machine uptime subscription server so all such capital expenditures can be moved to operational budgets Digital transformation happens through following steps, and it is made possible by IOT
1. Start collecting data from IoT Devices e.g., sensors and industrial PLCs
This data can send information if machine is on, off, producing parts, energy required etc…
2. From above data, we start deriving information and it in turns provides efficiencies of operations etc… e.g., FFT calculation for condition monitoring
3. Process volumes of data from different sources at one place e.g., Cloud platform to capture and process data for further analytics. E.g., Equipment efficiency calculations are processed and kept in cloud infra.
4. Put these insights on Dashboard to take actions, for improving production environment, efficiencies, and time to mkt Predictive Maintenance is example – By knowing patterns that are causing breakdowns,predict defects, problematic mechanical issues. i.e., moving from Reactive to Proactive practices e.g., Car makers have telemetry data for diagnostics, subscription to engine performance data for manufactures helps them to improve Engine Design, Performance Digital Transformation using IOT Value chain is promising but also involves many players in end-to-end implementation
1. End device manufactures, all hardware/device manufactures who support south bound activities by providing devices, firmware or connectivity to existing PLCs in industry
2. Network Providers - Plays important role where bandwidth and reach are a challenge
3. Security Resources- Ensures your device data from source to Dashboard is secured and accessed and used by only intended users.
4. Developers - Core players in implementing required solution that results into desired outcome.
5. System Integrator- Team who takes up implementation challenge and involved in all above steps. (Takes end to end responsibilities)
6. Service Providers- All service providers who are responsible for infrastructure running apps, devices smoothly in all conditions.
Important Pillars –
During Digital transformation, IOT Solution resides on top of following pillars
1. Data – data gathered from all sources including devices, PLCs
2. APIs – Responsible for integrating IOT solution with existing on the premise or cloud based systems. This is important aspect as you always need master data from various systems to produce insights on dashboard.Also, you can expose your own data to outside world via this API system.
3. Ecosystem – Select right ecosystem that helps you to run, scale, recover during various scenarios.
4. Analytics – Layer responsible for processing large volume data produced by devices and returns right output for queries being thrown to it.
5. Security – Aspect covers all areas for securing end to end communication
6. Connectivity – ensures devices with different protocols are supported via this layer.To summarize it, depending on capabilities it is very important to select your role in IOT value chain, and skills to ensure you contribute effectively and provide best value to end customers.