Most ‘global’ manufacturing companies are actually globally distributed local manufacturing hubs. While companies have been adopting new technology use cases, only a few of these translate to business benefits. For example, only 4% automation-related transformations impacted the bottom line for respective companies in the heavy industrials sector. However, the landscape is changing fast. Today’s supply chains are interconnected, and their underlying geographies are throwing more variables for businesses to account for. Beyond regulatory policies and international trade laws, black-swan events like the COVID-19 pandemic have brought out the real value of interconnectedness in manufacturing enterprises.
An opportunistic intervention from the CIO’s office can take a manufacturing enterprise from globally distributed to a globally interconnected digital manufacturing hub. Bottom-lines are strained, supply and demand spikes are sharpening, and losses are piling. A packaged IT-OT convergence solution that helps you align your business objectives with your core operations is the need of the hour. HCL’s Plant WorkBlaze does exactly that, by creating a synergy between people, systems, and processes with the right technologies in the manufacturing matrix to ensure business continuity
Streamlining core operations: the missing piece in the puzzle
Manufacturing enterprise technologies were created with divergent purposes: while the operational technology was usually deployed on premises to bring accuracy, efficiency and control to the production floor; the IT teams were focused on strengthening the service management platforms. As the industry matured further, ERP and PLM systems were deployed - and yet, most manufacturing companies could not orchestrate their production even after the lockdowns had eased. It is not a surprise then, that manufacturing was the most impacted sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where investments in siloed technologies have been made, the need for interconnectedness, and more importantly, convergence of IT and OT still remains. As a result, strategic responses lag behind actual market conditions, human resources continue to perform overlapping functions with similar end goals, processes remain divided, and the machinery disconnected from the real control box i.e. the demand function. Imagine an enterprise technology that sits at the intersection of enterprise IT and OT systems, with an AI-powered engine that leverages the right information from the right systems, and connects a cross-skilled team to orchestrate your enterprise functions end-to-end. Plant WorkBlaze is an AI powered solution that fills the missing piece in your enterprises’ puzzle.
Manufacturing 4.0 in action: key incentives for tomorrow’s manufacturers
Imagine that your manufacturing enterprise produces at four sites within a state, one of which is shut due to lockdown, or for critical maintenance. Can your enterprise fulfil a rapid spike in demand at the location of outage, and more importantly, resume production at the original location as soon as the outage is over? Sounds like yesterday’s problem, and yet, most manufacturing companies are struggling with such scenarios today.
HCL’s Plant WorkBlaze unifies your IT and OT systems and leverages cross-skilled teams to execute processes end-to-end, to eliminate overlapping roles and functions, and bringing complete control of your enterprise machinery and digital systems into one environment. Plant WorkBlaze taps into additional HCL capabilities to connect the production machinery through smart devices and sensors to edge servers that are ultimately connected to an instance of Plant WorkBlaze. Moreover, this digital system connects industrial data amalgamators, critical enterprise software like ERP and PLM systems, and plant IT systems together to create seamless workflows within persona-based interfaces.
This interconnected architecture leverages AI, IoT, edge computing and a resilient security infrastructure that safeguards both IT and OT systems from intrusions. Moreover, a persona-based approach to critical functions enables Plant WorkBlaze to implement resilient data-access protocols, simplified and seamless workflows, and superior employee experience, thereby making an all-round impact on your organization’s workforce productivity, experience, and security.
More importantly, Plant WorkBlaze also makes a significant impact on profitability, process efficiency and transformation efficiency. Here is how:
- Improved decision making: By using AI algorithms on data collected through the production floor, enterprise IT systems, weather data, and your e-marketplace, Plant WorkBlaze can measure moving metrics such as real-time product performance, rate of production, demand fluctuation, opportunity gaps, etc. IT teams can then capture this intelligence for the strategic management units to further enhance business continuity.
- Better orchestration: By leveraging additional HCL capabilities, manufacturing companies can turn their factories into smart, interconnected production floors. Plant WorkBlaze utilizes real-time metrics to enable digital control of your orchestration machinery, thereby empowering your teams with demand-driven automated production and manufacture-anywhere capabilities, etc. HCL’s WorkBlaze solution leverages cross-skilled teams and places end-to-end processes in the right digital workplaces.
- Service Management: Plant WorkBlaze is implemented after a careful collaborative process of defining user personas, building these personas, and creating a cross-skilled resource desk for maintenance and alert management. With AR capabilities, SME teams can provide support globally, retaining the element of human touch through a safe and more efficient channel. Additionally, pre-emptive resolution, failure prediction, and maintenance scheduling keeps your machinery ever-ready for turning demand spikes into profits.
- Cost-effective targeted transformation: With a proven engagement model, HCL can assist manufacturers of tomorrow to swiftly converge their IT and OT systems and human resources, while bringing the benefits of a scalable digital manufacturing powerhouse, ready for scalable IIoT innovations. What’s more, Plant WorkBlaze can turn your traditional support model into a 24*7 one, while reducing the costs by 30-40%.
How to get there faster?
The future of manufacturing is already here, but most companies lack the right talent, and often fail to define roadmaps for transformation while ensuring business continuity. HCL’s engagement model ensures that your solution is built in a ground-up fashion, while creating a milestone-driven top-down inter- and intra-organizational synergy stimulated by the right touchpoints. Thought leaders concur on the need for inter-departmental initiatives and conversations for optimizing the outcomes of an IT/OT convergence strategy. HCL takes this further, and packages the transformation into a collaborative define-build-run framework, that accelerates your enterprise towards being a digital workplace corresponding with the Manufacturing 4.0 paradigm. Take charge, and lead this revolution in your sector. Contact us to learn more about Plant WorkBlaze.