The IoT era is connecting not only devices, but also businesses. To remain competitive, equipment manufacturers, operators and service partners should connect business processes and IT systems.
In the future, the entire lifecycle will be managed via the cloud. Indeed, to leverage connected machines and devices, all parties require access to the data they produce – as the following example shows.
Connecting Machines, IT, and Partners
Mechanical engineering companies manufacture wind turbines, their customers operate the machines at their offshore wind farms, and service providers maintain them. This is nothing new. However, thanks to the IoT, turbines today are fitted with sensors that send continuous status updates to the operator. Alone, this adds little value. The real benefit comes from a central platform to capture data and feed it to the manufacturer, maintenance provider and operator. Data is collected from every turbine in the wind park, as well as from individual components – including rotor blades, for example.
The operator can use data captured by the rotor blade’s sensor and through inspections to manage the wind farm more efficiently. The manufacturer receives the data from the wind farm. He uses the information to make engineering changes and optimize the wind turbines. He then relays this information back to the operator. Furthermore, service providers can use the data to carry out predictive maintenance. This completely new form of collaboration benefits everyone involved.
How do smart networks function in the Internet of Things? We can answer your questions.
Clearly Defined Standards are Vital
The problem is that many manufacturers of industrial machines have identified the general trend and are developing individual IT platforms to connect to business partners. This results in fragmented environments with countless interfaces and a high degree of redundancy – all of which are negatively affect the IoT. In the manufacturing industry, all parties involved in a product’s life cycle require a standard platform that can integrate data from different external sources.
The SAP Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) is a prime example. Users do not require their own SAP systems to share data over this cloud platform. SAP itself operates the AIN open architecture, which is accessible to anyone involved, including importers, distributors, and end users. Such platforms are particularly important in helping manufacturers remain competitive.
Identifying Shared Added Value
IoT-based strategies should add value for all concerned, which means careful planning is crucial. What data should be shared and what are the advantages of sharing it? Which processes are the most cost efficient? What business models is it possible to achieve? Everyone involved should be asking these questions, but there is no single answer. Talk to our experts about the IoT’s potential, and we will help you plan a strategy that benefits you and your customers. Please contact us for more information.
-Wolfgang Möller, Global Director at Discrete Industries, itelligence AG –