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18 March 2020

Lead the Technology-Disruption in the Manufacturing and Automotive Industries

Manufacturing industry is witnessing a new age technology disruption. With the advent of Smart Technology and Connected Smart Devices, the inanimate objects are becoming intelligent. The Smart Devices comprise of cost effective Embedded Technology and sensors, embedded in products. These intelligent objects interact with each other and also produce enormous data logs, which can be curated, transformed and analyzed. The analyses help in making intelligent inferences and can be used to further fuel a different set of inanimate objects. This ecosystem is termed the Internet of Things (IoT). The market has seen some first movers in the form of car and tyre manufacturers and also some telecom-based value added service providers, who have been prolific users of IoT data so far.

Data is termed the ‘crude oil’ or ‘gold ore’ of the future and even so more the data generated by Embedded Systems and Sensors, which is IoT data. Traditionally, industries have only been dealing with Customer data and Transactional data. But when it comes to IoT data, the scope becomes enormous. The point here is that ‘whosoever’ is in charge of this ‘IoT data to Smart Data’ value chain is veering towards a powerful position in the market.

In the given scenario, if the manufacturing unit focuses only on pure-play manufacturing, they will be just another ordinary manufacturer without any value-added offerings. Here a manufacturer can still gain an edge in the market by inculcating a few changes in the business governance and set the stage right for facing the technology-disruption and subsequent evolution. Some of the immediate business drivers are:
  • Partner with a solution integrator while delivering the business-as-usual
Instead of recreating the wheel, the manufacturers in partnership with solution integrators, can rope in the tricks-of-trade of a full-fledged over-the-top telecom service provider. The manufacturer thus can make an intelligent use of Smart Devices and deliver state-of-the-art technology to customers. With a holistic approach, the manufacturer can use visualization for the huge data generated by IoT solutions and deliver competitive value-added services.
  • Build Smart Devices that would ensure intelligent automation and smart self-governance
The manufacturer can design and build Smart Devices that result in intelligent automation. The Smart Device solutions can ensure smart self-governance for the end-user, thus creating an opportunity to save costs through Predictive Maintenance. For example: Predicting and prohibiting heavy machinery failure, anomalies in operations, trend or constant value drift in multi-variate scenarios, etc.

The crux of the matter is that the transition may not happen quickly. The change from a pure-play manufacturing set-up to a competitive value-added services model needs to be delivered gradually. This change has to be driven as a continuous Process Improvement project until the standalone manufacturing setup starts functioning as a hybrid manufacturing-cum-value-added services provider.

‘IoT to Smart Data’ value chain is bringing about a huge technology disruption in the Manufacturing and Automotive industries. The market is replete with telecom-based value-added service providers, who chose to enter the Manufacturing and Automotive market without any manufacturing product portfolio of their own. This has led to a power shift towards these value-added service providers changing the status of the manufacturers to just ‘a face in a crowd’. The Manufacturing and Automotive industries can still lead this Technology-disruption through a transition from being a pure-play manufacturing setup to a hybrid manufacturing-cum-value-added services setup, if not the first movers.

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