From a business point of view, internal and external manufacturing competition brings intense pressure to improve yield, quality, margin, sustainability. Historically tight CapEx budgets give way to need for re-investment for efficiency, consistency, and flexibility, and our clients struggle to leverage their global footprint due to disparate collection of machinery, systems, and processes caused by acquisitions and consolidation. Continuous improvement efforts have been hampered by the inability to harvest insights from dark data, both within and external to the plant.
Issues abound on the technology side as well. Multi-vendor control systems situated across plants and limited technical resources within plants reduce integration potential and increase support costs. As if that weren’t enough, isolated ERP, control, and energy management systems fail to leverage synergies that could deliver richer, high-value analytics. 1970-vintage alert mechanisms on factory floor extend downtimes, miss failure prevention opportunities. And manually captured data from line operations leads to gaps, inconsistencies, inaccurate analyses.