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Great Examples of Transformed Manufacturing with Big Data

From the first industrial revolution which was launched by the user of power and steam, followed by the second and third one powered by electricity and computers, we are now entering the fourth industrial revolution called Industry 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing. Industrial manufacturers are taking advantage of digitization and exploring new business models, operating models, investments, and partnerships.

Today, the manufacturing industry is leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as Big Data, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence to make the assembly line more efficient and to solve some of the complex supply chain problems.

According to McKinsey & Co., Big Data is worth more than tens of billions of dollars for the manufacturing industry.

Let us take a look at some of the forward-thinking companies that have transformed their productivity and efficiency with the help of big data.

Enhance Production Process

A biopharmaceutical company was tracking over 200 variables to measure the quality and purity of its manufacturing process for vaccines. They needed to maintain strict compliance with the regulatory laws. When two batches of the same substance showed a variation of 50 to 100 percent, despite being manufactured using the same processes, the company decided to take help of big data to identify the issue. With big data analytics, the company evaluated various processes and their interdependencies. Through a detailed analysis, the company was able to identify close to ten processes which were impacting the vaccine. By doing modifications in those processes, the company was able to not only increase the production rate but also saved millions of dollars.

Identify Bottlenecks

A leading steel producer leveraged big data analytics to identify areas of improvement across its value chain. Using big data and a Monte Carlo simulation, the company ran several complex simulations to develop the process of steel producing. The simulations helped them identify a few unknown bottlenecks and possible areas of improvement. It also led to a decreased requirement of the raw material. After improving the availability of the raw material and removing the bottlenecks, the company witnessed a 20% increase in the total throughput. The improvement opportunities were worth more than $200 million a year!

Accurately Forecast Demand

In old days, the music industry could predict the music demand simply by looking at the purchase history and patterns. However, today, they need to consider the real-time demand of the customers and the fluid market conditions. World famous record label EMI has successfully turned their business around using big data.  With the help of big data analytics, the record label tapped into the listening patterns of online customers to know which music is resonating with the customers in which area.

Enhance Dealership Performance

General Motors, one of the world’s leading vehicle and vehicle parts manufacturers, widely uses the geographic information system along with data analytics to enhance the performance of its more than 4500 dealers around the globe. With the help of the analytics, dealers can understand the regional differences and characteristics of a particular location – all such information helps them understand the exact requirements of the customers. Using these metrics, GM is able to predicting the performance of a specific dealer.

Industrie 4.0, a German government initiative, promotes the potential automation of manufacturing industry. The initiative is helping manufacturers use big data to optimize the production schedule based on the availability of the machine, customer, and supplier.

Manufacturing is undoubtedly getting smart. Big data is becoming an integral part of the manufacturing sector and is transforming the industry by making the companies profitable, sustainable, and efficient. Big data is aiding the organizations to streamline their process, which is helping them align to Six-Sigma standards. The companies which fail to leverage its effectiveness are unable to spur operational excellence. The outcomes of using big data are indeed lucrative for the manufacturing sector. It, therefore, does not come as a surprise that business leaders in manufacturing are increasing their investments in big data analytics and IoT technologies. A new report from Honeywell shows that as many as 67% of manufacturers investing in big data and industrial IoT! Clearly – smart manufacturing has arrived.

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