Prepare yourself for cognitive manufacturing

By | 2 minute read | June 7, 2017

An emerging group of manufacturers is integrating analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cognitive computing with production to increase flexibility, speed and quality.  Early adopters of cognitive manufacturing are both moving aggressively to implement new technologies, and importantly, using a strategy to guide their efforts.

Figure 1: Cognitive Maturity, IBM Institute of Business Value

Figure 1: Cognitive Maturity, IBM Institute of Business Value

Many organizations are experiencing a cognitive transformation now. According to research from the IBM Institute of Business Value, between 2017 and 2020, electronics companies, as an example, see themselves transitioning from establishing a technical foundation to enabling insight and optimization capabilities.

Technologies that make up the cognitive manufacturing stack

Cognitive manufacturing is enabled through seven core technologies that work together through a cloud platform:

1. Mobile Technology: designing mobility into strategies, processes and procedures to enable better communication, collaboration and responsiveness to customer deadlines. This could be in the form of mobile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems or applications to improve transparency in the order management process.

2. Big Data Analytics: utilize data to answer nearly every operational question including tracking of product quality or defects, monitoring supplier performance data, testing and simulating new manufacturing processes, etc.

3. Predictive Analytics: enable manufacturers to make better use of assets and equipment, and prevent failures, by analyzing key trends such as historical data, weather patterns, age, and maintenance history

4. Industrial Internet of Things: we’ve all heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it enables a connected enterprise by utilizing sensors and machine to machine communication.  The IIoT is simply the use of IoT in manufacturing. Connected machines are better than humans at accurately, consistently capturing and communicating data. This data can enable companies to pick up on issues sooner, saving time, money and supporting sound decision-making.

5. Cognitive ComputingAs more factories and equipment are instrumented with IoT, data volume will only grow larger. Conventional computing will struggle to scale with the large influx of data and the complexity of the analytics. Computing must become cognitive to process, analyze, and optimize the information.

6. Collaboration: enables members of a supply chain team to work together to design, build, market and deploy products and services via technology that brings teams together in a virtual space.

7. Augmented Reality: technology that allows an IoT-enabled part to actually show you what is wrong with it or retrieve required information from it’s back-end systems.

In the electronics industry, we see that the companies are in various stages of implementation, with the majority already piloting mobile technology, collaboration, and big data technologies.

Figure 2. Adoption of technologies in the cognitive manufacturing stack

Figure 2. Adoption of technologies in the cognitive manufacturing stack

Digital transformation and the adoption of cognitive manufacturing

The next big thing in manufacturing will be all about digital transformation and the adoption of cognitive manufacturing. Cognitive Manufacturing will digitize and optimize previously inaccessible areas of manufacturing processes and help manufacturers minimize downtime, optimize asset and equipment performance, improve quality and yield from design to support as well as reduce costs by driving efficiency in process, labor and energy.

Figure 3: Organizations are transitioning to cognitive manufacturing, IBM Institute of Business Value

Figure 3: Organizations are transitioning to cognitive manufacturing, IBM Institute of Business Value

Are you prepared to benefit from the era of cognitive manufacturing?