Smart Factories are the next stage of the industrial revolution, providing automation and data exchange for production environments. However, there are still some classic challenges to overcome, such as unplanned downtime, high maintenance costs and product quality checks. The Digital Manufacturing Platform (DMP) on Microsoft Azure can help address these challenges and optimize efficiency, cost and safety within a smart factory.
The challenge: Operating and maintaining a smart factory with digital technologies
The factory of the future is networked and intelligent. All systems and machines exchange data with each other using the Internet of Things (IoT). An important aspect of this is autonomous systems that coordinate their activities through networking. They react flexibly to changes and use sensors and actuators to interact with their environment, gathering information in the process.
Such a smart factory is a highly automated and networked production environment. Nevertheless, it faces the typical challenges of the industry: unplanned downtime, rising maintenance costs, problematic equipment reliability, maintaining consistent product quality, and visibility into all parameters of production.
However, through digital technologies, it has numerous opportunities to overcome these challenges. It can network the individual assets, the processes, the supply chain and all employees on one platform for Microsoft Azure, while maintaining an overview of all operations.
The solution: A manufacturing platform that replicates a smart factory with digital twins
The Digital Manufacturing Platform (DMP) from TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) is a cross-industry framework on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace that enables industrial companies to build a digital factory. The focus of DMP is data-driven manufacturing. To do this, it offers integrations with ERP, MES and automation solutions and real-time visibility with data analytics. The platform’s digital capabilities lie in four areas:
- Connected Assets: For machines and plants, the platform offers condition-based maintenance and predictive maintenance functions. The data required for this is determined in real time and visualized using a digital 3D twin. In addition, AR/VR-based maintenance with data glasses is also possible.
- Connected Operations: Numerous functions improve the operation of machines and plants. For this purpose, it is also possible to optimize production and service processes with statistical methods (statistical process control, SPC). This is supported by a digital twin that specifically maps the processes in the smart factory.
- Connected Supply Chain: Through data collection and analysis, the platform can track materials and raw goods from receipt to shipment. This enables digital traceability of components and spare parts management optimization.
- Connected Workforce: Various worker tracking functions help with occupational safety, environmental monitoring and workforce planning. In addition, there are possibilities to support the operators of machines and plants with information.
The result: Increased productivity through a digital manufacturing platform
The digital manufacturing platform brings many improvements and benefits to companies. With their help, they can expand their production capacity almost twice as fast as with traditional approaches. According to the experience of DMP users, this reduces manufacturing costs by up to ten percent and the development time for new products by up to 40 percent. This acceleration helps to react faster to market trends and become more competitive.
A 20 percent increase in uptime through digital technologies means less downtime and increased productivity. Supply chain costs are also falling significantly, in some cases by up to 10 percent. Overall, the benefits of a digital manufacturing platform are wide-ranging and drive significant improvements in efficiency, cost and safety.
Click here to find the app in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace: TCS Digital Manufacturing Platform