Retrofitting existing machinery with new technologies offers companies a low-risk way to capitalize on the potential of industry 4.0 solutions with fast schedules.
The Manufacturing Industry is shifting towards Service Business
Companies in the Manufacturing Industry are going through interesting times. The rapid development of technology and the following Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, are changing the very foundations of this traditional industry. It is no more a business of merely high-quality physical machinery and products, but a business of services also.
By applying digital elements to physical production environments, companies can connect their equipment, machinery and information systems and automatically gather valuable data from their processes. The collected data can be used to create added value in many new ways, such as Process Automation, Extended Machine Lifecycles, Easy Asset Management, Predictive Maintenance and Reduced Machine Downtime.
Instead of selling just machines, vendors in the manufacturing business have started to offer their customers these Digital Features as continuous services, which greatly benefit both parties. The vendors can increase their sales with new revenue streams coming from both new and previously sold machines, while the customers can streamline their processes and raise their productivity and efficiency significantly.
The challenges of industry 4.0 solutions
The challenge that is holding many Manufacturing Companies back from utilizing the full potential of industry 4.0 solutions is the machinery and equipment currently in use, which does not support new technologies such as IoT.
Replacing existing machines with newer, IoT-enabled models is not an option for most companies – the value lost with replacing still operational machines with long lifecycles is usually too great, and such huge projects also take a long time to execute. Many companies are hesitant to pull the trigger on investments of such magnitude but luckily, there is also an alternative approach available with equally great potential: Retrofitting.
Retrofitting existing machinery with new technologies is a fast and low-risk way to capitalize on the potential of industry 4.0 solutions. Replacing an old machine with a completely new one can cost up to several millions, while retrofitting it with IoT-enabled sensors only costs a fraction of that. This does not only enable the usage of an older machine’s full lifecycle but can simultaneously raise its productivity significantly. Win – Win.
In addition to the low implementation costs, retrofitting also provides companies with a highly flexible way of testing new solutions. You can get started with a small proof-of-concept project including only a few machines and expand as you move on – there’s no need to invest massive amounts without proven results.
End-to-end solutions with Tracking Cloud™
At Bluugo, we have years of hands-on experience from digital solutions with retrofitted machinery. Our award-winning digital platform Tracking Cloud™ allows us to gather real-time data from practically any source utilizing a variety of technologies and IoT-enabled sensors, which can be easily retrofitted to any existing machinery or equipment. The gathered data can be e.g. timestamps, temperature, location, humidity, impact shocks, acceleration, etc. – whatever you need to know. The collected sensor data is combined and enriched with data from existing backend systems (ERPs, CRMs, WMS’s, MRPs, PLCs) to creating a transparent, real-time big picture.
In manufacturing and production environments, this enables accurate monitoring of Lead Times and each separate phase of the process using Tracking Cloud’s modifiable Dynamic Dashboards and Custom KPIs. These insights can be used to better understand the allocation of time and resources between different phases of the process, quickly identify possible bottlenecks and continuously optimize the processes to maintain high performance levels.
Predict & optimize with AI & Machine Learning
Tracking Cloud’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities allow you to utilize the collected data to forecast how different changes and scenarios would affect the efficiency of your processes, predict upcoming machine failures and receive automated alerts when maintenance actions are about to be needed.
Connect all stakeholders and share information over company boundaries
All valuable information gathered with Tracking Cloud™ can be shared in real-time with all your stakeholders – employees, customers, customers’ customers, suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, transportation companies, field technicians, etc. The access levels of different users can be easily controlled with modifiable user roles and groups.
Connecting all stakeholders under a single platform and seamlessly sharing information allows you to transform your products into end-to-end digital services. You can create unique competitive advantage by offering your customers additional services like maintenance & field services and simultaneously create new revenue streams for your business.
Flexible pricing without License fees
Tracking Cloud’s pricing is based on a monthly usage fee, which is determined by the features in use and the volume of the business. Customers do not pay for individual user licenses and can add additional features whenever they want based on their current needs.
Ready-to-run in weeks
Our ready-to-run solution packages enable the implementation of new solutions in a matter of weeks, without the need for grass-root level coding and product development. Our end-to-end service contains all the required software, hardware, technology and integrations - all you need is an idea!
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