IoT Insights from Intel’s Manufacturing Executive Forum

Recently, Intel hosted a forum for manufacturing executives on the topic of IoT adoption, and ARC was invited to speak.  The event was hosted at the Georgia Technology Center in Atlanta with industry, academia and analyst participants.  This posting provides some of the highlights from the event.

Cloud and Edge Computing Combined for Robust IIoT at IntelIoT’s Virtuous Cycle of Growth

Mary Bunzel, GM & Director, Manufacturing Industry Solutions Group, Intel opened the event with an introduction and some IoT market dynamics.  Intel sees an iterative effect where cloud data centers enable IoT applications that then drive a need for edge computing to mitigate network bandwidth and latency issues.  With edge computing, more IoT applications become practical causing a virtuous cycle of growth for IoT adoption.  Shannon Poulin, VP & General Manager, Industry Solutions Group, Intel continued with a focus on the business issues.  By adopting IoT and machine learning, improved worker productivity helps elevate the growing skill gap with the aging workforce.  Digitization with IoT enables new services that change the competitive landscape and offer a significant first mover advantage – both for existing and new competitors.

Business Transformation

Aligning IoT with Maintenance and Executive MetricsRalph Rio, VP Enterprise Solutions, ARC Advisory Group “connected the dots” from the IoT technology through to C-suite business benefits.  Currently, condition monitoring and preventing unplanned downtime is the leading application of IoT in the manufacturing sectors.  This directly impacts C-suite metrics including revenue, margin and return on assets (ROA). Making this connect gets executive attention and the resources for your IoT project to be successful.

Alain Louchez, Managing Director, Georgia Tech Center for the Development and Application of Internet-of-Things Technologies (CDAIT), was thought provoking when he stated, “Through embedded intelligence, IoT will transform the dimensions of the economy and society on a scale not experienced before.” He provided examples to back-up that statement – from improved factory operations through to transformative business models with new sources of revenue.

IoT Applications in Intel’s Fab and the Supply Chain

Intel offers products that enable IoT, and applies IoT in its operations.  Irene Petrick, Director Business Strategy, Internet of Things Group gave a nice overview of how Intel is using IoT with advanced analytics and machine learning to improve uptime and output for its semiconductor fabrication.  Rob Colby, IoT Infrastructure Architect, Intel provided case examples of applications in Intel’s fabs for predictive maintenance, high value inventory tracking, and wireless temperature monitoring.

Deborah Caine, GRL Global Supply Chain Mgr., Intel went beyond the fabs, and gave us a view of IoT in the supply chain. Intel has 16,000 suppliers in over 100 countries, and ships its products to over 101,000 locations. Using IoT, Intel designed a connected logistics platform of sensors, gateways and cloud that enables visibility of critical metrics through supply chain for improved management and control. Big data and advanced analytics extends visibility across functional silos enabling exception management via a control tower and business process management software. The big data in these systems combined with analytics enable inventory optimization across the supply chain. Deborah showed metrics that clear demonstrated Intel’s supply chain excellence with IoT, big data and in-memory analytics.

Caterpillar Agility with IoT

ARC has written about Caterpillar’s use of IoT to provide new after-market services to its customers.  Marty Groover, Operational Technology Manager; IT/OT; Manufacturing Intelligence, Supply Chain Operations, Caterpillar gave a view into how the company uses IoT to optimize its manufacturing operations.  Here, information technology (IT) is aligned with operational technology (OT) across multiple facilities worldwide.  Marty noted that operations leads the IoT initiative because that is where the business value is, and the necessary user buy-in to have lasting project success.  Lean concepts are embedded in the Caterpillar DNA which provides a framework to identify projects.  Mr. Groover delved into four areas – energy, machines, consumables and process management – with specific examples demonstrating the power of IoT and making data-driven decision to improve performance.

Caterpillar’s Strategy and Initial Focus Areas for IoT and OptimizationConclusions

IoT has clearly moved beyond a concept and to a proven means for improving operational performance.  The examples by Intel and Caterpillar provided case stories with clear business benefits in operations and the supply chain.

Cultural change for IoT adoption; From: Past practices and gut decisions; To: Confidence in using IoT data to drive decisions.To move beyond a few point projects to broader adoption that improves overall business performance, management needs to facilitate a cultural change.  Go from decisions based on gut feelings or institutional knowledge (how things were done in the past) to confidence in the IoT data for decision making and process improvement.

We are in the early stages of IoT adoption.  The proliferation of proof of concept (POC) projects and field experiments show that IoT adoption has just begun.

To learn more about how digitizing factories, cities, and infrastructure will provide technology end users and suppliers alike with clear business benefits, join us at the 22nd annual ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida in February.

About Intel IoT

The Intel® IoT Platform includes end-to-end reference architectures model and family of products from Intel and its ecosystem that works with third-party solutions to provide a foundation for seamlessly and securely connecting devices, delivering trusted data to the cloud, and delivering value through analytics.  Harnessing these connected “things” and turning massive amounts of raw data into actionable insights will have a transformative impact on organizations.  Intel offers open and scalable products with a thriving ecosystem of OEMs and partners for a comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end hardware and software with built-in security.

The Intel IoT Platform provides a design blueprint that details how partners can securely connect and manage a fleet of “things” from small sensors to huge server farms that make up the cloud.  Intel’s products are used by partners at the edge, in the network, and for powering the data center.  The range of Intel’s IoT products includes processors (from Intel® Quark™, Intel® Atom™, to Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon®), networking devices, real-time operating systems (Wind River), and security software.  IoT gateways based on Intel technology act as data routers and filters from sensors to the cloud.