When it comes to product engineering and manufacturing, the cloud holds endless capabilities, thanks to the digital technologies it can enable. With product design and optimization, innovation, data utilization to manufacture consumer-specific products, and speed time to market, the cloud has more to offer to organizations willing to think in new ways.
Advancing product development with cloud-based engineering is key to a more offensive-oriented use of cloud computing to propel business operations in discrete manufacturing.
So what is creating a tipping point for manufacturers to move to the cloud?
The pandemic, coupled with the growing capabilities of cloud computing along with ever-growing consumer needs for better products, created a tipping point for several manufacturers to move to cloud-based product development and enhancement. This aim is combined with a need to become ‘smart manufacturers’ and bring more agility in 4 common solution areas:
1. Product Engineering and Innovation
The cloud offers innovative solutions that help manufacturers reach the market faster by lowering their infrastructural spending, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO), and offering computing capabilities that can handle heavy engineering workloads. With this, manufacturers can make most of the tools built for various technology use cases, speed up their engineering efforts, and lower costs to scale.
2. Data Visualization to Capture Actionable Insights and Build Product Quality
By capturing, analyzing and visualizing disparate plant floor data, manufacturers are empowered with better asset utilization, plant workflow, asset availability, and safety of their workers. As machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) gauge equipment conditions, robotics can enhance real-time quality alerts to notify manufacturers of deviations in production and maximize production capabilities.
3. Supply Chain Optimization
With advanced cloud solutions, IoT, robotics, and analytics, manufacturers can optimize production, create demand-specific products and increase operational efficiencies without investing in expensive infrastructure. Also, with the cloud offering pay-as-you-go services, manufacturers can deploy technology only specific to their needs and for the time they need it.
4. Industry 4.0 Manufacturing (i.e., modern manufacturing)
Capable of digitally transforming manufacturing, industrial IoT (everyday objects with network connectivity that enables them to send and receive data) coupled with cloud computing can map the productivity of industrial processes, identify bottlenecks, optimize material flow and improve performance to benefit an asset-intensive industry.
Features not previously feasible using on-premises computing are being made available and affordable by the cloud.
You have adopted the cloud. Now what?
A cloud-based transformation may not be complete by merely adopting a cloud-native approach – organizations must exploit the advantages the technology offers.
In addition, leaders must align their business processes, infrastructure, and talent to expand their capabilities. To make this transition smooth and complete, the organization must seek advice from transformation experts to get a clear perspective on how cloud adoption will impact people, culture, and technology. This will enable them to discover solutions for their business-specific needs and pave the way for a long-term cloud-adoption action plan to accelerate their journey towards more significant business goals.