June 8, 2016

Dare to share!

Johan Schelin

Sales Executive Machinery and Equipment, Tieto

For the customer it’s simple: either it works or it doesn’t. To stay competitive the manufacturing business must dare to share data. Let go of the thought that my loss is your gain. Open eco-systems bring tremendous value to all involved and the key success factor is increased collaboration.

Increasingly, we are required to act rapidly to meet customer needs and market changes yet maintain control over cost and quality. The challenge for industry today is to adapt its operations to reality. The possibilities are already here in front of us – now it’s a question of making it happen and acting to promote business development.

Machines today emit vast amounts of data that is not used for anything. How can we release the value that it contains? The answer: through a collaborative approach to development, where everyone who can add value will be involved and contribute. By contributing with my resources and knowledge I can access yours and vice versa – this has a dynamic effect that benefits everyone. Several sectors already operate like this: the IT business and academia are two examples. To some extent this approach is already in use in manufacturing, especially in basic product research and development. But to achieve real strong competitiveness, industries need to embrace the full potential of sharing information.

Preventive and dynamic solutions streamline

Utilization of shared data opens up the possibility to act preventively. Imagine if 1,000 similar factories worldwide shared data. Algorithms would monitor your devices and those of others and warn you if there are any harmful deviations. Conclusions could be drawn based on previously collected data: for example, what the consequences were when the same type of anomaly happened in another factory. This information would enable preventive actions to be taken. However, even if the knowledge gained is only utilised internally or with partners, it could have a great effect on dynamic planning or supply chain monitoring. Implemented right, sensors and production systems can work with management systems to provide functions that detect disturbances in production with the help of smart solutions and that can re-plan production or sourcing according to the conditions.

But who owns the information?

While too much energy and focus is put on the question of whether it is the factory owner, the machine manufacturer or leasing company that owns the data, development keeps moving forward. And those who linger in this issue for too long will fall behind. Instead, lean in and ask which specific information is secret? What do you need to protect and keep to yourself? And there you have the starting point for actions – to share what is not specifically classified as secret. 

Now it’s time to make it happen. Stay competitive, be part of the development and make sure you fill the gaps of information you need with the help of partners, collaborators and experts. 

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