GE Digital Product Marketing Director Ganesh Hegde shared his perspective (alongside other industry experts) during the Smart Industry webinar “The New MES: How Distributed Architectures Are Bridging the IT/OT Divide.” (Click here to get it on-demand.)
Today he previews that webinar and touches on IT/OT convergence, integration of the supply chain and the collaborative ownership of data.
Take a look…
Smart Industry: Why is there still confusion about IT/OT convergence in the manufacturing space?
Ganesh: Traditionally these are two different islands managed by two different organizations. Even the KPIs are/were different. The new business models like digital manufacturing, customer-centric manufacturing and others are driving the need for combining these two different islands.
Smart Industry: Provide examples of how hybrid MES are enabling true convergence?
Ganesh: Overall manufacturing network dashboards at the enterprise level for plant-to-plant comparison to improve overall manufacturing efficiency and product quality. Optimal product/profit analysis to find out which product to run in which plant—which line and when for maximum profit. To analyze this, you need operational (manufacturing and asset) data integrated with finance and other data. MDC enables this by bringing the manufacturing data to the enterprise level, just like other business data (ERP, etc.).
Smart Industry: What is one new technology in this space that excites you?
Ganesh: The hybrid cloud model/technology enables our customers to run production execution at the edge with most of the heavy lifting (data storage and analysis) done on the cloud. This not only reduces the infrastructure footprint at the edge (plant), but also enhances system performance with minimum maintenance.
Ganesh: We are adopting Industry 4.0 principles, which call for integration of factory equipment and production operation (vertical integration) into the overall horizontal value chain. Horizontal integration is the integration of horizontal value-chain elements starting from the raw-material supplier/product developer, demand-planning components, supply-network-planning components, manufacturing elements, logistics/warehousing and the end customers. This is accomplished with next-gen technologies like cloud, big data, mobility, etc. GE Hybris Cloud MES (PA and MDC) enables this vertical integration of all plants into the overall value chain using these next-gen technologies.
Smart Industry: Let's talk low-hanging fruit. What is one simple way to facilitate IT/OT convergence?
Ganesh: New business models are enabling manufacturers to deliver the right product at the right place at the right time. High quality and maximum profit require a new, collaborative ownership of data and systems. We start with KPIs to drive these new business models, identify the collaborative ownership between IT and OT areas, then look at systems and data-architectural needs (MES, MDC) to support this new business process.