Smart Manufacturing / IIoT / Digitalization

Manufacturing intelligence: What is it and why does it matter

By Vinay Nathan for Forbes

Jun 10, 2019

Manufacturing is experiencing a digital revolution. With the technologies driving Industry 4.0 – IIoT, AI, and cloud at the forefront – manufacturing has reached a critical tipping point. Manufacturers need to either embrace the digital transformation of their operations and processes now or fall behind their competitors. A PWC study predicts that manufacturers will spend upwards of $70 billion by 2020 on technology to meet the demands of Industry 4.0. They will be adding systems that will improve the factory’s manufacturing intelligence (MI).

But you can’t keep up with Industry 4.0 if you don’t understand what MI is and why it matters.  

Simply put, manufacturing intelligence is the term that refers to the software systems that integrate your manufacturing operations data for deeper analytics. These systems rely on big data analytics compiled from IIoT and other technologies. While some may equate MI with Business Intelligence (BI), there is a difference – manufacturing has different needs and goals than a business front office. BI traditionally measures sales and revenues and other Key Performance Indicators that are of a corporate nature. MI measures the productivity of both humans and machines on the factory floor. It can plug into BI to add more value to the enterprise, but, by itself, it is an independent stream of insight into Manufacturing operations using tools that were hitherto in the IT domain.

To learn more, read "Manufacturing Intelligence: How Manufacturing and Business Operations Are Changing" from Forbes.

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