In Continuous Improvement

Anytime, anywhere production insights to power the factory floor

Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel, CEO & Co-Founder

The ongoing Coronavirus crisis has created huge challenges for manufacturers around the world. Plants are stretched to the limit to produce cleaning products, paper products, food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals to deal with spikes in demand and supply chain interruptions.

Our customers – the plant managers, VPs of manufacturing, and CIOs – are telling us that they need and must have “anytime, anywhere” visibility into their production operations. This visibility is now vital for them to do their jobs. Without it, they cannot make decisions or manage effectively in a chaotic environment. And they are under tremendous pressure to troubleshoot problems – not just to maintain production but to accelerate the supply of essential goods. More than at any time since World War II, their supply chains are now global lifelines.

The crisis will pass, but manufacturers are never going back to flying blind.

With executives and operations personnel at companies suddenly working at home, we expect industrial companies of all types will quickly embrace cloud-based management of manufacturing and prioritize remote visibility into all aspects of their operations and supply chains. We know this is happening because we hear about it.

One of our customers, a 20-year plant manager at a steel company producing more than $1 billion worth of products yesterday told us:

“The ability to track plant operations remotely (while at home or at customer sites) via Sight Machine’s mobile app is very valuable for us. It enables quicker resolutions for critical issues that impact plant profitability.”

We also have heard about a $30 billion manufacturing conglomerate that a few days ago shifted all travel expenses globally for this quarter to IT specifically to handle the new need for remote command and control capabilities. The company is tripling VPN capacity this month alone. This is a harbinger for the manufacturing industry.

This is why we are also now talking to multiple major manufacturers about combining Microsoft Azure, Power BI, and Sight Machine to create a holistic view of their plant and manufacturing operations. They want to see, hear and know everything going on and do it from anywhere on Earth.

Sight Machine and Microsoft

Our partner Microsoft is investing in a 3-Cloud strategy where manufacturing represents one of their best opportunities. Microsoft “gets it”; they see that manufacturing is one of the most important and most untapped leverage points for digitization and technology. With Microsoft’s massive, capable cloud infrastructure, Sight Machine provides a critical component in this strategy. We are the eyes, ears and the central nervous systems. We deliver real-time remote visibility into manufacturing by integrating all the important data sources – IoT sensors, historians, machine vision, and more – into one data model and one platform. This maps perfectly to the Azure cloud, Microsoft’s SCM supply chain technology and to the Power Platform more broadly.

That said, the visibility Sight Machine provides is only one component.

More accurately, Sight Machine is a remote “Continuous Improvement” engine that aggregates data sources, applies a universal data model, and allows anyone with a browser to explore the data to search for ways to improve OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). Improving OEE by only one or two percent for a plant can be leveraged to deliver millions of dollars worth of revenues and profits to a plant’s P&L. Factories that run more efficiently also run more sustainably. In a crisis, when supermarket shelves are bare and crucial chemicals are in short supply, we need every bit of OEE we can get from factories around the globe.

Sight Machine drives insights in tandem with Power BI, SCM and Azure to illuminate bottlenecks and suggest improvements all up and down the supply chain – from source materials, to production and to the sales floor or warehouse. That’s crucial when there’s a crisis because the more we produce and the sooner we deliver it to customers, the safer we will all be.

With unified remote and systemwide visibility into your most pressing production needs, you can transform data chaos into actionable insights, improving overall OEE. Let us help you evaluate where your systems and data stand today, to be prepared for the demand tomorrow. Connect with our team today at deriskmanufacturing@sightmachine.com.

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