A Comprehensive Guide for Manufacturers

Use this step-by-step book as your guide to a successful digital manufacturing journey.

As mentioned in the introduction, a unified data platform is the foundation for enabling a wide range of digital objectives. How prepared and equipped are you to start building and applying this foundation?

There are two aspects of readiness to consider:

1. Organization

Do you have the commitment, organizational buy-in, budget, and skill sets for your digital initiative to succeed?

2. Technology

What level of supporting infrastructure do you already have in place? Are your critical production machines outfitted with sensors? If so, are they networked? What information is being captured? And — most importantly — is your data accessible, ready, and fit to enable successful digital projects?

Choosing objectives you’re not ready for is a recipe for project failure.

Sight Machine

Why Readiness Matters

Manufacturers often start out by attempting to solve a use case they’re not ready for. In midstream, they find out that the data they have isn’t relevant to the problem, and the inputs they do need are inaccessible. Or they don’t possess the staff expertise, management buy-in, or budget — and sometimes all three — to build the necessary technical capabilities.

Alternatively, should a one-off pilot actually get off the ground, most often it doesn’t scale across multiple machines — either because the required additional data sets are not available, or because adding them in breaks the logic and data models that were targeted against the original use case. The net result is a series of dead-end pilot projects, a scenario so commonplace that it has a name: pilot purgatory.

Any of these situations can doom a project from the start. The solution is to pursue both technical and organizational readiness upfront. That’s what the next two steps are about.