Even though IoT has become a buzzword in many industries, few players know the best way to adapt their processes to such disruption. For Guido Mangieri, Director of IIoT, Plantweb and Digital Transformation at Emerson, it is all about understanding how technology can add value to the productive process and gradually escalate implementations. “Think big but start small and measure, then replicate and amplify successful results,” he said during Mexico Mining Forum 2019 at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City.

According to Mangieri, an Emerson survey found that 90 percent of the industry leaders interviewed thought a roadmap was critical to reaching digital transformation. However, 78 percent of these companies also found that pilot automation systems were normally hard to homologate with other processes. “Scalability is key,” says Mangieri, “as well as investment in human capital development.”

Following Emerson’s roadmap toward digital transformation, companies must first map their KPIs in four key areas: safety, reliability, productivity and energy and emissions, coupling results with KPIs regarding two enablers: organizational effectiveness and systems and data. “Mapping these indicators can help to develop a vision regarding the future of the company, providing a roadmap to gradually incorporate manual inspection, equipment monitoring, predictive analysis, all the way to full automation,” says Mangieri. “You cannot control what you do not measure.”

Referencing Emerson’s survey, Mangieri said over 60 percent of all companies interviewed think IoT is ready for industrial applications and highlighted the US$430 billion opportunity that exists in improving project performance. However, he also acknowledged there is still some reluctance to board the innovation train. According to Emerson’s survey, most companies consider risk aversion and conflict with status quo their main obstacles to implementing disruption and innovation, while budget constraints are among the least important reasons.

Coercing players to make a change, Mangieri used a well-known game theory model named the Prisoner’s Dilemma to exemplify what could happen to companies that fail to adapt to new technologies. “If everyone innovates, there will be a maximization of market benefits,” he said. “However, if a company fails to adapt, it will lose its position in the market.”

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