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ABeam’s IoT Data-Driven Manufacturing Solution supports workplace and product conversion to IoT in manufacturing industries

Tokyo 2017/May/29 : ABeam Consulting Corp. (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Toshinori Iwasawa, president) today begins offering its IoT Data-Driven Manufacturing Solution, supporting manufacturing firms in their efforts to convert workplaces and products to IoT.

Far from being limited to the IT field, the digital revolution is spreading throughout a wide range of industries, obviating old business models and giving rise to new competitive environments.

In manufacturing industries as well, Germany and the United States are leading the shift toward using IoT solutions to boost competitiveness through such improvements as heightened productivity, plant and equipment operation rates, more sophisticated maintenance, and the creation of new services and business models.

In Japan, although some companies have initiated cutting-edge efforts like these and are gradually beginning to produce results, a range of issues hinder more widespread IoT use. These issues uncertainty about where to begin implementing IoT solutions, and about what specific applications to focus on. Some firms are already gathering and analyzing IoT data, but remain unable to derive knowledge and experience from it. Some have also failed to identify any cost advantage to IoT use.

Another point worth mentioning is the fact that IoT solutions vary in nature depending on the effort being undertaken. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Projects could include on-site improvements in design, production, distribution, etc., or the use of services that take advantage of existing products and assets.

The IoT Data-Driven Manufacturing Solution applies the knowledge and experience that ABeam Consulting has accumulated thus far in supporting manufacturing industry BPR and supply chain refinement. This solution was developed based on numerous precedents of IoT implementation, with a particular focus on high-demand engineering improvements. Constructed with reference to implementation scenarios and data analysis models that have already produced results, as well as the pre-constructed IoT platform of ABeam Consulting (clients may choose from among multiple cloud services), the solution can deliver IoT implementation within a short time frame and at low cost.

Through this service, companies can gain fresh BPR insights from the on-site manufacturing data collection and analysis that they are already performing. And in making the transition from providing things to performing services, specified-time trials provide a concrete basis for conceptualizing new services and business models that are under development. This provides a basis for excellent efficiency in taking the transition forward.

The following are some typical services provided as part of the IoT Data-Driven Manufacturing Solution

1. IoT Implementation Trial Service

This service provides a 30-day trial experience of our approach to IoT implementation, and the accompanying advantages. We begin with training by ABeam Consulting on the latest trends in digital business technology. This includes workshops covering how the data accumulated by the company is to be utilized, and related issues. Here we determine the themes that our efforts will address, such as detection of plant and equipment anomalies, understanding the status of products being manufactured, and quality improvement. Next, we tailor a combination of ABeam Consulting's own IoT platform environments, libraries supporting simple data analysis, and analytical models to the themes we have identified. We then build our model through analysis of the actual data. Through this service, we are able to promptly provide a short-term experience revealing a clear picture of the fresh insights into how the client company can conceptualize the data under study, how the service differs from the approach the client has taken to date, how to adapt to the IoT platform, and the on-site business process improvements that will result.

2. Platform construction support service for IoT data analysis and use of data in machine learning

By combining the HyperCube AI tool provided by ABeam Consulting with our approach to machine learning, it becomes possible to take a fresh approach to analyzing past data accumulated by the client company. A team of consultants is formed, marshaling thorough expertise in business processes, plant and equipment mechanics, mathematical models, statistical methods and IT. The team carefully checks patterns in the data against real-world observed phenomena in order to detect anomalies occurring too infrequently for the client company to have noticed by its previous efforts. This provides new insights that make it possible to forecast malfunctions, detect the causes of new product defects, and predict the need to replace consumables and parts. Utilizing the business process application methodology exclusive to ABeam Consulting analytical models enables us to provide total support that goes beyond the incorporation of new data into ongoing data analysis and model construction. It also encompasses uniform support from application to business operations and complete, sustainable implementation

3. Service promoting in-house generation of IoT utilization processes

IoT implementation can effectively address such themes as product quality inspection improvement and product utilization status, as well as product and plant defect detection and malfunction forecasting. But this requires vast amounts of data on the entire engineering chain comprising product design, manufacturing process design, production preparation, and production itself. It is accompanied by a heightened need for the ability of a company to generate these knowledge assets internally. At the same time, collaboration with an external partner is also essential, given the difficulty of independently acquiring and developing the knowledge and methodologies that are key to IoT implementation. The expertise required for IoT implementation includes know-how in the utilization of data combining new technologies and statistical analysis methodologies, as well as organizational cross-sectional efforts at research, production and IT.

Through project-based efforts at gaining a clear understanding of how data analysis and operational improvements will work, and of their effectiveness, ABeam Consulting can discern any gaps between the skills a company currently possesses and the skills it will need in the future. We then provide support that enables the client company to establish systems enabling it to continually provide for its own needs.

Pricing and project time frames differ depending on the content of the services provided. The IoT implementation trial service is priced at ¥4.5 million for the standard model.

Moving forward, we have set a goal for fiscal 2017 of 10 implementation projects, primarily at domestic Japanese client firms.