How to Sell Industry 4.0 to Your IT Organization

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Would you like to cut product development and assembly costs? Would you like to do this while improving quality, reducing downtime, boosting morale, and eliminating material shortages? If you want to sell Industry 4.0 to your IT organization, you’ll need to emphasize the real-world benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT). But how can you convince your managers if you don’t have metrics? For starters, Information Week cites these three case studies.
Sugar Creek Packing is an Ohio-based food processor that manufactures raw and fully-cooked meat products. In 2015, the 50-year old company invested $6 million in a manufacturing facility in Indiana. CIO Ed Rodden wanted what he called “a fully realized ERP”, but he didn’t stop there. Today, a custom-built sensor network monitors humidity, room temperature, oven temperature, and salinity during the bacon curing process.
Zara, an innovative clothing manufacturer with headquarters in Spain, doesn’t just make clothes. The savvy multinational also designs and distributes small lots of fashionable items. To determine what buyers want, Zara analyzes information from store managers. Specifications for best-selling garments are sent directly to cutting machines, and higher volumes hit store shelves in about two weeks.
If the examples of Sugar Creek Packing and Zara can’t convince your decision-makers, remind them of how important integrated manufacturing is to General Electric. Twenty years ago, GE proposed linking ERP systems with factory floors. Potential software and hardware partners weren’t interested, but that didn’t stop General Electric. Today, GE is using digital manufacturing to make aviation parts.
Are you eager to integrate the Industrial Internet with your company’s manufacturing operations? If so, how will you convince senior managers to remove manufacturing data from silos and integrate it with workflows?
Image Credit: © bakhtiarzein/Dollar Photo Club


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