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A Perspective on Top Four Trends in IoT for Smart Manufacturing with Matthew Quirk

The manufacturing sector has seen some exciting innovations over the past several years, and it looks like 2018 will be no different. Ever since the first industrial revolution, manufacturers have been one of the most eager and innovative users of progressive technologies across its ecosystems. Connected manufacturing is quickly becoming among the most significant technology-based generational shifts. These technological shifts are no less critical than steam power, electricity or automation have been. All these innovations in their time led to incremental changes across the industry.

Catch the inside scoop below from our conversation with Matthew Quirk, OEM and IoT Global Market Strategy & Development about the four biggest technologies that are driving the change in manufacturing, how industry leaders are implementing these new technologies. and what to expect in the near future.


Q: Can you elaborate on the top four trends (below) that are driving the field of Manufacturing?

  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Smart Sensors


A: IT innovation has been accelerating for 20-30 years now, and with the IoT, it has the chance to couple itself with the industrial change to provide real growth in productivity and flexibility. Manufacturing is undergoing one of the most significant technology shifts we have seen in the last 50 years. Driven by customer’s changing demands, the availability of new technology and the fact that almost everything around us is now “connected,” the term fourth industrial revolution is one which has been used to describe the transformation of the industry. What sets this apart from the first three is the velocity at which it is disrupting and transforming the way we design, engineer and build the solutions of the future.

The IIOT is where we see manufacturers of products taking advantage of all the data they are generating on the shop floor. The amount of data from sensors is exponentially increasing as sensors become smarter, more feature-rich and of course less expensive. So what do customers do with all this data? It could go to the cloud. It could go to the on-prem datacentre. Alternatively, with HPE’s Edgeline solutions they could act on the data in near to real time. Alternatively, of course, a combination of all three. It very much depends on the environment and the outcomes the customer is looking for.

Artificial intelligence is a real buzzword currently and depending on what the customer is trying to achieve; AI can be a potentially game-changing tool. Let’s be clear; it is not new. It is, however, becoming ubiquitous - It is in our sat navs, our shopping recommendations, and our smart speakers. In the IIOT it is critical to implement it correctly and choose the right level of trained or learned architecture. HPE has some compelling assets customers can take a look at while considering how AI can help them embrace smart manufacturing.


Q: What is HPE OEM’s role in revolutionizing the manufacturing sector?

A: HPE has been working with the manufacturing sector for decades and has been helping customers understand what is coming and helping them plan for it. That said, there is still some way to go as companies embark on their IoT journey and decide to make course corrections or add elements along the way. Our role is to ensure we provide the best in class technology available via HPE OEM to underpin the journey.


Q: We have seen the M2M Age to the IoT today where the cloud is the enabler of most IoT deployments. What is the next phase of IoT according to you?

A: We are probably headed for “mass customization,” at a more local level. End users are demanding high levels of customization at a moment’s notice and manufacturers will have to react to ensure consumer loyalty and ultimately growth. There will be customers who choose to develop the systems and sites they have, and others who start from scratch with smaller more nimble projects and facilities.


Q: What makes you most excited about the possibilities of IoT in smart manufacturing?

A: Efficiency. Doesn’t sound exciting I know. However, efficiency will ultimately lead to safer and smarter manufacturing with less waste and therefore less impact on the planet. As we consumers become ever more demanding, manufacturers will need to develop systems and processes to accommodate without just sprawling mega-factories.


Q: What are customers’ most significant challenges in developing IIoT strategies in the manufacturing sector today?

A: There is a tendency to try and start at the beginning without visualizing the end goal or the desired outcome. Once you know where you get to, you can work with partners such as HPE to plan the journey. Even if you start with a small goal, looking out further is critical. 


Q: Use Cases to showcase IoT in Action in manufacturing?

  • Minimize downtime & maintenance cost
  • Analyze at the edge –improved response time, less network cost
  • End to end solution –Edge to Core
  • Analytics-driven reliability improvement, reduced time to resolution
  • Real-time visibility & visualization of asset condition
  • Increased productivity & safety


Q: Where do you see the industry in 3 to 5 years?

A: Who knows! However, it will all be connected, that is for sure.


Subscribe to the OEM Community to check out more conversations with Matt and discussions about the future of manufacturing in the coming months.

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