Myths about Digital Transformation/Manufacturing.

What is a myth, but a traditional narrative that catches people’s imaginations and soothes their sentiments! The stories get told with much conviction, with minimal or no corroborative proof, and soon become a widespread belief. Business myths are misconceptions arising from the assumptions made by ill-informed minds. Mythological tales can be very entertaining and form a part of a rich culture. Business myths might not serve any purpose and can be misleading, discouraging, and detrimental to company culture, too. If only we were to read between the lines, we would discover truths. 

Ever since tales of the Industry 4.0 became rife, innumerable ideas — true and false — regarding the digital transformation of manufacturing have started doing the rounds.  

Here are some myths we thought needed busting so that you can make informed decisions based on facts: 

Myth #1: Digital transformation is a big-budget affair, therefore, not meant for small companies.  

Truth:  

The first thought that comes to mind when discussing digital transformation is the costs involved. As nothing comes for free, digitalization comes at a cost, but strategically planning an AI adoption strategy will not drill a hole in your pocket. On the contrary, the resultant business benefits in terms of ROI will outweigh all expenses. Phasing out the transition could also help SMEs streamline their processes and enjoy profits. Industrialists have been reinvesting their gains into leveling up on the digital platform. AI applications for manufacturing optimization are accessible and affordable by all.  

Myth #2: AI is a disruptive technology that will remove the ‘man’ from the equation in manufacturing.  

Truth:  

All of the previous industrial revolutions since the late 17th century changed our life drastically.  History stands as proof that technological development has only created more jobs and better opportunities for humans to progress. AI is yet another technology designed to enable human capabilities and not cripple society. With AI assistance, humans can increase productivity by completing job tasks faster with precision accuracy, making businesses profitable. That will also leave more scope for skilled workers to get employed in more meaningful roles.  

Myth #3: The outcome of Smart Manufacturing is not measurable in tangible values. The benefits are not immediate.  

Truth: 

 For an average USD 5 billion company with a 10% margin, investments in digital technologies produce an additional USD 425 million in profit. Of all surveyed industrialists, more than 60% have stated that digital transformation can help organizations address the business objectives of prime importance — reducing operational costs and growing market share organically. [1] 

Neewee’s own ready-to-deploy AI apps can be integrated with any IoT platform to streamline the manufacturing process end to end, deliver higher ROI and improve product quality within six to eight weeks of implementation. We do this by creating Process Digital Twins that connect and mirror the manufacturing life cycle, revealing cause-and-effect relationships between components, raw materials, and processes. The apps then provide predictions and actionable recommendations using Machine Learning and AI.  

  • Improving process yield by 8-10% 
  • Enhanced product quality by 10-12% 
  • Reduced working capital by 8-10% 
  • Cut maintenance costs by 15-20% 

Myth #4: You can take your own sweet time to digitalize your manufacturing processes. Also, it’s optional!  

Truth:  

The general tendency is to wait and watch how the early adopters of technology are faring with the new intelligent manufacturing methods. However, sitting on the fence is not a healthy strategy if you wish to stay relevant in the rapidly increasing competition. A digitally connected lean manufacturing eliminates wastage, reduces batch-cycle times, and repeatedly delivers consistent quality and throughput. This directly translates as increased customer satisfaction. While traditional ‘unintelligent’ linear manufacturing systems will continue to struggle with delivering on promises, which can end up putting off the customers. Modernization of manufacturing is no longer an option but an imperative for business growth. 

Harvard Business Review sums up: “By the time a late adopter has done all the necessary preparation, earlier adopters will have taken considerable market share; they’ll be able to operate at substantially lower costs with better performance. In short, the winners may take all and late adopters may never catch up.” [2] 

Myth #5: For successful AI adoption in manufacturing, you need to digitalize the entire factory in one go! 

Truth:  

Big Data Analytics, Industrial Internet of Things, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) apps are different aspects that work together to turn your business operations toward Smart Manufacturing. Each involves cost and complexities. It is neither advisable nor practical to digitize the entire facility in one go. AI applications implementation into the system, working with integrated data analytics, is a step-by-step process involving reiterations to arrive at the best fit for optimizing different production processes. Since there can never be a one-formula-fits-all solution, only a well-developed strategy for AI Adoption guarantees astonishing results.   

It is not debatable anymore, manufacturers can optimize their business to achieve agility, efficiency, quality, and sustainability with AI Applications.  

Final Takeaway: 

The hype cycle about digital transformation of manufacturing carried many myths and even more facts. We have debunked some myths that might be keeping many from taking timely decisions for a digital strategy. It is therefore essential to confirm the credibility of the source before you believe the bit of news. Taking decisions based on myths would be like that notorious game of Chinese Whispers. You run the risk of falling for inaccurately transmitted gossip. 

Breaking it down — the 4th Industrial Revolution for You.

What is 4IR? The term Industry 4.0 has been bouncing around the industrial world for quite some time now, and it’s beginning to gain traction in the business world. We have been talking about how it will change our lives tremendously. Most people think of it as the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Analytics, Augmented Reality (AR), et al. While that is true, how will it affect our lives again? It is also essential that you know what it can mean for your business exactly, for you to leverage the maturation of 4IR to your advantage.   

History tells us that every time there has been an Industrial revolution in the past, it has raised the level of income and improved the quality of living globally. Therefore, to understand 4IR, shouldn’t we start at the very beginning? Knowing what preceded it will tell us how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will impact businesses and why. 

The First Industrial Revolution in 1765: It all began with the coal-fired steam engines that powered the wheels of mechanized factory production and accelerated the economy, shifting us from an agrarian to an industrialized society.  

The Second Industrial Revolution in 1870: A century later, the world saw the invention of electricity as a source of energy besides gas and oil. The electrification of factory production enabled mass production, which further led to tremendous technological advancements and culminated in the invention of the automobile and airplanes by the 20th century. Industry 2.0 thus earned the title of the Technological Revolution.  

The Third Industrial Revolution in 1965: As the rule of three impressed, nuclear energy emerged as yet another energy source half a century later. The era marked the rise of electronics, which automated production, followed by the advent of computers and the invention of the internet. Advanced telecommunications and information technology initiated globalization and the digitization of manufacturing. Thus, it went down in history as the Digital Revolution.  

After witnessing the three steps in the evolution of technology, now we find ourselves in the middle of the fourth major industrial era — Industry 4.0.  

The Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2015: Dynamically different from the previous industrial revolutions, 4IR is progressing at an unprecedentedly fast and exponential pace. Powered by a confluence of many technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), AI/ML, and big data analytics, Industry 4.0 has presented a dramatic new business model for every possible industry. Business leaders are now gearing up for this revolution to transform their organization, given the potential increase in income and benefits. Manufacturers expect it to impact every stage of the product lifecycle and optimize throughput. 

Below are 10 facts about Industry 4.0 for you: 

  1. Industrie 4.0 — the term first coined at the industrial trade fair, Hannover Messe 2011 in Germany, ignited the vision of a new Industrial Revolution and slowly captured global attention. Industrie 4.0 (I4.0) represented the strategic vision of Germany for the future in an ambitious bid to preserve global manufacturing leadership by reaffirming commitment to economic and social transformation through innovation, collective and multi-stakeholder participatory processes, and policy experimentation. The rapid diffusion of the term I4.0 across the globe has positioned Germany as a reference for strategic approaches to harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. [1] 
  1. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is credited for popularizing the phrase Fourth Industrial Revolution by publishing an article in the American magazine Foreign Affairs.  
  1. At The Great Reset, the 50th annual meeting of the WEF held in June 2020, their proposal included the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a Strategic Intelligence for rebuilding the economy sustainably after the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  1. Industry 4.0 is the era of the most ground-breaking evolution in the history of technology. It is not only fundamentally changing the way we conduct business, but it is also offering new opportunities for entrepreneurs and manufacturers, creating new niches for people to up-skill and progress professionally.  
  1. Over the next few years, you will see a phenomenal upsurge in cooperation between human and machine intelligence, blurring the difference between our real world and the metaverse — the physical and digital worlds.  
  1. IR 4.0 is driven by data, which will be the currency dominating our digital lives henceforth. British mathematician Clive Humby called data the new oil. It is indeed a fitting metaphor. Just like oil data is useless in its raw form, once refined becomes a valuable asset. With the amount of data we generate, we could be sitting on a big pile of untapped wealth. [2] 
  1. These are exciting times for the manufacturing industry. However, contrary to popular belief, IR4 is not about automation and robot-driven processes. The fact is that the core idea of Industry 4.0 is to make production processes more predictable, efficient, and beneficial to all parties involved. 
  1. A factory is deemed IR4.0 ready or digitally transformed when it operates with data transparency, intelligently connected machines enabled for interoperability, a virtual twin of the physical shop floor, and AI applications that provide end-to-end workflow efficiency and optimized production. 
  1. Industry 4.0 ushers the implementation of AI/ML technologies in workplaces, factories, and companies, allowing micro-planned production processes with real-time insights, wastage reduction, and leveraging data to improve business processes. Industry 4.0 promotes flexible production processes that utilize data for customer-oriented solutions. 
  1. Fei-Fei Li, director of Stanford University’s new Human-Centered AI initiative has rightly pointed out that Industry 4.0 has a human-centric approach even its propagation of the adoption of AI. Digitalization must not be perceived as disruptive, and AI applications are not competitors, but partners in securing our well-being. Technology has always enhanced human capabilities, not diminished or replaced it in manufacturing.[3] 

The term — Industry stands for hard work but working hard to resist change is not industrious. Industrial manufacturers and businesses that get on board with IR4.0 today are undoubtedly the market leaders of tomorrow. May the Fourth be with you! 

AI Adoption—a SMART Business Strategy for Guaranteed Success

Digitalization has taken the manufacturing industry by storm. There is no living in denial now that AI is a transformational technology. AI has not only prevailed in the Gartner Hype Cycle, but it is also dominating this year’s technology landscape. Organizations are increasingly adopting AI applicationsolutions to create new products, improve existing products and grow their customer base. Integrating AI solutions for organization-wide applications and business workflows might seem complex, but there is no better time to get SMART than now! 

Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner, Shubhangi Vashisth has rightly pointed out, on average, it takes about eight months to get an AI-based model integrated within a business workflow and for it to deliver tangible value. Yet, Gartner predicts by 2025, 70% of organizations will have operationalized AI due to the rapid maturity of AI adoption initiatives (Goasduff, 2021). 

So, if you are wondering where and how to get started, here are our Pro Tips for turning your factory toward Smart Manufacturing:  

  1. Do not look at AI adoption as an experiment. It is a legit strategy that has proven its efficacy at reducing your business risks and improving productivity. 
  1. You need to focus on the quality of only two enablers of digital transformation—Data and AI application solutions. 
  1. Identify your business challenges first and make informed decisions about AI applications offering customized solutions for your pain points.  

The early adopters of AI, who embraced the IR 4.0 principles of making business processes more intelligent, have seen the technology deliver on its commercial promises.  

Research suggests that the BOE model provides a fitting AI adoption framework (Dasgupta & Wendler, 2019). Originally the BOE model got developed to understand the adoption of electronic data interchange (EDI) technology. It is now utilized as a general technology adoption model, too.  

The BOE model considers three factors:  

  1. Benefits-  

The perceived benefits of adopting AI applications in manufacturing organizations are  

  • Improvement of process yield by 8-10% 
  • Enhanced Product Quality by 10-12 % 
  • Reduction of working capital by 8-10% 
  • Cutting down of maintenance costs by 15- 20% 

The industry can get quicker ROI and start realizing benefits in 6 to 8 weeks of AI integration. The additional benefits of delivering such throughput with faster turnarounds and improved quality of service are improved customer satisfaction and long-term business relationships. 

  1. Organizational Readiness – 

Organizational constraints such as company culture, apprehension regarding AI adoption misconstrued as a disruptive technology, and legacy machines can pose challenges in deploying AI. However, under the skilled guidance of technology consultants and with the help of cutting-edge technology enablers, organizations can navigate the pitfalls to achieve relevant AI readiness. Systematic AI adoption increases the probability of successful transformation.  

  1. External Pressure (Competition) – 

Leveraging AI to secure significant business value can provide a competitive advantage to organizations. Industry-specific AI applications can lead to incredible improvement in manufacturing volume and process efficiency. 

And then again, there are three approaches to AI adoption: 

  1. Top-down approach for holistic organization-wide technology adoption 
  1. The Bottom-up approach, the opposite alternative, applies technology to various components and processes in a piecemeal manner. 
  1. The Agile approach involves continuous improvement at every stage in constant collaboration with technology service providers. The crossover into AI is a smooth process of evaluation, customized micro-planning, and execution.  

The alignment of AI adoption with your business strategy will elevate your manufacturing to the Plateau of Productivity. Machine Learning (ML), one of the technologies under the umbrella of AI, is also a commendable value-addition. ML fortifies AI with its capability of continual learning through experience, which plays a vital role in the fine-tuning processes. Start with apilot project and scale it up for heightened profitability.  

Wisdom is key to human evolution, but Artificial Intelligence is key to manufacturing evolution in this Smart Machine Age! 

How to get a 3x productivity boost using Lean Manufacturing with AI

Does the philosophy of Lean Manufacturing with AI have actionable meaning? Simply put, Lean Manufacturing is a management philosophy that urges you toward eliminating waste and improving productivity. It is a legitimate methodology for manufacturers and business owners to adopt, which will help them optimize production, give value to customers, and thus transform into market leaders. But, what is a manufacturer really expected to do to join the burgeoning crowd in Lean Thinking? 

Even Henry Ford, regarded as the Father of Lean Manufacturing, inadvertently created waste in his ambitious attempts at minimizing it. At the Highland Park manufacturing plant in the early 20th century, they tightly monitored the production line of the Model T automobile. The process ‘flow’, from raw material being sourced to the point of sales of the automobile, got planned to the T. (Pun intended!) Although high production standards got achieved and maintained, flexibility in the processes was zilch! There was no scope for variations or any modifications. Also, Ford failed to consider consumer demand and kept pushing finished automobiles into the market. What could one expect from the large pile-up of cars pending sales? He had eliminated operational inefficiencies, but the unsold inventory was another form of waste and monetary loss.  

Offloading the costs incurred by wasteful production processes onto the customers is a big no-no! On the contrary, customer satisfaction is at the core of Lean Manufacturing. Not giving customers value for money will only damage your business relationships. For retaining position between tough competition, production must be flexible and adaptable to customer demands. So how can a manufacturer pull off this feat, improve production efficiency while also reducing wastage and being sensitive to consumer expectations? 

There are a few ways to boost productivity triple-fold (3X) with Lean Manufacturing, and it begins with just one step — embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI). Manufacturing gets Lean when AI breaks down siloed data and facilitates transparent coordination between diverse production teams. AI applications can help manufacturers streamline processes, eliminate waste, and achieve the ultimate goal — customer satisfaction. 

How it gets done — 

  1. Reducing batch cycle time: Manufacturers have to fulfill orders within tight deadlines. Any delay in fulfilling orders can cause huge losses for manufacturers, so being ahead of the game is critical. Bodhee® Golden Production Run AI app helps you identify quality parameters impacting batch performance through real-time visibility of patterns created by the Golden Digital Thread. Experience quality improvement by 10-12% and reduction of batch cycle time by 1-2 %. 
  1. Increasing workforce productivity: Lean thinking with AI brings a radical change in company culture with improved workforce management. Bodhee® Production Performance Monitoring app helps monitor production and Key Performance Metrics such as Overall Labor Effectiveness (OLE) with just one click. It gives manufacturers a competitive edge by reducing errors and requirements for reworking by 15%. It optimizes warehouse operations and improves product delivery time by 8-10%. 
  2. Increasing capacity utilization: It is essential to have dynamic planning in response to the events on the factory shop floors or in the supply chain or user feedback that keeps the businesses agile. Bodhee®Integrated Micro Scheduling AI app facilitates synchronized and Live micro-planning of the entire production process. Manufacturers can work out every tiny detail and customize it, thus ensuring shorter lead times, quality improvement, tailored solutions, and many other desired production goals. 

Studies suggest that 80% of manufacturers who adopted AI over the past two years realized a value increase between a moderate 23% and a significant 57%. Many of them who had latent IT and OT data assets harvested data from IoT sensors, which AI then leveraged to optimize processes and business results (1).   

As the manufacturing industry evolves with the Industrial revolution 4.0, and realizes the multiple potential benefits and value addition in Lean manufacturing with AI, it will soon become a norm or even mandatory for assured productivity.

How Artificial Intelligence Is the Change Agent for Manufacturing Success

Data does not lie, and artificial intelligence creates transparency!

Change begins with an idea, and a change agent can make or break an idea or turn it towards becoming the next innovation.

That has always been true, but now more than ever before. The innovations that are changing the world are happening at lightning speed. Companies can launch an idea, iterate on it with customers, and scale it globally in the blink of an eye. We are talking about artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, advanced materials, 3D printing, and more.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping the world. New capabilities are getting rolled out daily. But are we thinking ahead of the curve or are we resisting the drivers of change? At the core of Industry 4.0 are transformational technologies such as Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), backed by Big Data — change agents that gave a solid foundation to the biggest revolution in innovation. Are you wondering why and how your business will get impacted? If you think this is another fad that people will eventually forget, here is our $0.02.

Let’s face it! Manufacturing success can be rare to come by. Even for the biggest and best manufacturers, it is a constant struggle to compete in a global economy. There are two perpetual goals of any manufacturing business — two qualitative and quantitative goals — increased output and improved efficiency, which fetch the ultimate goal of Golden ROI.

For starters, there is a lot that AI can do for optimized manufacturing. The best way to understand that is by breaking down each word:

• Output: AI can pinpoint where your company is experiencing loss in productivity and recommend ways to correct your processes. It could begin with detecting bottlenecks that cause WIP and also do as much as providing real-time guided production models that enable end-to-end synchronized production planning.

• Efficiency: Close at the heel of increased output comes efficiency through AI. The more efficient the workflow and production processes, the better revenue generated for the company. And that can also translate into increased investments in applications that can bring further growth. By utilizing this fantastic catalyst or change agent of business success called AI, companies can ensure optimized manufacturing.

And what is fueling those recommendations and insights from your AI applications? That which tells you where and how your processes are flawed? Big Data is the massive collection of information that gets analyzed by AI applications. It is from Big Data that companies can extract meaningful business insights. And that can help them optimize manufacturing, improve customer experience and satisfaction, and thus eventually gain an edge over market competition.

The demand for data-driven decision-making is growing as businesses enter the 4th industrial revolution (IR4.0). For some time, manufacturers have been looking for new ways to boost production while saving costs. Many turned to the internet of things (IoT), but data analytics with AI applications came as game-changers.

The power duo creates clarity out of complexity. Human perceptions and biases from experiences can obstruct the optimization of manufacturing. Whereas data does not lie, and data analytics give unbiased observations. It helps distill facts and creates transparency in operations. Artificial intelligence applications can provide integrated analytics and actionable insights in real-time. Manufacturers can achieve optimized quality production through timely informed decisions.

The report published by PwC based on their study conducted regarding Exploiting the AI Revolution says that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Of this, $6.6 trillion is likely to come from increased productivity. Research has also suggested that 45% of total economic gains by 2030 will come from product enhancements, stimulating consumer demand. That is because AI will drive greater product variety, with increased personalization, while also reducing production costs considerably (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2016).

So, understand, invest and embrace. Don’t just resist and reject. Informed and progressive decisions today will lead you to success in the future. And see if you can borrow some artificial intelligence to do that!

Neewee Joins the SAP® PartnerEdge® Program

Bengaluru, India, September 23, 2021

Neewee announced today that it has joined the SAP® PartnerEdge® program as a partner that designs, develops, and builds software. 

“We are happy to announce Neewee is now an SAP partner,” said Harsimrat Bhasin CEO, Neewee. “This is a new milestone in Neewee’s journey and we would like to thank the entire team for this achievement. With Neewee’s leading-edge artificial intelligence apps in industrial analytics, manufacturing companies can improve their quality, efficiency, and productivity by leveraging the power of the internet of things (IoT) and AI.” 

Neewee enables manufacturing companies to see the larger context by collecting, connecting, and analyzing data from every point of the manufacturing process. This helps discover underlying patterns, uncover high-potential opportunities, predict deviations, and prescribe solutions. In turn, this intelligence augments day-to-day operations, empowering analysts, managers, and shop-floor staff to take crucial business decisions in real time. Neewee’s AI apps developed specifically for the manufacturing industry help identify parameters impacting yield, quality, production efficiency, consistency, and cycle times. They provide real-time recommendations and integrate with existing Information Technology/Operational Technology systems and platforms. 

As a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge program, Neewee is empowered to build, market and sell software applications that supplement and build on SAP software and technology. Neewee has its platform agnostic AI apps deployed on SAP Business Technology Platform. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides the enablement tools, benefits and support to facilitate building high-quality, disruptive applications focused on specific business needs – quickly and cost-effectively. The program provides access to all relevant SAP technologies in one simple framework under a single, global contract. 

About Neewee

We here at Neewee believe that a data-filled world needs a data-first approach. Neewee’s proprietary AI applications are optimizing manufacturing operations for leading global companies, and we have offices worldwide. We are driven with the vision of enabling complete digitalization of manufacturing to accelerate industrial transformation and profitable growth. 

Any statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties described in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 20-F, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. SAP cautions readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which SAP has no obligation to update and which speak only as of their dates. 

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