The origins and path of the innovative Finnish operator's successful new proposition for the manufacturing industry in the Coordination Age.
Elisa’s Smart Factory solution
As STL Partners has described in The Coordination Age: A third age of telecoms, moves are afoot in the global digital economy to improve the efficiency of resource utilisation by combining the digital and physical worlds in new and innovative ways. Elisa’s Smart Factory solution is a prime example of how telcos can address this need.
In the case of manufacturing industries, understanding and managing the flow and progress of materials and goods through production processes has long been a critical component of business success.
Managing and continually improving complex processes is central to operational success on the supply-side of the manufacturing industry. This includes everything from a floor manager overseeing production, to time-and-motion studies, total quality management, just-in-time production, robotics and automation, and many other managerial and operational approaches.
A number of new concepts and practices are now emerging, driven by the same imperatives but arising to a degree independently and in different disciplines, for example:
- Industry 4.0 ‘the fourth industrial revolution’ – the trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing industries
- Digital twins – a virtualised version of a real thing, a bit like an avatar but for a thing rather than a person. It can simulate the real item, interact with it, and exchange information and commands with other digital twins based on pre-defined rules
- The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – connecting industrial devices, sensors, equipment, etc., to gather and exchange information, and sometimes perform remote control
Numerous companies have embarked on the journey to incorporate and use such connected technologies. However the degree of progress made varies greatly.