Have you heard enough of the word "smart" when it comes to product design? Its thrown around a lot: smart machines, homes, and cities, where smart cars solve transportation problems. Even the tires are smart, as is shown in this TV-report.
Well, youre going to hear more about IoT and smart products, especially if you support a PLM or ERP environment for product development. "Its the way of the future and its the Internet of Things (IoT) that is the catalyst for this smart revolution," asserts Ericssons IoT "guru", Jan Höller.
So what is the role of ERP and PLM in this context? And how will the transition to smart connected devices impact the product realization, distribution and service processes?
ENGINEERING.coms PLM TV-team interviewed a number of the leading technology developers in the IoT area. In this report youll hear more from Ericssons Höller, Dassaults Bernard Charles and PTCs Jim Heppelmann, as well as SAPs Shekhar Iyer and IFS Alastair Sorbie and the academic servitization authority, professor Tim Baines at British Aston University Business School.
It has been said that the IoT – The Internet of Things – will
revolutionize product realization, distribution and services. But is
that forecast true? The short answer is: It already has!
The idea of providing increasingly software-controlled products with
sensors and connecting them via the internet has already reached
breakthrough levels of acceptance in 2014.
"I would say that in the past 18 months, IoT went from something
that according to Gartner was a trend in an "early adopters investigate
mode to practical solutions used by big players across industry
segments and in different parts of the value chain", Jan Höller claims,
adding that these companies have invested heavily in the IoT
Connecting products in use back to the PLM system - Professor Tim Baines
The IoT is a high priority for the ERP and PLM players.
"Absolutely, were very familiar with both the ERP and PLM systems, but
as we move into these new advanced form of services we have to have
systems that first tells us about the product in use. Where is it used?
How? Whats the condition? We need to be able to feed back that
information to the developing organization and help them to make
decisions about what to do with the product", says professor Tim Baines
at Aston Business School and author of the book, "Made to Serve". He
adds "that PLM and actually an SLM system (Service Lifecycle
Management) plays a crucial role in this".
IoT is an important focus area for PTC
PLM developer PTC is one of the companies that has made ??the
most progress in terms of SLM and the Internet of Things. Half a year
ago they bought ThingWorx and previously Servigistics, an advanced
player on the SLM field.
"The Internet of Things creates this whole new product experience
and this in turn finally brings us to servitization which is a complete
transformation in the way we think of products, with services or even
as services. These smart connected products can be serviced in a whole
new way and that leads more and more companies to the power by the
hour type of business model", says PTCs CEO, Jim Heppelmann.
He describes a mindset where companies will, "think of their product
not just as a product but as a vehicle to deliver services in a
continuous ongoing relationship with their customer".
"A whole new world is emerging", claims Dassaults Bernard Charles
This statement marks one of the rare occasions where the PTC
CEO fully agrees with Dassaults CEO, Bernard Charles. "It is a whole
new world emerging", says Charles, "and it will change a lot when it
comes to product development, engineering, and manufacturing, not to
mention the big transition of business models that follows in the path
of new consumption patterns and the automation of the interaction
between machines (M2M)".
The need for standardization on the IoT
But theres still a lot to do before the IoT can reach its
full potential, claims Ericssons Höller and standardization may be the
most important issue. "Indeed, if we look at a number of industry
sectors they have been building their solutions for years. They have
their own standards and proprietary protocols etc. As more and more
"things" become connected these pieces have to be phased out and be
replaced by standards".
IoT and M2Ms expected growth
In 2020 Gartner forecasts that 30 billion devices ("things")
will be connected to the IoT. M2M services are estimated to grow to
nearly $ 200 billion by 2017. And according to a report by the McKinsey
Global Institute ("Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will
transform life, business, and the global economy" - released in May
2013), the Internet of Things has the potential to create economic
effects in the range of 2.7 trillion (2 700 billion) to 6.2 trillion
dollars by 2025. McKinsey further believe that 80 - 100 percent of all
manufacturing will somehow be linked to the use of the Internet of
So, if you havent already included the Internet of Things in your PLM and ERP plans – a "smart" idea would be to rethink…
But first: Watch this TV-report!