FMCG companies are under constant pressure to produce more for less, but often have limited budgets in terms of adopting new technologies. Retail World spoke with technology experts from the Open IIoT Group at CEBIT 2019 and asked: what area of technology do you believe would give them the biggest bang for their buck? That is, where should they be investing?
Here’s what Zi-Argus Industry 4.0 Operations Manager Richard Roberts had to say.
“Before you jump into any big plan, go back to basics: understand the business vision, criteria, what the main goals are. It could be as simple as knowledge – we need more information; we might not know what technologies we have and that could be the simple goal. Or they’re going to be more specific: efficiencies, how we can reduce costs, waste; that sort of thing.
“Then, find partners like us to help build that strategy. This is what we do, day in, day out – we help companies build a strategy. That consists of going through the elements of an Industry 4 solution. We’ve got to understand the goal: how do they get there, do they need any devices or equipment? If they already have that equipment, we can extract the data from it, do we need to add any smart gateways?
“And then layering that with application software as an example. Or it could go to our cloud server. So, you’ve got your devices, you’ve got your hardware, you’ve got your application layer. And as you progress through all those, you’ve got the security at each step along the way. Ultimately you work out best case scenarios for the users who are going to use the system. You’ve also got to think – what are we going to do with that data? How are we going to start to apply modern technologies and machine learnings for the AI? You’ve got to be thinking ahead of the curve and trying to close that loop using the analytics that we’re getting so that you can get information fed back once the system from day one.
“Also consider not just of the data extracted from the system, but data from market trends, from Twitter, from Facebook or from other commercial entities like the stock market. That’s one of the key elements to our software – it allows that aggregation of various different data sources to all come into the one location. Aggregate it, give it structure, and make the analytics work a little less hard because it already has that structure.”
Explore advice from other experts
- SMC Corporation Digital Transformation Leader Jozef Ceh
- Beckhoff Senior Technical Sales Engineer John Wan
- Balluff National Business Development Manager Robert Prince
- NORD Drivesystems Director Max Jarmatz
About Open IIot
Open IIoT can help customers implement an Industry 4.0 solution which will leave their business smarter, leaner and more profitable. Stay in touch with the group by visiting www.openiiot.com.au or following them on www.linkedin.com/company/open-iiot-australia.