Even with the brightest vision of an Industry 4.0 future, it would never an option simply to gut the entire production facility, wipe out the entire supply chain structures, and start over with a greenfield design of a fully integrated value chain brimming with exciting robotics, leveraging benefits of machine learning and applied AI. The challenge for manufacturers and consumer product companies is to figure out ways to derive Industry 4.0 benefit from legacy platforms they already have in place. Knowing which product is in which condition in which steps of the production and distribution process opens up a new universe of insight and actionable management information.

In smart manufacturing, powered by Industrial IoT, often the greatest pressure is finding the resources – financial and talents- to fund digital initiatives. Two areas to investigate as a way to free up funds are applications and processes:

Trim down applications

Cognizant recommends analyzing applications based on the“4R” strategy: retain, re-engineer/evolve, re-factor/platform or retire. This creates a clearer picture of where in the lifecycle the application is, and ultimately enables organizations to simplify, and to free resources by decommissioning. The approach can help organizations to reduce OPEX at significant levels, freeing up space to build new capabilities.

Design adaptable processes

Business processes are another valuable touchpoint. An agile organization has automated, adaptable processes at its core, with high automation maturity, enabling it to respond quickly to new demands and innovations. Most processes and applications need integrated departments and functions. Agile is often a synonym for fast change, but we consider its true value to lie in an highly integrated and cooperative organizational style combining business and technology teams.

Cognizant takes a pragmatic approach. While a “green field” approach is inappropriate for many core functions , we engage with the challenge by figuring out how to orchestrate what is already there. We define a seamless integration strategy, and apply further automation, including evaluation of an intelligent robotics layer if appropriate to address process specialities outside core platform capabilities.

Discover more

Industry 4.0 manufacturing relies on a connected landscape of processes, people, plants and partners, covering front to back supply chains. For more information on how Cognizant can help your organization energize its smart manufacturing transformation, visit Industry 4.0 for Manufacturing at Cognizant online.