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Developing New Pathways to Revenue Growth with IIoT for Aerospace and Defense OEMs

The slowing growth rate in the manufacturing industry and the demand for accountability from end-users has led to varying fortunes for OEMs manufacturing equipment for the aerospace industry. To remain profitable in a time of massive upheaval with multiple challenges looming, OEMs across the aerospace and defense industries must discover new pathways through digital transformation which generate revenue while extracting data.

According to Eric Bernadini, business transformation expert specializing in aerospace and defense, the technological revolution (digital transformation) hitting the industry creates revenue growth opportunities for the “first–movers” who learn to harness the technologies that define periods of change. The industrial internet of things is one such technology that can give aerospace and defense OEMs an edge over the competition in the following ways:

Simplify the Extraction and Processing of Shop Floor Data

 IIoT hardware provides a means of capturing shop floor data within the factory floor of OEMs. The plethora of data collection hardware such as Edge devices, sensors and human-machine interfaces, means aerospace and defense OEMs can now put numbers to specific operations. Take, for example, machine utilization, which was predominantly determined by throughput and overall equipment effectiveness calculations. With IIoT, data concerning the effects of interrelated processes such as the effectiveness (OEE) of a material handling system on machine utilization can now be captured and calculated.

These calculations bring deeper context to an OEM’s productivity levels alongside OEE calculations. Therefore, OEMs can leverage the data from IIoT solutions to implement lean manufacturing policies that reduce recurrent expenditure.

Providing Additional Value-based Services 

The economic contraction within the manufacturing industry affects both OEMs and the manufacturers in the aerospace and defense industry using manufactured equipment.  As OEMs seek the economic advantage to grow revenue, the end-user is also in search of solutions that reduce overhead costs and increase profit margins. IIoT can be deployed by OEMs as a means to understand how the diverse equipment produced is being utilized on the shop floor. The data mined from the extensive deployment of data-capturing solutions can be leveraged to provide additional services that can be sold to the equipment user.

Examples of these solutions include benchmark data which highlights the optimal and average utilization rate of a piece of equipment by factory owners operating in the aerospace and defense industry. Manufacturers who subscribe to benchmark data packages can then use the information to develop achievable data-driven production optimization strategies.

Improving Product Development Processes

The scalability that an IIoT platform offers enables aerospace and defense OEMs to track equipment deployed on the factory floor. A cloud-based IIoT platform can be configured to capture data from an unlimited amount of equipment deployed across diverse locations. OEMs interested in understanding how equipment functions in the high-temperature, interference-laden, and rugged environment of the average factory environment can capture specific machine data using IIoT solutions.

The data captured from the IIoT deployment provides real-time information on equipment performance. This can be leveraged to produce better iterations or updated versions of specific machines which can play a part in increasing revenue.

Taking advantage of the data capture and processing capabilities IIoT solutions offer starts with choosing a best-in-class platform to support your digital transformation objectives. After all, there are many solutions on the market, and implementing Industry 4.0 solutions is not a simple task. In fact, a wrong approach to implementing IIoT strategies is why 70% of IIoT deployments fail.


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