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Jacklin Altman23 Jan, 2019

Five of sixteen of the Word Economic Forum's factories of the future run on the PI System

The World Economic Forum in conjunction with McKinsey & Company has been compiling a list of manufacturing facilities that stretch the boundaries of what can be accomplished with digital technology.

The idea is that other companies will look to these examples to develop their own strategies for reducing energy, improving productivity and growing economic opportunities. (Hat tip to Enterprise IoT Insights for covering the story and the European spelling.)

So far, they have identified 16 of these “lighthouse” facilities from around the globe from approximately 1,000 entrants.

And we're very proud to note that PI System plays at role at five of them. Or 31 percent if you want to count it that way. They are:

Saudi Aramco (Uthmaniyah, Saudi Arabia, named to the list January 2019) “The giant's gas processing plant has become a leader in a number of technologies, including the use of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence solutions via Saudi Aramco's 'Fourth Industrial Revolution Center', the use of drones to inspect pipelines and machinery (cutting inspection times by 90 per cent), and wearable technologies such as digital helmets that help workers cut the time it takes to make inspections and repairs.”

Sandvik Coromant (January 2019) “This producer of cutting tools and solutions has created a digital thread through its production processes that has significantly raised labour productivity. One example is its 'touchless changeover' which allows design patterns to be changed automatically, even during unmanned shifts.”

Tata Steel (Ijmuiden, The Netherlands, 2019) “This plant of 9,000 employees is putting its people first, creating an 'advanced analytics academy' to help workers come up with solutions to reduce waste, and improve the quality and reliability of production processes. This work has resulted in a significant improvement in financial results.”


Bayer (Garbagnate, Italy, September 2018) "The German firm's pharmaceuticals plant in Garbagnate has leveraged digital solutions and data for significant productivity improvements. Notably, the site has utilised 'digital-twin' based scheduling to drive improvements in its quality control lab."

Johnson & Johnson (Cork, Ireland, Sept. 2018) "US firm Johnson & Johnson's factory in Cork makes orthopaedic and neurosurgery devices for its DePuy Synthes business. The plant has used internet of things technology to create digital representations of physical assets leading to advanced machine insights, resulting in lower operating costs and a reduction in machine downtime."

“The fourth industrial revolution is real. Workers and management equally get augmented with technology. These pioneers have created factories that have 20-50 per cent higher performance and create a competitive edge,” Enno de Boer, partner and global head of manufacturing at McKinsey & Company, has said. “They have agile teams with domain, analytics, IoT and software development expertise that are rapidly innovating on the shop floor. They have deployed a common data/IoT platform and have up to 15 use cases in action. They are thinking 'scale', acting 'agile' and resetting the benchmark.”

Jacklin AltmanDigital Media ManagerJacklin is the Digital Media Manager and local food critic at OSIsoft. With over 7 years of experience in marketing, software, and social media, she writes about all things tech, marketing, and the PI System.
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