microchip, purple, industry 4.0, IoT, Machine Learning, QAD Explore, data lake, augmented reality, embedded advanced technology, explore 2019

By now I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Industry 4.0. Has this become ‘old news’ in the world of manufacturing? I have read some recent articles that have already moved past the discussion around Industry 4.0 and on to discussing how machines and the human brain can be directly linked, or how there will be a rise of virtual think tanks to fill the void of actual employees. In some ways, it feels like we have become bored with the original premise and need something new to talk about. But before we leave Industry 4.0, I think that we should stop and EAT.  

Embedded Advanced Technology

EAT is an acronym I invented that stands for Embedded Advanced Technology. Who doesn’t like to EAT? The Advanced Technologies associated with Industry 4.0 such as IoT, Machine Learning, Data Lakes, Augmented Reality and others are well defined. I think that it’s vital to keep in mind that all advanced technology is only of interest if it provides some value. All of the promise of the associated Advanced Technologies is still available. The reporting of wild successes and radical changes has not yet matched the hype.  

So what is Embedded Advanced Technology (EAT)? EAT delivers on this promise by being embedded in a set of capabilities that actually delivers value. I am less interested in Machine Learning as a concept and much more interested in Machine Learning that drives better forecasts by assisting my planning function. I am less interested in IoT connectivity and much more interested in IoT delivering live values from the factory floor that result in planners making more informed decisions based on real-world views of equipment performance and availability.

Capability vs. Possibility

I believe that talking about these technologies in the abstract have in some ways slowed their adoption. Many times that magic feels more like a really cool solution looking to attach itself to a problem. Should a manufacturer really have to study Machine Learning and AI as concepts and translate them into use cases? It is particularly difficult for a manufacturer to sort through the pure technology vendors who claim to have bottled the magic. So many of the technology offerings are described more like tool kits that allow “you” to use the technology to solve any problem. The emphasis in that proposition is the “you” and the burden of translation may be difficult for many manufacturers to bear. Manufacturing firms would much rather invest in a “capability” over a “possibility.”

QAD is very excited about the promise of advanced technology and feels a responsibility to partner with our customers in embedding that technology into our offerings. Our efforts with manufacturers around embedded capability, and work in QAD Labs, are already showing early results.

Come EAT at Explore!

Whether you’re interested in learning about a capability or possibility, QAD Explore is a great opportunity to learn about actual use cases and better understand the ins and outs of various advanced technologies. Here are some agenda sessions to keep an eye out for:

Industrial and High Tech Vertical Update
The Industrial and High Tech vertical kickoff will be focused on the latest trends, and in particular, on the impact of disruptions on the key segments in Industrial and High Tech manufacturing with respect to Anything as a Service (XaaS), Make-to-Order at Scale and Digital Transformation. In addition the Director of Information for a major Industrial manufacturer  will share his recent experience with applying advanced technology.

ERP Moves to Real Time via Integrated Production Execution
Traditionally ERP is a planning and business function that executes on weekly or even monthly cycles. The integration of Production Execution capability enables a more responsive ERP system, improved service levels and improved operational effectiveness.

How to Accelerate the Digital Transformation Using QAD Manufacturing
Are your manufacturing operations up to the challenge? Day-to-day production is challenged with the need to improve overall equipment effectiveness, increase manufacturing flexibility, capture massive amounts of data and communicate in a new digital world. In this session we’ll explore how the latest evolutions in QAD Manufacturing support your successful transformation. You’ll see how to gain manufacturing flexibility with the new Production Orders functionality, understand how QAD Automation Solutions and Production Execution provide real-time and mass interaction between the shop floor and the ERP, and how the Channel Islands user experience, Action Centers and Dashboards boost the collaboration and insight in daily manufacturing operations. Includes a demo.

Join us at QAD Explore this year (May 6-9) to hear how your fellow manufacturers are investing in advanced technologies. New Orleans is certainly a great place to EAT! Pass the gumbo, please.