The Rise of Data Science and the Intelligent Enterprise: Digital Manufacturing in an SAP Environment

By Carlos Pinheiro Guimaraes, Director of SAP Technology and Innovation at Hitachi Consulting

Hyperconnectivity: A continuous melding of technologies and innovation gives us access to unprecedented amounts of information about everyone and everything, all the time and in real time. We are so connected that we can instantly share our thoughts, needs, and dreams. And any of those can change with the blink of an eye – or the arrival of the next crescendo on social media. Consumers and designers are like surfers riding the waves as they act and react to maintain their balance and keep pace in this connected world.

Each day it gets more complicated. Not only are we connected to each other, but we are now connected to “things” and they are joining the conversation. As we interact more with each other and these new non-human forms of communication, we are rapidly moving into an age where we can instantly gauge a customer’s response or changes in their preferences and dreams – and react just as fast.

We are experiencing an exponential overload of information everywhere and about everything:   hyperconnectivity. Where does it lead? To one of two outcomes:

  • We collapse into chaos. We’re drowning in information that is meaningful but too plentiful to process and act on in an insightful way.
  • We rise above the chaos. We modify our reactions and interactions in ways unimaginable by even the most creative scientists and poets.

How do we rise above? The secret is in our ability to “delegate our intelligence” so that we can make sense of our world without being overwhelmed. It is possible to get help that can think more, think faster, think deeper – and automate the decisions we struggle to make today because of limitations in our own cognitive capacity.

The emergence of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) will help us deal with this new era of hyperconnectivity. AI not only helps us process this information, it can analyze it and make hundreds of tiny decisions so that we can focus our human intellect on the big decisions. AI is making the relationship between humans and machines symbiotic, and nowhere is this more evident than in the manufacturing sector.

Preparing for the hyperconnected world

Manufacturing is experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0. With its focus on interconnectivity and AI with real-time data, Industry 4.0 is allowing manufacturers to use their previous investments, connecting existing sensors and other equipment from operations, and bringing modern instrumentation and smart sensors only when and where needed.

Making that first move toward digital transformation is an important one, and no one makes it impulsively. To start developing your digital manufacturing landscape, get your bearings with these essential first steps:

  1. Evaluate the data you already have.
  2. Identify the data you are missing.
  3. Formulate a thorough understanding of how your factory is currently operating.

These data-collecting efforts will lead you, almost immediately, to recognize that a successful transformation requires the real-time, faster data insights and predictions that a digital manufacturing solution powered by AI can provide.

As a trusted SAP partner, Hitachi has brought its intellectual property together with the latest proven SAP technologies to create the Hitachi Digital Manufacturing Suite for SAP. The Digital Manufacturing Suite is based on best digital practices from Hitachi’s own top-performing manufacturing facilities, so you get tested, proven efficiencies and insights based on real-world factory situations.

The solution drives operational excellence and improves decision-making by:

  • Connecting and visualizing worker, material flow and manufacturing processes.
  • Digitizing institutional knowledge.
  • Integrating with customers and suppliers.

The Hitachi Digital Manufacturing Suite for SAP brings our more than 108 years of experience building products across a wide range of industries to empower your organization to become an intelligent enterprise.

Learn more about the Hitachi Digital Manufacturing Suite for SAP.