Providing better operations management tools has been the responsibility of the manufacturing IT organization for many years. At GE Digital, we talk with clients about the merger of IT and OT and some of the implications and partnerships that come about because of this. Manufacturing has some specific nuances that require a specialized kind of software to operate and even then, many times more customization work is needed. In many cases, IT and OT projects for manufacturing can start off as a large RFP effort that results in a solution that can be 40% off-the-shelf and 60% custom-developed software. This need for vast customization has driven project durations upwards of 18 months in duration where each manufacturing facility is a “snowflake” with its own specific requirements. But why not start with a higher level of capability rather than building from scratch?
Several advancements in technology and the dynamics of the workplace are driving change. Cloud-based solutions offer the promise of more immediate benefits without having to install software on location. Millennials and younger workers coming into the workforce expect more out-of-the-box functionality like they get on their cell phones and tablets today. In addition, financial managers are losing patience with large-scale software projects that don’t deliver benefits for many months after the initial purchase.
What is needed is more outcome-based and packaged application modules that serve a specific purpose and can quickly be implemented and require little to no training on how to operate. Something that is more like 80% out-of-the-box and 20% custom-developed software.
But, how can you have the best of both worlds with a packaged highly-functional application that is also extendable and configurable to meet a specific need. Enter GE Digital and the Brilliant Manufacturing Suite of applications that provide plant intelligence, metrics, reporting and analytics-based environments for manufacturing organizations. These applications also have a programming interface that allows extension for creating additional functionality. Our goal at GE Digital is to create the most highly-functional applications that are value-based and out-of-the-box. This is a journey for us and we can’t do it alone.
Therefore, we created the “Brilliant Manufacturing Hackathon” or “Brilliant Hacks,” for short. We are inviting application solution providers and programmers to participate, and compete for a series of prizes to be awarded in the Spring. The objective is to leverage the application programming interfaces we have for these Brilliant Manufacturing Suite applications and the Predix platform, to discover innovative and creative solutions created by others in the industry.
Please visit our site and sign up for the Hackathon. Help us to build the future of manufacturing operations management.