The Top 4 Challenges Faced by OEMs

Similar to other industries, the manufacturing industry is also shifting to a subscription-based model. This is being referred to as servitization, and has transformed the industry, as it encourages products-as-a-service. But this shift has also been ridden with challenges. Here are a few of them:

Efficient and secure data connectivity

The complex machinery that’s used for industrial applications is built to last. Such equipment is considered a fixed asset and has a 3 to 4 decade lifespan. Therefore, it needs to be highly reliable. While the products in service today aren’t built for IoT connectivity, integrating existing equipment with IoT enabled parts is now a major challenge businesses are facing.

Insufficient data

The latest machine learning algorithms, like Recurrent Neural Nets and Deep Learning and, have been revolutionary. They have amazing image and voice recognition abilities. While these machine learning algorithms have proven to be very effective, they also rely on millions of data points from millions of users across the world. A lack of data in such a circumstance can result in ineffectiveness. Manufacturers of industrial equipment also tend to hold onto data instead of sharing it, which doesn’t help the cause.

Domain expertise

Domain expertise in the manufacturing environment is critical. Machines and processes are developed using certain principles. The context in which a machine behaves and operates is also crucial for training models and analysis.

Without this context, issues arise as the sensors alone cannot provide quality data. Here’s where domain experts are required. They interpret historic data and develop an accurate model training. They also interpret the results, which is crucial.

Data ownership

As of yet, there aren’t any standards in the industry based on ownership and accessibility. Manufacturers are still struggling to determine who owns and has access to data. The main dilemma is, does the manufacturer own the data, or the third-party that rents and operates it.

There’s also much debate about the role of the financial entities and suppliers that provide essential components. Take the example of an aircraft engine; each component of the aircraft is manufactured by a different entity. Experts believe that some form of regulation will be developed in the near future. These regulations will streamline processes and eliminate grey areas like data ownership and access.

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