Forecast 2014

Forecast 2014: How to master disruptive technologies

Upsetting the status quo is exactly the point, as companies dive into social networking, the cloud and more.

1 2 3 Page 2
Page 2 of 3

"In the past, the mindset was to fix a machine when it breaks," says CIO Raman Mehta. That meant waiting for a failure to occur, then interrupting production -- which could involve bringing down an entire assembly line -- to make repairs.

Cloud and analytics technologies are now disrupting that way of doing business, enabling EWIE to shift to "condition-based monitoring," which entails machines continually streaming data about temperature, vibration levels, scrap production and other factors to a cloud-based EWIE system, so EWIE engineers can proactively intervene before a problem occurs.

"We are one of the first companies trying to get in to the core of manufacturing with a cloud offering," Mehta says. "It's one of our important growth opportunities," he says, noting that the new cloud-based monitoring and diagnostic service offering positions EWIE as a single point of contact with manufacturing customers for diagnostics, parts and repairs.

Additionally, EWIE engineers who work on-site at customers' manufacturing facilities -- which can span the length of two or three football fields -- now carry mobile devices so they can directly enter data about a machine's status, rather than jotting down the information and entering it into the system later.

"Once you capture data at the point of performance, the accuracy of that data is much higher," Mehta explains. And more-accurate data yields more-accurate maintenance schedules.

Mehta says top management at EWIE "loves the speed" at which IT can enable new service offerings by using the cloud. "They don't have to wait weeks for IT to procure more hardware and a software license and then be in a perpetual software [upgrade and enhancement] schedule," he says. Another benefit is that internal IT staff can shift their focus away from what Mehta describes as "nuts and bolts techie" concerns to become more aligned with the company's business goals.

The greatest challenge with the cloud, Mehta says, is ensuring the integration of older back-end systems to the newer cloud-based applications and services.

1 2 3 Page 2
Page 2 of 3
It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon