Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is ready to launch two new solutions aimed at the manufacturing sector and aimed at facilitating data engineering and analysis tasks, combining data from different machine assets to offer business insights to factory managers.
GCP’s new proposals come at a time when manufacturing companies are adopting systems to meet the challenge of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (also known as VUCA) conditions stemming from global phenomena, including the pandemic and the Great Resignation.
Nearly two-thirds of global manufacturers already use cloud solutions, according to consulting firm McKinsey, and marketing intelligence company ReportLinker reports that the global smart factory market consists of companies using technologies such as The Internet of Things – is expected to reach 214.2 billion dollars by 2026.
But businesses that are planning a digital transformation of their factories or are at some stage of emerging technology are facing major challenges, Google says.
“We believe that the challenges of scalability revolve around two factors – the lack of access to contextualized operational data and the lack of skills to use sophisticated data science tools and plant AI,” wrote Charlie Sheridan, Google’s Global Production Technology Director. Cloud. in a blog post.
To help organize data and make it meaningful for use in business operations, GCP has announced Manufacturing Data Engine.
The Edge-Cloud connection helps to retrieve data
Manufacturing Data Engine is designed to allow businesses to retrieve data – including telemetry and image data – through a private, secure and low-cost connection between edge, end and a cloud, Sheridan said. The engine comes with built-in data normalization and context-enhancing capabilities, providing a common data model with a factory-optimized storage database, he added.
However, most companies use different types of machine assets, often called operational technologies (OT), to collect data. To address the challenge of collecting different types of data from these assets, GCP launched the Manufacturing Connect tool.
Developed in partnership with the industry endpoint platform provider Litmus Automation, the Manufacturing Connect tool is designed to connect to each OT asset with a backend library consisting of over 250 machine protocols.
“Manufacturing Connect translates machine data into a digestible data set and sends it to the Manufacturing Data Engine for processing, contextualization and storage. Supporting container workloads, it allows manufacturers to perform low latency data visualization, analysis and ML [machine learning] opportunities directly on the edge, “Sheridan said.
Production applications integrate with other Google offerings
Businesses can also use Manufacturing Data Engine in combination with other GCP products to generate more information, perform predictive maintenance, and detect machine-level anomalies.
Manufacturing Data Engine comes with ready-to-use integration with templates from the Looker BI platform without Google code, designed to allow manufacturing engineers and plant managers to quickly create and modify custom dashboards, add new machines, settings and factories.
To perform predictive maintenance, companies can implement pre-built machine learning models and refine them with the help of Google Cloud engineers.
To help production teams detect machine-level anomalies, the company has built an integration into the GCP Time Series Insights API on real-time machine and sensor data that identifies unwarranted changes and provides signals.
Google faces competing industry-specific solutions
Google Cloud’s manufacturing solutions will compete with the offerings from AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle and IBM, which offer similar solutions complete with more horizontal capabilities, said Holger Mueller, chief analyst at Constellation Research.
Google started the trend to launch industry-focused solutions as early as 2019, when Thomans Kurian was in charge, Mueller said, adding that this type of industry solution helps CIOs unlock the true potential of their cloud investments by helping to ensure faster time. market strategy.
Some of Google’s partners in manufacturing solutions include Intel, Splunk, Quantiphi, Cognizant, Litmus Automation, Sotec, GFT and Softserve.
The company has not given any indication of the overall availability of these solutions, but is expected to present them later this month.