Digital Business Innovation: 5 case studies

 
 
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Digital transformation is at the origin of the 4th industrial revolution. Extending across entire industries, it is establishing new business models, enhancing efficiency and minimising the repetitiveness of operators’ tasks in manufacturing. Each industrial sector is being disrupted by this digital revolution, including distribution, transportation and even the aerospace industry. 

Looking at some of the pioneers of industry 4.0 can inspire the definition of your companies’ trajectories, strategic plans and entire projects. Here are five pioneers of this 4th industrial revolution, which illustrate the convergence of the real and digital world:

Electric mobility

Image Credit: Jason Torchinsky Jalopnik.com

Image Credit: Jason Torchinsky Jalopnik.com

Best known for its eponymous, high-end household electrical devices, Dyson is at the origin of several advanced technologies which have led to its $4.8 billion market capitalisation. Employing 3500 engineers worldwide, they have innovated digital motors, batteries, patented cyclones and are now applying the same technologies in the automotive sector.

“Our 18 years' experience in the development of household appliance engines means that we have expertise in how to miniaturise them and can transfer this technology to new products” explains Jake Dyson, chief engineer and son of Dyson’s founder.

400 engineers are already working on the electric car project. Dyson is going to invest one billion pounds to develop the battery and a further billion for the car itself. Artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D vision systems will be fully integrated into the product.

As always, people are at the centre of this fourth revolution: “We recruit enormously for our electric motor car project and we are always short of good engineers, thus we decided to train them ourselves” explains Jake. Dyson have addressed this skill shortage through their newly established post-baccalaureate university located on its UK campus.

Artificial intelligence

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The founders of Braincube, Laurent Laporte, Sylvain Rubat and Hélène Olphe-Galliard, had an anticipative intuition in the value of industrial data. They developed a tool to optimise the functioning of industrial systems to conserve the resources consumed in factories.

Cloud computing continuously records the functioning and corresponding parameters in the factory. It then analyses the periods of optimal performance and uses algorithms to adjust and reset these parameters to constantly optimise production.

Small and medium-sized enterprise

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Damien Marc, Chief Executive Officer from JPB Système demonstrates the possibility of implementing 4.0 solutions with a limited budget. Robots and tablets constitute the universe of this SME and Damien pilots the factory on his smartphone. Industry 4.0 and a new set of digital tools have enabled an exponential rise in manufacturing capability, necessitated by the production ramp up of the new LEAP engine produced by the Safran - General Electric joint venture which has to deliver 15 000 engines within the next few years.

Demonstrators: the ICO of the Boston Consulting Group

Image Credit: The Boston Consulting Group

Image Credit: The Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group's Innovation Centre for Operations (ICO) is a set of immersive demonstration and experimentation plants located in France, Germany, Singapore, and the US which exhibit, through various production lines the potential of industry 4.0. Digital continuity, implementation of 4.0 tools on older machines, collaborative robots absorbing difficult tasks, artificial intelligence are just some of the technological bricks displayed at these centres.

Digital continuity

Image Credit: Dassault Systèmes

Image Credit: Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes 3D Experience is a business interface platform which provides a fully integrated set of digital tools to power industry solution experiences. Moving beyond the mindset of providing standardised products and focusing on compelling unique consumer experiences, the 3D Experience is a profound example of the potential of data. Utilising apps to connect data, people, ideas and solutions, business leaders can now navigate through a digital ecosystem and coordinate internal and external resources to enhance customer value. Everything from the design of objects, the management of production through to the configuration of assembly lines can be controlled from one system. The sequencing of work by workers in the factory shop floor, the supply of parts to support the flow of production, are taken care of in an autonomous way.

By creating an online community that extends to every component of the value chain, the 3D Experience capacitates a new dimension of communication between consumers, business leaders, factories and suppliers and a new, unprecedented capability for innovation and consumer value.

Author

Pierre Charpentier

 
Richard Smith