Smart factories of the future – today!

A surprising number of manufacturers are still relying on operational technology installed 20 to 30 years ago. They’re trying to run a hodgepodge of shop-floor equipment, some of it new and some units still in service after decades. In this environment, many organizations are challenged with accurate demand planning, visibility into internal and external supply chains and increasing demands from customers for ordering flexibility and customization.

At a time when many industries, including aerospace and defense and automotive, are under pressure to increase production and product quality, many organizations struggle with key performance indicators (KPI) such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) or mean time between failures (MTBF). While shop-floor automation may seem out of reach for some operations, leading-edge applications and practices, supported by next-gen infrastructure, can make the Smart Factory a reality — today!

The latest approaches in manufacturing in the world of Industry 4.0 are being presented and demonstrated at the 2nd Annual Smart Factory World Symposium in Chicago, Illinois, with our partner Forcam Inc.

CSC is a sponsor of this year’s event, and CSC representatives are on hand to explore ways to synchronize, automate and optimize physical and digital processes using Forcam’s unique technology.

Real-time shop-floor insights

Forcam is enabling business leaders to access shop-floor insights in real time — from anywhere via any device — and to respond instantly to deviations from the target. This information allows manufacturers to not only reduce machine downtime but also to identify shop-floor issues well in advance.

Forcam software eliminates the need for a middle layer over shop-floor systems. Instead, all machines, regardless of brand or age, can be directly connected and integrated on an extremely modern architecture.

The prospect of transforming shop-floor technology and equipment can be daunting, and the question of “Where to begin?” has stalled out many programs before they can take root.

CSC works with some of the world’s top manufacturers, and we advise our clients to begin with a quick proof of concept focusing on one KPI and a selected set of machines. For very little money over a few months, you can prove the value of your investments in new technology. Companies are seeing increases in OEE of 10 percent, or more, and when you consider the potential improvements across the enterprise, the return on investment is astounding.

CSC Delivery Framework

Under our partnership, Forcam’s software comes integrated in CSC’s Delivery Framework, so we can deliver a full complement of services including systems integration, hosting, cybersecurity, support and maintenance and advanced analytics.

What’s really exciting about our partnership with Forcam is our ability to combine next-gen solutions for private cloud Infrastructure as a Service and centralized hybrid cloud management. The CSC Agility Platform helps organizations rapidly provision workloads, centrally manage security and compliance, and employ faster DevOps practices to transform application development and testing programs.

Cloud and Next-Gen Technologies

Even with on-premises implementations, CSC can mirror systems and data in the cloud to increase OT availability to almost 100 percent. With your Smart Factory in place, now it’s time to apply advanced analytics to create a Digital Twin of your factory − eventually giving you simulations based on real-time data of how business decisions would affect all aspects of the manufacturing value chain.

The Smart Factory is here today, and it’s time for manufacturing companies worldwide to make the transformation.


fangmannChris Fangmann, CTO of Global Manufacturing, CSC, has helped many of the world’s leading organizations transform business and IT and adopt next-gen technologies. Connect with him on  LinkedIn and Twitter.

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