Management Innovation Needed for IIoT Projects
Grant Gerke | February 1, 2018
There was an interesting interview on Transformation Beats that came across my RSS feed recently, which involved Evonik Industries, a specialty chemicals company, creating a new “Digital” division to manage new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) projects for business divisions within the company. The interview is with Henrik Hahn, chief digital officer at Evonik’s new Digital Division and the goal is to move quickly with an eye towards optimization.
It would be tremendously difficult for our divisions to roll out totally new activities alongside their usual business. Digital GmbH, on the other hand, is an organization where we can pull together specific competencies to develop and test digital ideas. The working methods are agile, fast and fluid. If a topic turns out to be a dead end, we close it down fast.
The Agile Scrum method is gaining traction in manufacturing. Efficient Plant documented this method last year with HIROTECH’S condition monitoring project and its 6-week test run on eight, CNC machines. HIROTECH Corp. is a Tier 1 Auto supplier — exhaust systems — and took and ran with this cloud analytics initiative back to Japan via Justin Hester, manager of advanced engineering center at Hirotec. Hester thoughts on the project, below:
“HIROTEC argues, let’s do a small project. Let’s do a project that’s only six weeks long. It gets people excited. It’s not something that’s going to drone on for the next two years, where they have to devote the next two years of their life to as well as these other requests that will come in from the organization. They see light at the end of the tunnel already.”
Getting back to Evonik, the specialty chemicals industry is known for its legacy plants and equipment. This is not a unique challenge in manufacturing. The method employed by the Evonik Group allows the company to identify potential production optimization issues quickly.
We also support our colleagues at Evonik Technology & Infrastructure, who are working on projects such as developing digital twins of our production infrastructure to realize end-to-end networking and integration in lifecycle operation of plant and equipment. We’re also working to achieve completely digital material and information flows in supply chain management.