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Blog June 22, 2016

A day at work

Have we already digitalized the world? Do we use digital and IoT enhanced services in our daily lives? Let’s look at a normal day of a quality management engineer in a company working with manufacturing.

It’s just a normal Tuesday morning. I wake up to the alarm of my mobile phone. During the morning coffee the phone beeps as I receive a new message to Wilma, Finnish schools’ system where teachers, students and their parents can message and collaborate. My daughter’s teacher just sent a message saying the class nature outing was cancelled because of bad weather. OK, good to know, let me just take the lunch box out from my daughter’s backpack, she’ll eat at school then. After coffee, my phone informs me that there’s only light traffic and I should depart in 30 mins to catch the first meeting at work. I decide not to take my car to work as I have dinner with a customer, so let’s look for the public transportation options. From the phone, I instantly get directions to office with bus and train, the application is live – though APIs – communicating to all transportation providers and gives me recommended routes. En route in 15 min! During the 20 min trip to work I take a look of the first meetings of the day and also reply to a few emails. All set up and now just a 5 minute walk and I’m at my workplace. After the first meeting I see a colleague in the corridor with who I needed to change a few words privately. Next to meeting rooms, there’s a small panel informing whether the room is free or not and for how long. With just 2 clicks I book a room for us for 30 min brief meeting.

Ah, at last a few hours of REAL work, no meetings, great! I open a portal in where I see the current status of all the welding machines in our factory. All looks good. I see that all the welding engineers are performing nicely and all but one welding machine is also currently working. From the same app I see that there’s already an incident raised from that one and Marcus is on it. Excellent! Next to lunch. From one mobile application I see the lunch menus of all the nearby restaurants. For me, it’s a pizza day. I make the order from the app and the pizza arrives in 15 min. Oh yes, this evening is the dinner with the customer. I quickly open tableonline.fi and book a table for 4 at a nice restaurant. Right away I get confirmation of the booking to my email. How convenient!

Next it’s time to look at the production equipment statuses. I open our Service and Asset management tool to see how the production equipment are doing. With one glimpse, I see everything from the next maintenance window to the status of the equipment in general. Information is gathered from different sensors to understand how the production line is working and through integrations from the data already available in other systems. Information from IoT devices and data warehouse databases, integrated to analytics tools together with the Service and Asset management tools make a great match! All looks good and the production line is working as expected.

A few more meetings with factory management, I go through the KPIs from the reports. All the reports are gathered from live systems rather than just looking at a month old manually created reports. From the centralized reports view we see how many products have been sold, how many returned but also how many has been serviced during last month. It’s just simply easier to be on top of the product quality and maintenance cycles when you can see all the data from one platform and can modify your own landing screen the way you want.

It’s almost 5 o’clock, I need to run to the dinner! I quickly open my mobile, it automatically detects my location, I book a taxi with Valopilkku mobile app and in 5 minutes I’m already sitting in the taxi. The rest of the evening goes smoothly with the customer, excellent food and good conversations. We agreed on few new joint initiatives on process innovation and factory quality optimizations based on new sensor technologies. Half the time we’re talking something related to understanding the data we are gathering. Analytics and BI I’d say! I quickly rate the restaurant at tableonline.fi on the taxi on my way home. A long but productive day!

To be able to make the right decisions at the right time, we need to rely on right information. Often this information is available but it’s not used in a way that would truly support reliable decisions. With Business Intelligence and Analytics, APIs, integration services and right platforms, the data can be visualized in a way that benefits the business. The examples above are just some simple examples what open APIs and platforms can do for any business. For all this to work we need open access to data. Many of the solutions are actually based on open APIs and access to already available data, whereas others require us to create new data acquirement services, whether we collect the data through new platforms or IoT sensors. We all have the means to measure, store and even publish data inside or outside our companies in a way that everyone could benefit of it. Just imagine the amount of data that could be gathered and analyzed with installing just a few sensors that would monitor in real-time the pressure, temperatures, flow or vibrations of manufacturing environments. It’s important that you start thinking how digitalization could help you and your business. There’s unfortunately no time no doubt; if you are hesitating it’s for sure that you’ll lack behind. If you don’t know, search for information, ask and discuss.

Juha Kukka
Digital Evangelist & Strategic Architect