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Google Cloud Manufacturing Solutions enable Smart Factories with Smarter Workers

Today, manufacturers are advancing on their digital transformation journey, betting on innovative technologies like cloud and AI to strengthen competitiveness and deliver sustainable growth. Nearly two thirds of manufacturers already use cloud solutions, according to McKinsey. The actual work of scaling digital transformation projects from proof of concept to production, however, still remains a challenge for the majority of them, according to analysts.

The scalability challenges revolve around two factors; the lack of access to contextualized operational data and the skills gap to use complex data science and AI tools on the factory floor.

To ensure manufacturers can scale their digital transformation efforts into production, Google Cloud has announced new manufacturing solutions, specifically designed for manufacturers’ needs. The new manufacturing solutions from Google Cloud give manufacturing engineers and plant managers access to unified and contextualized data from across their disparate assets and processes.

Analysis of the new solutions follow the data journey from factory floor to the cloud:

Manufacturing Data Engine is the foundational cloud solution to process, contextualize and store factory data. The cloud platform can acquire data from any type of machine, supporting a wide range of data, from telemetry to image data, via a private, secure, and low cost connection between edge and cloud. With built-in data normalization and context-enrichment capabilities, it provides a common data model, with a factory-optimized data lakehouse for storage.

Manufacturing Connect is the factory edge platform co-developed with Litmus Automation that quickly connects with nearly any manufacturing asset via an extensive library of 250-plus machine protocols. It translates machine data into a digestible dataset and sends it to the Manufacturing Data Engine for processing, contextualization and storage. By supporting containerized workloads, it allows manufacturers to run low-latency data visualization, analytics and ML capabilities directly on the edge.

Built on the Manufacturing Data Engine are a growing set of data analytics and AI use cases, enabled by Google Cloud and its partners:

Manufacturing analytics & insights: An out-of-the-box integration with Looker templates that delivers a dashboarding and analytics experience. As an easy-to-use, no-code data and analytics model, it empowers manufacturing engineers and plant managers to quickly create and modify custom dashboards, adding new machines, setups, and factories automatically. The solution enables drill down into the data against KPIs, or on-demand to uncover new insights and improvement opportunities throughout the factory. Shareable insights unlock collaboration across the enterprise and with partners.

Predictive maintenance: Pre-built predictive maintenance machine learning models allow manufacturers to deploy in weeks without compromising on prediction accuracy. Manufacturers can continuously improve their models and refine them in collaboration with Google Cloud engineers.

Machine-level anomaly detection: A purpose-built integration that leverages Google Cloud’s Time Series Insights API on real-time machine and sensor data to identify anomalies as they occur and provide alerts.

“The growing amount of sensor data generated on our assembly lines creates an opportunity for smarter analytics around product quality, production efficiency, and equipment health monitoring, but it also means new data intake and management challenges,” said Jason Ryska, director of manufacturing technology development at Ford Motor Company. We worked with Google Cloud to implement a data platform now operating on more than 100 key machines connected across two plants, streaming and storing over 25 million records per week. We’re gaining strong insights from the data that will help us implement predictive and preventive actions and continue to become even more efficient in our manufacturing plants.”

“With the tight integration of a powerful factory edge solution with Google Cloud, it is easier than ever for factories to tap into cloud capabilities,” said Masaharu Akieda, general manager for the Digital Solutions Division at KYOCERA Communication Systems Company. “Google Cloud’s solutions enable a broader group of users beyond data scientists to quickly access, analyze and use data in a variety of use cases. We are excited to partner with Google Cloud as we implement new manufacturing solutions to optimize production operations and consistently increase quality.”

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