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How IoE Enabled the Automotive Connected Factory of the Future

For most manufacturing companies today, product and services innovation, the introduction of new models, and the need for flexibility and workforce engagement are some of the business drivers requiring a new way to look at factory automation. Often, the ideal opportunity to tackle these challenges arises when a company is expanding capacity or building a new production facility ‘greenfield’. The Internet of Everything plays into this opportunity perfectly as easier and more seamless ways to connect people, process and data have emerged. Mahindra and Mahindra, one of India’s leading automakers, seized just that opportunity to deploy a Connected Factory of the future, building the Chakan facility north of Pune in Maharashtra, to expand capacity on existing models and introduce brand new Mahindra model categories.

I recently worked with analyst firm IDC and their Manufacturing Insights practice to profile Mahindra’s experiences and document best practices coming out of several years into their ‘Factory of the Future’ implementation. Authored by Dr. Christopher Holmes, the ensuing IDC Customer Spotlight Designing and Implementing the Factory of the Future at Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers details design strategies and implementation tactics utilized to automate all aspects of production at the Chakan greenfield, from simulations and scenario testing with Digital Factory models to a fully Converged Plantwide Ethernet architecture with Connected Factory Wireless solutions that improve throughput, quality and employee engagement. Take a look here for more details:

As another point of reference, in this IoE Tech Talk show, V.S. Partharasathy, CFO and Group CIO of Mahindra, describes the business issues they were trying to address at Chakan. For example, he describes the need for more Connected Manufacturing visibility—“what’s happening in the shop floor”—and getting that real-time data with rich context up-and-down the enterprise through improved network connectivity with IoE.

According to IDC, before Mahindra started on the fully connected and ‘future-proof’ factory, the company first undertook a comprehensive benchmarking exercise to understand the latest technologies and who in the auto industry had implemented what. The IDC Customer Spotlight is a worthwhile read, not just for Automotive Manufacturers and their tier suppliers, but any company recognizing how Connected Factory Automation can help meet business objectives and achieve break-through, transformational outcomes.

Watch this video to learn more on how the Internet of Everything is helping Mahindra Group:

What are you trying to achieve in your factory? Join the conversation and leave me a comment.

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  1. Hi Chet,
    Great insight. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Chet, Nice blog…just now got to read it. Nice to see M&M factory floor video. I have started working on an idea/project in the related area, from the perspective of sustainability in automotive manufacturing processes, where M2M/IoT can provide economic value.

  3. Excellent Overview and Read – things like this help others to see what can be achieved – I love that IOE isnt about doing this all at once but good case studies help us sell that future and get started on the road to IOE – Thanks for sharing Chet

    • You bet, John! Thank you for taking time to read and comment. You are so right that capitalizing on IoE is a journey, particularly in manufacturing production operations, where assets have planned lifecycles of minimum seven years, typically closer to twenty, and the opportunities to advance towards a richer IoE with Data Analytics-enabled future are mostly involving greenfields and capacity expansions. We are working a few plant and enterprise-wide production operations customer cases that involve brownfield retrofits and moving along that IoE modernization vector. Hopefully, I will be able to write more about those in a future posting. Stay tuned!

  4. automotive factory that good and the world continues to grow

  5. This is a great post. Thanks for your wonderful article! I think this is valuable and useful to us.

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  6. Great read about the automotive factory!

    • Thank you, BJ, for taking time and interest to read the article and provide positive feedback. Please let me know if there are any particular areas that resonated with you and/or which you found most insightful and helpful for your environment.