In a time where data is the new currency, businesses are creating products in an always-on economy. Hyper-connected products, which range from connected consumer homes to fleets of autonomous vehicles, are ushering in of new era called Industry X.0.
In the era of Industry X.0, humans will be digitally connected to every product they consume, and enterprises will derive value from the entire digital ecosystem. Our vision for Industry X.0, which we recently published at IoT World Congress and Anita Borg Grace Hopper, creates an opportunity for enterprises to re-think the way they produce products. It flips product lifecycles upside down by opening cycles up for consumer input and influence. Products will be designed, prototyped, manufactured, assembled, distributed, and operated in ultra-automated lifecycles, and the workforce will be highly-collaborative and equipped with artificial intelligence to accelerate tasks.
While IoT was the technology that introduced the world to rapid connectivity, Industry X.0 is the enterprise application that bonds IoT to business ROI. The shift towards rapid compressed timelines is enabled by of artificial intelligence, always-connected advanced sensors, mixed/virtual reality, generative design and part consolidation, the crowd, advanced manufacturing (3D Printing), ultrapostponement analytics, edge intelligence, blockchain, and the entire spectrum of autonomous robotics. Industry X.0 is end-to-end business solution that spans across business processes, and ultimately results in ultra-postponed products.
Illustration of Industry X.0 enterprise impact
What will Industry X.0 change?
There are three pillars that will change in Industry X.0: the workforce, and the processes that support the workforce, and the channels in which customers engage with a business.
Acceptance-at-scale of Industry X.0 will be driven by an analysis-driven workforce that can complete tasks in rapidly reduced time cycles. Equipped with technologies like mixed reality to visualize products and processes, and artificial intelligence to complete tedious tasks, the Industry X.0’s workforce will greatly benefit. Product Engineers will use fully immersive experiences, like virtual reality, to design products, and then be able to immediately simulate in-field performance to discover design enhancements. Remotely collaboration with colleagues and even external teams will provide richer and greater insight to building new products.
As business applications of Industry X.0 continue to emerge, Accenture Labs is investing into the full end-to-end spectrum of how products will be engineered, manufactured, distributed, and operated.
In Automotive, the seat is the second most complex system to engineer, following the engine. Today, when beginning the engineering activities of a new automobile seat, automotive manufacturers and OEM suppliers often examine the needs of a consumer bases through surveys or by reading reviews. This time-consuming activity takes months, and requires expensive analysis. In Labs, we are applying Industry X.0 automation techniques, like artificial intelligence, the liquid workforce, and 3D printing to quickly ideate seat design requirements and support the modeling of designs. For example, we recently applied agile crowd design towards seat problem understanding and design. Our research has uncovered hyper-compressed automation methods, which compress product feature extrapolation from months into days. At scale, the automotive industry’s applications for this time compression exponentially benefit in business value.
A vehicle is now more than simply transportation from point A to point B, and today’s automotive companies are re-inventing the customer’s ultimate riding experience. Beyond problem understanding, Industry X.0 Interior Seat Engineers will collaborate with their remote colleagues, some of whom work on a different continent, by using virtual or mixed reality. We learned that the majority of automotive seats are designed to support 95 percent of the population, ranging from the 6’6 man and the 5’ woman. While this fundamentally results in an uncomfortable seat experience for the majority of automotive riders, we believe there is value to re-think how a rider’s journey can be enhanced by focusing on the health impact of a rider. Will the product engineer consider how a seat can offer posture enhancements, safety alerts, and an overall personalized seat profile that automatically adjusts? For the broad spectrum of consumer sizes and lifestyles, what new automotive services will emerge for consumers to improve their overall lifestyle?
When engineering a new vehicle, on average it requires 36 months. Additionally, one-third of the cost to develop a new automobile is dedicated to prototyping. Think about that. What were you doing 36 months ago that is different today?
When a vehicle has completed a design overhaul, the consumer’s entire digital lifestyle has changed. The once-popular TV screens in SUV’s are no longer an option because riders have a tablet or smartphone. Bluetooth connectivity, once an add-on vehicle feature, now is standard because of consumer demands. Because of the rapid changes in consumer lifestyles, we think that the application of advanced automation techniques, like crowd-influenced prototyping or artificial intelligence recommendation engines for part consolidation, can offer an immediate ROI in the automotive product development lifecycle.
The Industry X.0 worker will be trained by new technologies that extend and compliment
To understand the ROI of a worker being trained with virtual and mixed reality, Accenture Labs partnered with a leading mixed reality hardware manufacturer. We studied 100 people who were trained to assemble a Lego set with either paper instructions or a mixed reality application. When the people tried to assemble the Legos on their own, they noticed their mistakes 50 percent faster when they were trained by mixed reality. Businesses who train workers with immersive technology will benefit from business savings because their workforce will require less time to perform tasks.
In Industry X.0, manufactured products will become a source of understanding the product attributes that are desired by consumers. Today, new products are unveiled to consumers after significant investment into design and prototyping, but with always-connected products, the products themselves are becoming a data point for automating the design of new products. Automation advancements will compress timelines from months to days. Some business use cases examples include using artificial intelligence engines to support the recommendation of alternate bill of material parts, and identifying features and product attributes that need re-designed.
Industry X.0 conclusion
In conclusion, because the metamorphic transformative nature of Industry X.0, it impacts many, if not all facets of an organization: strategy, business models, workforce, technology, processes, partner ecosystems, and customer service.
Accenture Labs has our hands on the pivotal driving forces of Industry X.0. With our clients, we are applying our practical industry expertise to rapidly redefine the age of the always-connected product.
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Accenture Labs: Transforming manufacturing with Industry X.0