Manufacturers must explore the untapped value that data sharing can offer. Source: Shutterstock

Manufacturers must explore the untapped value that data sharing can offer. Source: Shutterstock

Data sharing in manufacturing offers an untapped value of $100b

MANUFACTURERS and new-age intelligent machines are a match. There is no denying their compatibility in operations and in the augmentation of value chains.

Not only that, manufacturers are quickly acknowledging the industrial opportunities that capabilities like artificial intelligence and advanced analytics offer.

Alongside these capabilities, manufacturing companies are also realizing the value of harnessing and managing data efficiently.

However, managing and harnessing data is limited to ecosystems inside companies. If these ecosystems could be expanded, there could be great value for all kinds of manufacturers.

A study by the World Economic Forum revealed that data sharing has a potential value of US$100 billion in optimized operations alone, a significant figure that could dramatically elevate the industry to new highs.

While current intelligent capabilities are already powering a range of advances, data sharing practices will allow manufacturers to boost investment returns, speed up innovation, and address other hiccups in operations.

These are opportunities that manufacturers need to tap into. In the study, 72 percent of manufacturers said they would consider sharing data with other manufacturers to improve operations.

Adopting data sharing practices will benefit manufacturing operations through several key areas such as asset optimization, process tracing, as well as product development, provenance, and tracking.

When it comes to asset optimization, manufacturers can truly benefit by sharing their data with those using the same intelligent machines. Data gathered can be used to improve current algorithms and optimize machine performance.

Not to mention, some functions of intelligent machines like predictive maintenance can only be enabled with very rich datasets. Sharing that data across multiple parties can speed up the process, allow the machines to run at full capacity, predict future maintenance, and increase uptime.

Another key area that data sharing can augment is process tracing where compliance has emerged as a challenge for both suppliers and manufacturers. Sharing all the data harnessed by the value chain between both parties can heighten the sense of trust and compliance.

Further, the method would allow suppliers to grant better warranties and for manufacturers to verify procedural obedience.

Similarly, product tracking will be enabled at a greater capacity as manufacturers can leverage shared data to gain full visibility of their value chains. This way, inventories can be reduced and any damages or complications that arise can be addressed efficiently.

The operational value of data sharing can also be tapped through digital product development. When suppliers and their original equipment manufacturers share digital product twins, a lot of other processes that follow can be eliminated, including quality inspection.

Combined with the newly-gained ability to trace processes and track products along the value chains, product development processes can significantly be augmented and sped up.

Last but not least, through shared data, manufacturers can now be more transparent with customers. This follows the rising demand for manufacturers to verify product authenticity, material quality, and place of origin.

In short, the provenance of products will no longer be an issue now. Certainly, it is not a stretch to say that manufacturers that are not sharing their data with other companies will miss out.