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    KX Lead Partner of Transform Industry’s Sensors and IIoT virtual event for EMEA & UK

    22 June 2021

    KX proudly participated as a Lead Partner in the 4th Sensors & IIoT: Manufacturing, Automation & Robotics event. Over two days, 40+ global speakers discussed innovations in sensor and IIoT applications, emerging projects, and relevant case studies. Speakers included automotive leaders, Volkswagen and Audi, consumer goods giants, P&G and Unilever, aerospace manufacturer Airbus, and many more. With the ever evolving landscape in sensors and IIoT, this event offered a deeper look into future trends and on how to address future-proof digital transformation.

     

    Why Continuous Operational Intelligence is a Game-Changer for Manufacturing

    Addressing the 500+ enterprises that participated in the event, KX’s SVP of IoT and Utilities, Przemek Tomczak offered a keynote presentation on Why Continuous Operational Intelligence is a Game-Changer for Manufacturing. His presentation drew on new research, commissioned by KX, which identified that the manufacturing sector on a global scale is committed to making significant investments in real-time analytic solutions to maximize the value held within the vast volumes of data being created, both centrally and at the edge. The study showed that 64% believe it to be very important to be able to access real-time data to make smarter business decisions. The need for real-time visibility comes from the need to improve quality, yield, the customer experience, efficiency, and reducing overhead costs.

    So how well do existing technologies handle continuous intelligence with increase in data volume and demand for speed? Przemek explained how legacy technologies are struggling to cope with the increased volume, velocity, and variety of data while the move to edge computing can expose latency issues with how data is analyzed. The challenges exist in getting technology and processes aligned to facilitate the operational shift required to fully exploit the benefits that an increased investment in real-time data analytics can bring.

     

    The Use of Sensors and IoT in Industrial Digital Transformation

    Thomas Degan, KX’s Industry Solutions Architect joined a panel on The Use of Sensors and IoT in Industrial Digital Transformation with leaders from Unilever, Gambica, and Arcelor Mittal, moderated by Hadi Moztarzadeh, Senior Technology Officer from HVM Catpult. This engaging panel covered a broad spectrum of topics on key trends and gaps in IIoT, and the need for organizations to facilitate the changes. The 5 key takeaways from the discussion are as follows:

    1. Align execution of IIoT digital transformation with the appropriate IT skill sets to deploy/deliver/operate massive data-intensive applications automatically.
    2. Bridge gaps between OT (Operational Technology at the Shop floor) and IT (Information Technology Enterprise Systems at the Top floor) for a truly integrated feedback loop, with proper infrastructure and solutions.
    3. Increased security for OT systems needs consideration as we become more interconnected.
    4. Interconnectivity of equipment’s, protocol & interface/API normalization or connecting sensors out of hostile environments require the right IoT gateway for each purpose. Suppliers like Telit offer such IoT gateways.
    5. With regard to ongoing concerns of job and employment safety, the trend towards increased digitalization of factories to create robotics, incorporate AI/ML and automation in IIoT with the remote-control room might be the radical solution that suggests a safer workplace for everyone, rather than tradition discussions of workplace safety. The working environment of the future and workplace culture will continue to radicalize, and continued education and support is needed.

    Overall, the panel discussion exposed the complexities in the use of sensors and IoT in industrial digital transformation, not only from a technical point of view but a cultural one as well. Existing solutions to address key issues were shared, and the importance of working together to solve the problems of the future was acknowledged.

     

    Women in Smart Manufacturing and Technology Innovation

    Representing KX for the Women in Smart Manufacturing and Technology Innovation panel, Michelle Campbell, Data Scientist/ KDB+ Developer, joined other women leaders from Groupe Renault, Airbus Blue Sky, and Unilever. The discussion began sharing the good work that has already been done to address the issue of equality of opportunity for women in the tech sector. Yet, they unanimously agreed that there is still much to be done. The four women shared challenges that they’ve faced and personal examples of how they coped with often being the only women in the room and going out of their way to be heard. With these experiences, they proposed key areas where tech firms can play an important role and make an immediate difference:

    1. Diversifying leadership: Women are often under-represented in senior level positions. Diversifying these roles generates clear role models for other women in the workplace, and for future generations to look up to. Firms can address this by providing opportunities and offering coaching to gain confidence or women networking clubs to establish community.
    2. Committed Culture Equality: The pandemic has altered the workplace model and has demonstrated that employees are able to do their work from their homes. Yet the challenges of intertwining professional life and personal life, especially for parents, can be difficult and tech firms should recognize and address these issues. Creating an open and supportive culture that allows for flexibility in working hours could be a way to commit to the challenges of the changing working environment. Although this issue isn’t exclusive to women, they are arguably most affected by it.
    3. Support: Firms often have women networking groups where colleagues can discuss their careers in a supporting environment. However, having structure and intention for these communities can facilitate real change. For example, at KX, a new mentoring program was launched called FD Impact to connect female university graduates with a woman mentor. This gives young women a safe place and role model who they can discuss career development with and seek guidance on issues that are unique to women.


    Across the four women on the panel, they were confident that the tech sector is moving in the right direction and expressed their commitment to support future women leaders of tomorrow.