Enterprise Performance Management: The Foundation for Digital Transformation in Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing and R&O

Industry 4.0

Digitalization is transforming how industrial companies design, produce, distribute and service their products. With smart, connected solutions, the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0 – is driving higher levels of performance on the plant floor and the balance sheet.

McKinsey & Company says Industry 4.0 can deliver 30-50% reductions in machine downtimes, 10-30% increases in throughput, 15-30% improvement in labor productivity and 85% better forecasting. For this reason, companies in asset-intensive industries like utilities, oil and gas, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals have made the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other advancements centerpieces of their operations.

Digital transformation improves manufacturing and repair & overhaul performance

The promise of Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation for aerospace and defense is exceedingly challenged due to past introductions of technology, which have resulted in isolated, solution-specific systems, ultimately decreasing efficiency and operational awareness.

  • Valuable data to facilitate factory management, improve product quality and ease supply chains is inaccessible across kluged together disparate systems.
  • Paper processes dominate, and tribal knowledge drives complex processes in reporting & maintenance operations.
  • Leaders lack metrics to objectively benchmark and measure performance as it relates to multi-stakeholder objectives; across various facilities, teams, vendors, processes, etc. and make decisions.

Additionally, export controls, standards and the persistently increasing threat of cybercrime further slow the adoption of technologies and tools to fulfill the digital promise in aerospace and defense manufacturing.

Enterprise Performance Management solutions are leveraged across many commercial industries today to provide a multi-stakeholder view of the state of the production operations across multiple operating windows.

Well executed EPM solutions increase the efficiency of an enterprise across various realms of operation and set the foundation for the adoption of technology adoption and advancement, like AI & ML and AR/VR/XR.

Digitization is at the heart of automation, and AI is its promise

AI and ML offer huge potential in aerospace & defense manufacturing and repair & overhaul operations.

  • Digital representations of assets, facilities, and workflows use machine learning to generate trends and predict performance. AI is applied to create insights that accelerate decision making.
  • Image processing with applied AI accelerates conformance testing, improves part yield and can reduce material waste and re-work.
  • Extended reality tools applied to work instructions can reduce error and accelerate worker upskilling.

These promising advancements in technology share a common foundation: data. Data must be accessible, available, and usable in a way that is trustable, linkable and able to be operationalized in a timeframe of relevance to the users who need it. A strong Enterprise Performance Management solution supports this through the aggregation of data across multiple domains of the business.

Cloud-based EPM solutions serve these needs across multiple sites, facilities and shops. Cloud-based EPM offered through a Software as a Service (SaaS) model helps scale digital transformation efforts through:

  • Lower IT burden and downtime by leveraging usage-based, managed infrastructure.
  • Faster time to value, lower cost of procurement and de-risked adoption through a service offering.
  • Better user experience via continuous release and development. 
  • Increased Cybersecurity through continuous monitoring and options for redundancy.

Other attractive features of strong EPM solutions are role-based access control to assist with meeting compliance requirements and support low or no-code deployment. These features lower the management cost of the solution and enable the user to quickly expand the solution to scale or extend it to new use cases. 

EPM solutions are a fundamental building block to operationalizing data inside an operation. EPM is a part of the digital foundation to launch the dream of Industry 4.0 and should be implemented with a strategy that first focuses on advancing the critical business functions of the organization. Done well, these solutions pave the way for effective, responsible and efficient adoption of advanced technologies that will take aerospace and defense manufacturing operations to new heights.

To learn more about how EPM solutions can transform Aerospace & Defense operations, access this webinar.