Ugh. Stereotypes. Yes, we’re tech nerds. Yes, we love Stars Wars. Yes, we are geeking out over “The Mandalorian”. Okay, that’s established.
Here’s why you want to read this article: R2D2 isn’t a vision of the future. R2D2 is present in today’s business world. We’re going to look into some of R2D2’s functions and how you can incorporate them into your business. We specifically focused on manufacturers since they tend to be early adopters and there are proven examples.
We’re going to touch on:
- Voice Command
- Smart Watches
1. Heuristics – If you didn’t watch the video, the quick overview is that heuristics is an internal decision-making process that helps you make quick decisions, maybe not this quick, but quicker.
It’s like when R2D2 had to stop the trash compactor. Our little hero was able to cut through C3PO’s whining to make a move that saved the universe! Intuitive thinking allowed R2D2 to analyze the situation and make an assessment that improved productivity.
Where manufacturers will see a difference is in the assembly line. Robots that will make informed, rapid decisions based off past experience will bring us closer to having a real person there.
Beyond entertainment, the practical applications to business are amazing. Microsoft took a crack at the hologram business by creating HoloLens back in 2016. Nasa was involved in the early development as they saw the ability to apply this to control vehicles like the Mars Rover. Some of the suggested ideas Microsoft thought HoloLens could be used for is medical students as they study anatomy, architects as they design and even everyday application for car dealers to showcase various options to the buyer.
In the manufacturing world, holograms can be applied to a variety of needs. Conceptualization of parts is the most obvious. However, what if you could have a map of the interworkings of your own assets? Being able to look inside where there may be an issue would expedite understanding and fixing of the problem. If you’re able to get high productivity by using OEE software like Merlin by Memex and you’re able to extend the life of your assets, that could mean higher profit margins for a longer period.
3. Voice Command – This is something we all know and love. If you have Xfinity and can’t remember the channel a game is on, you love it as much as I do. Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant. These are all names in the lexicon that we’re familiar with because of voice command.
It’s not perfect, even R2D2 went rogue, in a good way, when leading the infiltration on the Citadel. We’ve all had less thrilling experiences with these voice command. Don’t tell me you haven’t yelled, “NO SIRI! I DIDN’T SAY CALL LISA, I SAID ORDER PIZZA!”. But overall the technology is great, which is why manufacturers are really sinking their teeth into it.
Typically, when we have incredible and new technology, we think of the most grandiose way to use it, but the simplest applications tend to be the most productive. The shop floor is seeing tremendous benefits by applying this to tasks.
Imagine being able to kickstart directives or feeds by just saying, “go”. Wouldn’t that be more efficient then wiping your hands before touching a table, scrolling through the options, pressing the button and then returning to the associated task? Now think of the cost efficiency! You need to buy a tablet, train someone on the tablet, replace the tablet.
Initial investments with upfront cost can equal long-term savings. We have a member of the Tribe that drives an hour plus each way to the office. His desk looks like “A Beautiful Mind” as he does the math on the cost of gas fueled car versus an electric car and long term maintenance.
4. Smart Watch – This particular piece of technology incorporates all the above bits of information we’ve discussed. As R2D2 is the timekeeper of the galaxy and the bearer of all information, so too is your smart watch.
It can keep you in communication and monitor your health, among other things. Most importantly for The Jedi's and manufacturers, R2D2 and smart watches can deliver important blueprints.
Additionally, the predictive ability for an integrated device to notify an engineer of a potential issue adds to the value of your connected shop floor.
Efficiency is the name of the game. It’s the way to increase profitability without adding shifts, assets or employees before your organization is ready.
No longer are these concepts in a galaxy far, far way. IoT is something you should consider and if you’re a manufacturer, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is here and you can be an early adopter to stay ahead of the competition.
If you’d like to talk Star Wars Theory or speak to a MotherG Jedi about a free assessment of your IT environment, click the link below. We’re here to help you align technology to your business goals. If Luke Skywalker depended on technology to save the galaxy, you too can use technology to grow your business.