Increasingly manufacturing and engineering must also adapt to capabilities being offered by digitalisation of markets, automation, robotics, IoT, and AI. These are not just changing the nature of products, but offering a raft of innovation opportunities in all areas of the production cycle.
Several industries in this sector must operate in very highly regulated environments, for example aerospace, and nuclear. Whilst these don’t necessarily impede innovation in the IT arena, an awareness of the frameworks that are in place is always helpful, as they may be a factor in decision making. For example, Coeus have experience working end to end within the stringent data regulations that govern hosting of certain information in Europe in relation to nuclear related information.
Engineering and manufacturing systems are often highly critical, requiring resilient infrastructure and high degrees of fault tolerance (driven by both commercial and safety considerations). This provides a set of challenges to the IT function to ensure that high availability is maintained, whilst also seamlessly keeping technology as current as possible, and leveraging the capabilities that can be offered by the data and digital revolution. Coeus understands the unique set of challenges that this presents, and can support clients in driving the right decision making and transformation that address the unique drivers that different companies face.
It is well recognised that the quality and orchestration of software across different areas ad disciplines is the differentiator of the future. Production, ERP, and supply chain solutions are now leveraging cloud and ‘as-a-service’ capabilities to provide loosely coupled but highly configurable and capable solutions across the sector. Aerospace and automotive software ecosystems are becoming more and more advanced, reaching into the product space, and linking directly through to consumer – for example digitalisation of in-car systems that extend the digital identity of the owner. Increasingly, the differentiator is therefore the quality of software that is developed. Coeus have experience supporting large corporates in embracing digitalisation, and in understand the strategic impacts and disruption this can cause to product and services, whilst also recognising the challenges of moving large incumbent IT organisations to new ways of working.
With the ability to add sensors, and real time transmission of data/telemetry, comes the need to process ever greater amounts of data in real time to drive insight, monitor safety, and improve performance. Data science, and the underlying IT landscape, underpins this capability, and Coeus have developed strategies and delivered approaches that can leverage both on premise and cloud solutions in a hybrid IT environment that can support and scale to the ambitions of their clients.
Robotics have long been used in this sector to drive physical repeatability and efficiency. Robotics as a term is also now being coined in the software domain to automate software driven processes. Robotics can often support tactical as well as strategic process automation in legacy systems and databases, where switching of entire established systems is too costly or complex to achieve. In the wider sense, autonomy is the combination of data, sensors, applications and AI, and these are all coming together in the fast-moving world of automated vehicles as a well-known example. Coeus can help organisations to understand the impacts on their IT function and infrastructure of embracing these new technologies.
Although still nascent, AI is beginning present opportunities in many areas of engineering – with opportunities for intelligent algorithms and vast computing resource to be brought to bear on complex design and engineering problems. In operations, intelligent fault and monitoring systems will support greater safety and quality. Also, certain day to day tasks that currently require complex skillsets will in future can be automated thought AI for example data mining and review of information for research or survey purposes is likely to become trivial. The challenges and opportunities will be specific to each organisation and Coeus can support horizon scanning for the use cases that will add value and competitive advantage.