The manufacturing industry has experienced unprecedented disruptions over the last two years because of the pandemic and ransomware attacks. The disruptions revealed weaknesses in supply chains and cybersecurity, as well as a dependence on manual labor. These challenges highlight the need to digitize supply chains and operations, re-evaluate cyber resiliency, and accelerate automation so that the industry can be more resilient in the face of future disruptions.
Why APEX for Manufacturing
The pandemic emphasized the need to accelerate the adoption of automation across the manufacturing industry. Dell APEX for Manufacturing helps these companies attain the self-optimizing, data-driven, operations needed for their automation and modernization initiatives. It provides the performance and security needed for a diverse range of critical business applications and workloads running in multiple operating environments such as private cloud, public cloud and edge locations. So, what are some of the use cases where APEX helps manufacturing accelerate automation and minimize disruption?
- Smart Factory: Smart Factory solutions enhance automation, but to implement them manufacturers need tracking and performance analytics across the production line, with advanced data analysis and data management capacity. In manufacturing, the production environment is the edge, where cameras, sensors, actuators, machines and assembly lines generate data. This is where AI and streaming data analytics are required to implement smart factory use cases which require analyzing vast volumes of data.
Unfortunately, piecemeal initiatives over the last decade have created hardware and software sprawls across factory floors, which limits the adoption of AI/ML and real-time analytics needed for automation. APEX for Manufacturing with PTC on APEX Private Cloud is an example of a scalable and inter-operable edge solution that can consolidate manufacturing edge applications and enable live insights at the edge.
- Cybersecurity and Cyber Resiliency: According to a recent report from Dragos, ransomware became the number-one attack vector among industrial organizations, with manufacturing as the most targeted sector in 2021, representing 65% of the ransomware cases detected at industrial organizations.¹Manufacturers can enhance cyber resiliency to effectively eliminate the impact of cyberattacks and resume operations rapidly with APEX Cyber Recovery Services. This complete on-premises Dell-managed cyber recovery solution – delivered in your vault as-a-Service – protects critical data against the increasing threat of cyberattacks and ransomware.
- Supply Chain: In addition to adopting more resilient operations and cybersecurity safeguards, manufacturers are looking toward digital supply networks and data analytics to become more agile in the face of future supply chain disruptions. In evolving digital supply chains, manufacturers must examine their deployment model, not only in terms of ERP sovereignty, but also in respect to adjacency to multiple clouds where it will be possible to connect to a global digital ecosystem.
Here is where colocation services with APEX can be a game changer for manufacturers. This colocation, cloud adjacency, approach combines the agility of public cloud with the security and control of private cloud, delivered as-a-Service. Companies can leverage unmatched multi-cloud connectivity available via the Equinix Fabric with the simplicity, flexibility, security and control provided by APEX.
- Resource Challenges: Manufacturing companies need solutions to simplify and accelerate the process of acquiring the infrastructure and services needed to run the workloads that support rapid transformation. Many business and IT leaders say they don’t have the capital resources and technology expertise on hand to achieve these initiatives. A May 2021 global survey of 350 manufacturing IT and Production leaders report that managing IT across multiple environments and the lack of expertise to align business goals with use cases are among the top stumbling blocks when planning, deploying and managing new technologies in manufacturing.
Consumption-based solutions reduce the cost and complexity of infrastructure operations, deliver consistent performance metrics, and accelerate business transformation. That’s the idea behind APEX and APEX Flex on Demand. The flexible consumption and pay-per-use models reduce inefficiencies and free up time, money and resources to focus on the critical initiatives that will bring greater resiliency and agility to manufacturing.
What Customers Are Saying
Learn more about APEX for Manufacturing and how it can help accelerate automation and minimize disruption so that manufacturers can attain self-optimizing, secure and data-driven operations.
¹ Dragos, “ICS/OT CyberSecurity Year in Review: 2021”, February 2022