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Digitalizing the Manufacturing Sector: A Close Look at Capgemini’s DM Strategy


We recently met with the head of Capgemini’s Digital Manufacturing unit to get a perspective on the challenges in manufacturing and how Capgemini is helping to address them.

Digital Manufacturing (DM), one of Capgemini’s newer strategic offerings, is a virtual service line across Capgemini units, having both portfolio and delivery responsibility.

So What Does Digital Manufacturing Offer?

Capgemini created DM to focus on the notion of Industry 4.0 that originated in Germany: in short, the digitalization of the manufacturing sector. The concept is broad and DM has a range of offerings, taking advantage of its dual positioning in IT services and engineering and R&D services, and the growing overlap of capabilities between the two (e.g. connectivity, cyber-security, cloud computing, analytics, and manufacturing applications).

In more detail, DM targets both the product side of manufacturing (with themes including PLM services, 3D printing, and digital asset management), and the production side (with themes including control systems, manufacturing intelligence such as product quality and preventive/predictive maintenance, and digital operations covering mobile apps, and augmented/virtual reality). IoT is also part of the service portfolio, and covers both product design and production.

Product Services

PLM services are a priority, and draw on the strengths of Capgemini in application services. DM is focusing on both traditional PLM activities (product modelling and collaboration) and also on newer activities (e.g. automated feedback into product design, based on data collected by sensors, and from capturing UX, starting with sentiment analysis). Work done by colleagues in Capgemini’s DCX offering and in its testing service line will help, we believe.

Other priorities include:

  • The deployment of IoT-based predictive maintenance. This is important to DM: predictive maintenance is one of the earlier IoT use cases in manufacturing.
  • 3D continuity, targeting existing products, taking a reverse engineering approach, and creating a digital version of a product. This is more than putting the design of older products into a PLM application, and Capgemini is also expanding this approach to manufacturing equipment under digital asset management, with the intention of digitizing the full product-to-production cycle. This links nicely to DM’s other service focus: production services.

Production Services

Within production, DM is focusing largely on manufacturing operations across discrete and process industries, both requiring adherence to manufacturing processes and guidelines. To enforce process adherence, and individual-based variations, DM wants to help clients deploying sensors and communication modules on manufacturing equipment or assets. This sounds simple, but DM points to the high heterogeneity of the installed base, largely a result of equipment cost and longevity (up to 30 years). From a DM standpoint, each machine is unique and requires its own communication module and communication interoperability. This brings another challenge: once you have connected manufacturing equipment to a network, the next step is security services, and how to secure equipment that does not have security capacity at the edge.

So How Is Digital Manufacturing Addressing Those Opportunities?

DM is taking a selective approach, specializing in industrial IoT, and also on digitization of the product to production process. It is also expanding its service portfolio, from project services to remote monitoring services. IP and repeatability are next: DM has several IPs that the various Capgemini units have developed and it continues to identify others internally. Examples of existing IP are:

  • Digital Asset Lifecycle Management with U.K. ISV Aveva, hosted on AWS
  • 3D modeling, based on open source software Open Cascade
  • eObjects, an IoT middleware platform.

Looking ahead, DM believes it has barely scratched the surface in the product and production side of manufacturing, with other opportunities also available in the manufacturing supply chain.

NelsonHall will comment further on this in a separate profile of Capgemini’s IoT capabilities, to be published soon.

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