By Enterprise Technology Review | Friday, May 31, 2019
FREMONT, CA: Servitization is now a trend in the modern market. As part of sales pitch manufacturers of industrial equipment have long provided extended warranties, large service contracts, and future inspections. The rapid pace of change in manufacturing is inducing an increase in the servitization of products. The only reason for this spike is sensors. Several servitization enterprise models rely on the use of sensors in the products. With the collected data and information, the service providers can continually monitor the state of the product. Necessary upgrades can be provided, such as repairs and maintenance whenever required, adding extra value for the customer.
Servitization is happening in all industries. The Robots as a Service (RaaS) is already seen, as a potential that the manufacturing sector has already started exploring. It has widely adopted various Software as a Service (SaaS) models. The abbreviation had to be transferred to S2aaS, to avoid ambiguity, when the idea of Sensors as a Service first emerged. S2aaS allowed manufacturers to pay a monthly or annual charge for the deployment of sensors in their facility. The costs include support, maintenance, and regular upgrades. Servitization has its challenges, even though it sounds ideal.
The integration of the latest sensors with present technology is the apparent difficulty. Manufacturers would mostly use an array of equipment in their facility all from varying manufacturers, models, and production years. It is essential to ensure during these challenges that the S2aaS provider can either collect data from the current sensors or, is advanced enough to warrant replacing the existing sensing technology. Conveyor systems are usually fitted with sensors to assure they only function when carrying products. Smart sensors are used to monitor the health of equipment in a facility. If sensors offered by the S2aaS provider are advanced enough to provide an improvement or not, should always be ensured by the manufacturers.
Manufacturers should decide whether detailed data is needed from the facility and whether the investment will provide benefits to their business before embarking on a subscription-based model. Subscription-based-model providing better value for money than a regular, purchase-based model should always be taken into consideration. S2aaS can offer numerous benefits to the customer like other servitization business models. Before leaping on the S2aaS bandwagon, it is necessary that manufacturers do their research to ensure their service provider can provide real added-value.