Have you heard of Tulip?
Today, enterprise-based self-service apps are commonplace. Now manufacturers are finally beginning to get a glimpse into their future using the same easy-to-access applications on the plant floor.
Tulip, an MIT spin-off founded in 2014, has announced that it has achieved US$13 million in series A financing to build its Manufacturing App Platform, a code-free development environment for Industrial IoT. It brings the power of Industrial IoT and advanced analytics to the front-line engineer through its shop-floor apps. This self-service technology is designed to fill the gap between rigid back-end manufacturing IT systems and the dynamic operations taking place on the shop floor.
The software can be used by engineers, without coding, to build their own IoT-enabled apps for a variety of use cases including interactive work instructions, automatic data collection, quality control, audits, machine monitoring and training.
While factory automation continues to grow, manufacturers often find their hands-on workforce left behind, using paper and legacy technology. Manufacturers are seeing an enormous need to empower their workforce with intuitive digital tools. Tulip is a solution to this problem. Front-line engineers create flexible shop-floor apps that connect workers, machines and existing IT systems. These apps guide shop-floor operations enabling real-time data collection. Tulip’s IoT gateway integrates the devices, sensors and machines on the shop floor making it easy to monitor and interact with previously siloed data streams. The platform’s self-serve analytics engine lets manufacturers turn this data into actionable insights, supporting continuous process improvement.
Tulip is approaching the problem differently than other tech vendors. Rather than offering a rigid software solution that cannot address customers’ unique and ever-changing needs, Tulip has created a modular platform that gives engineers the tools they need to create their own unique digital solutions. This enables an unprecedented degree of flexibility and ease of use that is not typically associated with existing solutions.
In one analysis examining the impact of Tulip’s system at Jabil, a leading global contract manufacturer, Deloitte, wrote:
“Tulip is a new cloud-based operating system that feeds IoT production-line data in real time to workers on a shop floor through their smartphones and tablets. By monitoring this information stream as they perform their production tasks, workers can respond on the fly to process changes. The results? Production yield increased by more than 10%, and manual assembly quality issues were reduced by 60% in the initial four weeks of operation.”
“Our customers realise that modern, people-centric digital tools are key to powering digital transformation in manufacturing and increasing workforce productivity,” said Natan Linder, Tulip’s CEO and co-founder.
Laurent Vernerey, former CEO North America Operations at Schneider Electric, will join Tulip’s board of directors. “Tulip’s Manufacturing App Platform is the next step in the evolution of manufacturing software,” said Laurent. “IoT-enabled self-service apps allow manufacturers to empower their hands-on workforce with digital workflows for lower production cost, higher yield and fewer defects.”
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Self-service apps are now becoming available for the factory floor.