Yokogawa establishes separate digital transformation business
Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced the establishment of Yokogawa Digital Corporation to provide management consulting services to manufacturers that will cover everything from business management to plant operations. The company says Yokogawa Digital will leverage Yokogawa’s operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) knowledge and capabilities to provide not only consultation but also cloud system implementation, operation and maintenance services that connect business management and manufacturing operations, enabling the integrated administration of global operations and facilitating digital transformation. The company will start operating on 1 October, and will initially provide its services to customers in Japan.
In recent years, manufacturers all over the world have been striving for sustainability transformation — a management approach that takes sustainability into consideration while seeking to enhance the company’s strengths and business model. While dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and the need to contribute towards sustainable development goals and implement ESG management, companies must also optimise all of their business operations — from management and the supply chain through to production — to increase competitiveness and achieve a sustainable society. To accomplish these objectives, digital transformation including the utilisation of AI will be essential.
However, as each organisation has its own individually optimised systems and processes, integration is not simple, and in many cases the current digital transformation initiatives go no further than partial optimisation. To achieve more significant results, it is necessary to globally integrate the management of systems and processes at factories and offices, wherever they may be located, and aim for enterprise-wide optimisation, according to Yokogawa.
The company says that Yokogawa Digital will provide its customers with consulting services that span the entire range from business management to site operations. As well as making proposals for highly viable actions and creating roadmaps, Yokogawa Digital will undertake system implementation and maintenance together with Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation.
Solutions introduced by Yokogawa Digital will include subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) products that run on Yokogawa Cloud, an industrial transformation and Internet of Things platform, giving customers immediate access to the latest technologies.
In addition to forming alliances with and investment in IT companies, Yokogawa has been conducting research and development on how to leverage digital technology in the control field. In February 2022, a chemical plant that had not been able to apply existing control technologies, and had relied on manual control techniques, tested a Yokogawa AI solution that autonomously controlled operations for 35 consecutive days, in what is said to be a world first.
Through the establishment of Yokogawa Digital, Yokogawa is bringing together personnel with expertise in management/operations consulting and digital technology, and in so doing is enhancing its consulting capabilities that will help its customers in the process industries and many other manufacturing domains increase their competitiveness.
“Yokogawa is pushing ahead with industrial automation to industrial autonomy (IA2IA) and smart manufacturing initiatives to provide greater value to our customers,” said Hitoshi Nara, President and CEO of Yokogawa Electric Corporation. “We have established Yokogawa Digital to drive the utilisation of digital technology and the connection of processes and organisations that leads to comprehensive global optimisation. Based on the system of systems (SoS) concept of combining systems to accomplish purposes that lie beyond the capabilities of any individual system, we see a path forward for society. Through integration, digitalisation and autonomisation, Yokogawa Digital will lead the way toward overall optimisation, and thereby offer new value to our customers.”
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