The Future of Manufacturing Excellence — How Three Companies Embraced a Next-Generation Cloud

by Rackspace Technology Staff



The pandemic sparked a paradigm shift in the manufacturing industry. Organizations sped up their previously slow path toward modern infrastructure and applications. Now, they were on a fast track to uplevel their IT operations to digital technologies and the cloud. In the process, manufacturers surmounted modernization challenges that had been holding them back, such as security concerns and legacy strongholds.

Almost overnight, the industry began to increase its automation capabilities thanks to advanced technologies that provided greater resiliency, agility, and flexibility. Plant managers learned firsthand how well new-generation cloud technologies can coexist with legacy applications. 

Manufacturers ready for next leap forward to modernization

Now that they’ve walked through the fire of the first stages of digital transformation, many manufacturers are ready to take the next leap forward. They want to embrace the next generation of cloud computing to gain all the advantages of AI, machine learning, real-time data, and more.

Industry reporting shows that cloud adoption is a significant factor shaping manufacturers’ digital journey. According to Manufacturing Tomorrow, “The cloud is driving business value by breaking down barriers, improving collaboration, and opening new business possibilities.”

However, the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution — Industry 4.0 — approach isn't without its challenges. Many industrial organizations still lack the proper infrastructure to embark on a cloud adoption journey, according to Forbes.

Three manufacturers who modernized in the cloud

Many manufacturers have already taken their operations to the next level with cloud computing. And they have gained a wide range of advantages, including reliability, scalability and on-demand resource provisioning. They have realized that in the cloud they can leverage the benefits of a distributed environment, economically attractive pay-as-you-go pricing, and instant provisioning of redundant resources to manage agility, to name a few advantages.

Three manufacturing companies that are already taking cloud computing to the next level are Cole-Parmer, Innovyze and Cerapedics. All three faced challenges to their operations and needed a way to accelerate their modernization journeys.

The Rackspace Technology® team crafted and executed tailored solutions uniquely designed for each organization’s specific needs. In just a few months, these firms achieved digital transformations that would have potentially taken years to execute in the past.

Innovyze revolutionizes water management in the cloud

Innovyze is a global leader in water management, supplying thousands of water utilities around the world with a software solution. The company wanted to take its product to the next level by extending its capabilities to a cloud-based platform. A primary goal was to enable an industry first in water management: dynamic digital twins. This is a virtual representation of water utility assets that is continuously updated with all data using predictive analytics and AI.

By working with Rackspace Technology, Innovyze was able to introduce, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that supports real-world water lifecycle management. It offers utilities several advantages, including easy onboarding, infinite scalability, and rigorous security without the need to invest in expensive IT infrastructure, maintain complex software, or hire digital consultants to use them.

By moving simulation features for modeling to the cloud, the platform enables Innovyze customers to conduct complex modeling, such as performing multiple parallel simulations for different scenarios, like weather changes, flood prediction and more.

Cerapedics modernizes with a smart factory

Cerapedics, an innovator in biologic bone grafting, was experiencing rapid growth and needed a smart factory to better maximize yields and minimize production losses. Its new smart factory modernized medical device production, built a proof-of-concept IoT-enabled production process, and connected digital and analog sensors through a real-time cloud environment that also allows for future expansion. Part of the transition included navigating the FDA-approved production process, which includes rigorous data collection for compliance and production purposes.

Rackspace Technology helped Cerapedics achieve its vision. In just weeks, our experts built a proof of concept (PoC) that connected a piece of its production line to real-time analytics. Using Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Cerapedics can read, receive and analyze data from the factory floor. This has enabled predictive maintenance and real-time alerts, allowing Cerapedics to address problems in its production line before they occur to prevent costly downtime.

The success of its PoC showed Cerapedics that this approach could be applied to the rest of its production line, further encouraging deeper analysis for efficiency and driving down costs. In addition to generating savings from this solution, Cerapedics also benefits from managed Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now, its pipeline scales automatically, is resilient to outages and is cost-effective for workloads of any size.

Cole-Parmer accelerates growth with agile infrastructure

Cole-Parmer is a leading global source of laboratory and industrial fluid handling products, instrumentation, equipment, and supplies for companies in the fields of temperature measurement and control, control, and electrochemistry. To execute its acquisition-driven global expansion strategy, Cole-Parmer needed the ability to rapidly consolidate and integrate disparate IT systems while implementing cloud-based technologies to support future acquisitions.

Cole-Parmer and Rackspace Technology ​​worked together to migrate to a new, highly secure IT infrastructure that accommodates growth. In less than six months, Rackspace Technology helped architect a PCI-compliant solution, develop a transition plan, and begin the execution of the build-out and migration to a new, highly secure IT infrastructure.

The manufacturer’s new solution not only enhanced security but also positioned Cole-Parmer to operate as a cohesive, unified entity while accelerating the integration of products from newly acquired businesses into the marketplace.

Forge ahead with industry 4.0 solutions to manufacturing challenges

In just a few months, these customers achieved digital transformation goals that would have potentially taken years to execute in the past. The Industry 4.0 revolution is compelling manufacturers to deploy smart factories equipped to use real-time data to enhance warehouse operations, inventory management and production processes. The cloud plays a central role, offering essential infrastructure and facilitating tailored solutions that can navigate the complex transition seamlessly.

Dive deeper and equip your enterprise to excel in today’s new digital age of manufacturing by downloading our white paper: “Introducing the New Era of Industry 4.0.” This paper offers a comprehensive overview of the evolving challenges and opportunities that manufacturers encounter, shedding light on how Industry 4.0 and digitalization are reshaping manufacturing dynamics globally.

Download the white paper now →

Manufacturing modernization with Rackspace Technology.