Insights from 2019 3DEXPERIENCE Forum: Inside Boeing’s Digital Transformation Journey using ISA-95 | Automation.com

Insights from 2019 3DEXPERIENCE Forum: Inside Boeing’s Digital Transformation Journey using ISA-95

Insights from 2019 3DEXPERIENCE Forum: Inside Boeing’s Digital Transformation Journey using ISA-95

By Bill Lydon, Contributing Editor, Automation.com

The digital transformation continues to flow throughout manufacturing, generating electricity among the audience at event after event. At the 2019 Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE in May, it was Boeing, and Lucia Chung, Senior Director, IT Factory Operations, who provided insights into Boeing’s digital transformation effort, through their Second Century Enterprise Systems Program. The program also included the application of the ISA 95 standard for advanced manufacturing.  Chung has been responsible for leading all aspects of Boeing Factory Systems, including the Enterprise Manufacturing Operations Management solution, as part of Boeing’s Second Century Enterprise Systems Program.

Using standards to facilitate the transformation was central to Chung’s presentation, which was emphasized by the following key points:

  • Application of lean manufacturing principles in manufacturing and back office that contribute to a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Advanced manufacturing investments and connected manufacturing technologies support business performance principles.
  • Application in the past were done with a wide variety of design and engineering tools without standards, but this cannot be the future.  Standards are essential.

“Without a standard there can be no Kaizen!... This also applies to our digital strategy.”  Lucia Chung

 

Standards Are Crucial to Boeing’s Digital Transformation

To establish the scope of the company’s digital transformation effort, Chung described Boeing’s manufacturing operations as complex systems, that follow the laws of physics.  “Ordered systems tend to disorder; to ensure that we don’t have complete and total chaos throughout our factories, we had to establish an architected approach based on standards,” shared Chung,  “As an example use the ISA 95 standard to establish boundaries between our enterprise systems and our local control systems.” 

Chung revealed that many standards were needed to ensure everyone was on the same page as the effort moved forward. As she shared with the audience, “This also established the need for us to develop more standards within the levels of the ISA 95 stack, and to think beyond our traditional MES to manufacturing operations management, leveraging standard business processes and standard information exchanges between the MOM, PLM, and ERP.” 

As Lucia Chung shared, “Ordered systems tend to disorder; to ensure that we don’t have complete and total chaos throughout our factories, we had to establish an architected approach based on standards”

 

 

Lucia Chung described how ISA 95 is a core standard for implementing Boeing’s Second Century Enterprise Systems Program

 

The Future Requires New Architecture – “Rip out the core systems”

It wasn’t an easy effort for Boeing. Chung discussed the need for dramatic changes, based on review of the hundreds of applications in Boeing’s legacy installed base, along with thousands of different things they do, site specific nuances, and point-to-point integrations on manufacturing sites worldwide. “I can’t say that it is optimized, or that we can incrementally improve our way to something that will help Boeing to achieve its top and bottom line business objectives,” emphasized Chung, “To leverage modern technology for our business, we essentially need to rip out the core systems of record, that represent the enterprise digital backbone of our company - our PLM’s, MES’s, ERP’s and other systems -replacing them with something worthy of our second century. A well-structured, modern technology platform.”  Relatedly she called this effort Boeing’s ‘second century investment’. 

A foundation for this change will be training. Boeing must make sure everyone is trained on agile methodology & principles, user centered design, use of micro services, APIs, and compliance for global data access and cybersecurity. 

Chung also noted an issue they are working on, about how to connect IoT end points, in factories, in ways that will perform with minimal latencies throughout the system - from edge to enterprise & cloud.  The ultimate vision is to achieve superior business results, with solutions that simplify processes and improve employee experiences and enabling Boeing and its’ customers to “glean insights across the value stream.”

Chung closed her enthusiastic presentation by stating her belief that this is an exciting and inspiring time for manufacturing.  She also described three of the key takeaways that she has learned from Boeing’s digitalization journey so far:

  • Digital enterprises leverage the latest technologies so that people can work in fundamentally better ways and not just to work faster.  This should be transformational.
  • A culture of applying scaled agile practices to all tasks and processes bases on listening to all team members.
  • Build a decision culture with transparent information, empowering team members to make decisions at their levels.
  • Cultivate talent and encourage innovation across all teams including IT, customers; suppliers.
  • Measure progress in ways that are visible to all the teams.

 

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