Software Will Flag Weather, Natural Disasters Likely to Disrupt Supply Chains
CHICAGO — MxD, Dow and four other industry and academic partners are collaborating to build software that will warn manufacturers of delays in customer shipments caused by emergencies, weather or other natural disasters. Dow, based in Midland MI, will lead the Supply Chain Risk and Event Management project and test the software at its headquarters. Partnering with Dow on the effort are MxD members, ITAMCO, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Microsoft.
Manufacturers are looking for a tool that not only can alert them to supply chain disruptions but predict those disruptions, analyze their potential impact, recommend ways to solve the problem, and quickly communicate the warning and options directly to supply chain stakeholders.
“Manufacturers are frequently left in the dark when emergencies on the other side of the globe occur, and parts or materials don’t show up on time,” said Chandra Brown, MxD’s CEO. “Such delays can cripple a plant. We’re bringing together some of the best minds in logistics and technology to find work-arounds for when that happens.”
The system will be designed to capture and prioritize an event and then provide the information needed to the impacted supply chain to institute proactive measures. The information gathered will come from traditional and social media resources and routed through advanced analytics and machine learning to predict and suggest solutions.
“This project uses the Digital Thread to help Dow and other manufacturers deliver a more predictive and resilient supply chain,” said Jeremy Archbold, Data & Analytics Domain Leader for Dow Integrated Supply Chain Innovation. “This will drive us towards making data-driven decisions rapidly, allowing for better mitigation plans that benefit both our supply chain and our customers.”
The team plans to test the system for the first time in the fall. Dow will be measuring the system’s accuracy as well as whether they can quicken responses to a disruption and improve on-time deliveries.
MxD, which stands for manufacturing times digital, is backed by up to $60 million in defense funding over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Defense. MxD has attracted approximately 300 partners, including Dow, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens. MxD’s mission is to drive the digital future of manufacturing, pioneering new technologies that make America’s industrial base and warfighters more agile and resilient.
MxD is facilitating factory worker training using augmented reality, linking legacy machines to the Internet, and reducing error and scrap in high-value parts. If the United States can fully embrace the digital revolution, McKinsey estimates that the country could achieve $3 trillion in manufacturing output by 2025, a 20 percent increase.