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Manufacturing IoT-enabled app engine unveiled

The apps guide shop-floor operations enabling real-time data collection

Tulip has come out of stealth mode this week at the Hannover Messe trade show
Tulip has come out of stealth mode this week at the Hannover Messe trade show

Tulip has introduced an IoT-enabled App Engine that aims to bring the power of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and advanced analytics to the front-line engineer through its shop-floor apps.


The venture, a spin-off from MIT, claims the self-service technology fills the gap between rigid back-end manufacturing IT systems and the dynamic operations taking place on the shop floor.


Tulip has been in stealth mode after more than two years in development but is being unveiled at this week’s Hannover Messe exhibition in Germany.


According to Tulip, while automation in factory floors continues to grow, manufacturers often find their hands-on workforces left behind, using paper and legacy technology. Manufacturers are seeing an enormous need to empower their workforce with intuitive digital tools.


Tulip allows front-line engineers to 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 said it is approaching the problem differently than other tech vendors. Rather than offering a rigid software solution that cannot address customers’ ever-changing needs, it has created a modular platform that gives engineers the tools they need to create their own digital solutions.


The IoT gateway integrates the devices, sensors and machines on the shop floor making it straightforward 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.


This enables an “unprecedented degree of flexibility and ease-of-use” that is not typically associated with existing solutions.


In an analysis which examined the impact of Tulip’s system at Jabil, a global contract manufacturer, professional services firm, Deloitte said:


“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 percent, and manual assembly quality issues were reduced by 60 per cent in the initial four weeks of operation.”


Tulip is deployed at dozens of Fortune 500 customer sites in six countries across multiple industries: consumer electronics, aerospace and defense, contract manufacturing, automotive, apparel, marine, medical-devices and pharmaceuticals.


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