The first three blogs in our CP companies – opportunity is coming, are you ready? series covered the impact that hyper-connectivity, a rise in intelligent and automated processes and smart devices are having on the CP business model. These shifts provide an opportunity for CP companies to accelerate informed decision-making and leverage connected tools such as robotics, additive manufacturing and other “smart” products.


Together, these technology trends also perpetuate the “Internet of things” – the pervasive, “always on” and expanding technologies increasingly connecting consumers and businesses with smart things.


The explosive growth of data resulting from this constant interaction and engagement creates exponentially more inputs and variables for CP companies to consider.  But corresponding advancements in computing processing power are also now enabling machines to capture, observe, formulate and test options at rates and speeds well beyond the capacity of the human mind.  Not only do these advancements help companies contend with the growing volumes of data inputs and variables, they also help to accelerate and improve deeply analytical processes such as modeling root cause analyses, testing prototypes and innovation concepts, identifying consumer behavior patterns or predicting potential sales outcomes.


Supercomputing


Supercomputing and machine learning employ high levels of processing power that enable computers to sift through billions of data points and potential combinations of variables to identify patterns, predict behavior and optimize outcomes.


With vastly more processing power than the human mind, supercomputing can capture real-time data and market signals to quickly process and simulate billions of potential variables and outcomes.  In so doing, it eliminates the trial-and-error associated with testing and assessing manual, physical processes by conducting substantially more, and more effective, modeling and simulation scenarios in an entirely virtual, digital environment.  This accelerates decision-making while minimizing both risk and cost, and can be applied to almost any business process from innovation, to supply chain, sales, marketing and more.


To illustrate the power of these new capabilities, consider two examples of how leading companies are applying supercomputing and machine learning in one of these areas – product innovation.


For example, golf club and equipment manufacturers Callaway and PING are using supercomputing to create and test new club designs.  Supercomputers model and test the combinations of potential materials relative to factors like swing, speed, weight, flex, ball impact against the club head, and distance to arrive at final design options that optimize clubs for specific applications without ever having to build or test physical prototypes.


In another example, Procter & Gamble wanted to switch its Folgers coffee from metal coffee cans to plastic containers to improve freshness and lower costs.  The initial plastic containers proved flawed, however, when pressure changes as delivery drivers drove through the mountains caused the packaging to implode.  Using supercomputers, the company was able to model atmospheric pressure variables against a variety of design options to develop stable packaging.


Virtualizing Trial-and-Error


In both examples, these companies were able to take slow, manual and costly trial-and-error testing out of the real-world and replace it with fast, and far more comprehensive modeling and simulation in an entirely virtual environment.  And, in so doing, they completely eliminated the materials and resources costs of building and testing physical prototypes, while delivering superior designs – and at a much faster pace – that likely would have been cost-prohibitive or even impossible to develop using traditional, physical methods of analysis and inquiry.


And these are just two of many, many examples of how companies are deploying the advanced processing power of supercomputing to augment decision-making, enable fast and accurate simulation and optimization, and accelerate the delivery of tailored outcomes for consumers’ benefit.  All while leveraging the power of digital to minimize risk, eliminate resource-intensive manual and physical processes, drive revenue and profitability, and lower overall costs.


Thanks for joining us as we explore how trends like hyperconnectivity, supercomputing and real-time data, along with smart devices and informed consumers are helping to transform consumer products in the new digital economy. If you missed the first three in the series, please click through to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.  And, Stay tuned; you won’t want miss out on these opportunities. Learn more about Digital Transformation for Consumer Products at Consumer Products. Reimagined for the new economy.

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