Databricks launches manufacturing Lakehouse

  • April 10, 2023
  • William Payne

Data warehousing company Databricks has launched Lakehouse for Manufacturing, a lakehouse platform for manufacturers that unifies data and AI to provide analytics over disparate OT and IoT data at scale.

Data lakehouses are a recent development that combines the data diversity of data lakes with the scale, data volume, and analytics of data warehouses. Data lakes are designed to hold a far wider range of data types, objects and formats than data warehouses, which enforce data transformation to allow analytics and data transactions over very large data sets. Data lakes can hold disparate OT, IIoT and other data streams without preprocessing. Data lakehouses are an effort to combine the cross databank transformations and analytics of data warehouses with the type diversity of data lakes.

According to Databricks, the volume of tools, systems and architectures in modern manufacturing environments makes secure data sharing and collaboration a challenge at scale, with over 70 percent of data projects stalling at the proof of concept (PoC) stage. Databricks’ Lakehouse for Manufacturing is designed to allows manufacturers to access all their data and make decisions in real-time.

Early adopters of Databricks’ Lakehouse for Manufacturing include DuPont, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Shell and Tata Steel.

Databricks’ lakehouse aims to surmount the limitations of traditional data warehouses by integrating AI and pre-built solutions. These include predictive maintenance, digital twins, supply chain optimisation, demand forecasting, and real-time IoT analytics.

“We employed Databricks to optimise inventory planning using data and analytics, positioning parts where they need to be based on the insight we gain from our connected engines in real time and usage patterns we see in our service network,” said Stuart Hughes, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace. “This has helped us minimise risks to engine availability, reduce lead times for spare parts and drive more efficiency in stock turns – all of this enables us to deliver TotalCare, the aviation industry’s leading Power-by-the-Hour (PHB) maintenance programme.”

“Shell has been undergoing a digital transformation as part of our ambition to deliver more and cleaner energy solutions. Databricks’ Lakehouse is central to the Platform and the ability to execute rapid queries on massive datasets,” said Dan Jeavons, VP Computational Science and Digital Innovation at Shell. “With the help of Databricks, Shell is better able to use its full historic data set to run 10,000+ inventory simulations across all its parts and facilities. Shell’s inventory prediction models now run in a few hours rather than days, significantly improving stocking practices and driving significant savings annually.”

“Using the Lakehouse for Manufacturing, a business can utilise all data sources in their value chain so that the power of predictive AI and ML insights can be realised to identify inefficiencies in production processes, improve productivity, enhance quality control, and reduce supply chain costs. This data-driven manufacturing is where we see the industry going as companies seek to accelerate their Smart Factory transformations,” said Anthony Abbattista, Principal and Smart Factory Analytics Offering Leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“With rising costs, plateauing industrial productivity, and talent gaps, manufacturing companies are facing unprecedented operational challenges. At the same time, autonomy, connectivity and electrification are shaping an entirely new approach of software-defined products that require a transformation of the business and operating model to be competitive and innovative. In the next 5 years, the companies that outperform in this industry will be the ones that not only manage data but effectively operationalise the value from data, analytics and AI at scale,” said Shiv Trisal, Global Industry Leader for Manufacturing at Databricks. “We are very excited to launch tailored accelerators that target the industry’s biggest pain points, and collaborate with leading partners to introduce Lakehouse for Manufacturing, enabling data teams to boost industrial productivity, gain nth-tier supply chain visibility and deliver smarter products and services at an accelerated pace.”