AWS for Industries

How to build a smart production solution with DXC’s SPARK platform

This blog is the first in a two-part series on how DXC Technology, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner, is building solution accelerators and a flexible platform using AWS products to expedite production and improve distribution in consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. In part one, we will look at the challenges and key functional areas surrounding this topic. In part two, we will dive deep into the reference architecture of solutions accelerators of each functional area.

Today’s CPG market presents unique challenges to manufacturers. Expanding direct-to-consumer channels, disintermediation in distribution, supply issues, and finding ways to successfully implement sustainability measures are just a few hurdles pushing CPG companies to shake things up from an internal standpoint.

Addressing these challenges means CPG companies must direct their focus, rapid innovation, and responsiveness to their manufacturing and distribution processes. Shifting attention to manufacturing and distribution helps these companies support product availability in the supply channels, reduce production disruption, lower costs, reduce environmental impact, and improve quality control for product safety and competitiveness.

With pressure mounting in the market, CPG companies need to swiftly innovate with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and cloud capabilities. IoT technologies and cloud capabilities offer the ability to capture and analyze existing and new data sources giving manufacturers deep insights into production and distribution to make faster and better decisions. They accelerate time to value because of their open standards for use and integration and their readiness to deploy and operate on cloud capabilities. They are secure by design and can be used as software as a service (SaaS). IoT technologies are lower cost than traditional original equipment manufacturer technologies because IoT technologies are now commoditized.

CPG companies can use these technologies and capabilities to fine-tune and implement processes, including how they develop, make, move, and market their products to meet consumer demand. This also includes disrupting perceptions of commoditization from private labels and keeping market shares against emerging regional and new product brands in the market.

In this post, we will discuss important considerations for CPG manufacturers and distributors and look at how DXC Technology, alongside AWS IoT Competency, which is a broad set of IoT partners with deep domain expertise, has developed a flexible platform and service called “SPARK.”

About DXC’s SPARK solution accelerators

SPARK’s underlying platform is an integration of multiple AWS services combined to provide a platform to accelerate production and distribution improvements for CPG customers. DXC has built solution accelerators on this platform to offer customers simple access to the benefits of using cloud and edge services without having to spend months or years developing their own solutions and using a platform that can scale across their global estate and improvement needs.

The SPARK accelerator offerings are across five specific functional areas: production visibility, predictive maintenance, quality control, environmental impact, and operational intelligence.

Each accelerator has a predefined solutions architecture; has preconfigured services and code; has been through the AWS Well-Architected review process; has cloud development kits for rapid deployment; and has a fully managed support service.

The image below shows these solutions accelerators built on the SPARK platform.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these solution accelerators:

Quality control

The quality control solution accelerator helps detect product defects during production and raise alerts in near real time when defects are detected. It provides defect reporting to improve processes.

Environmental impact

The environmental accelerator solution is capable of capturing energy usage across factories, analyzing and visualizing the data in real time and producing reports to help organizations optimize their energy consumption.

Production visibility

The production visibility solution accelerator helps to monitor and report on production status against your production schedule and report on downtime.

The image below shows an example of how a prebuilt user interface enables a holistic view of factory production in real time against a scheduled production target. This unique and effective visualization assists production operators and management with immediate critical decision-making when an unplanned event occurs.

Predictive maintenance

The predictive maintenance solution accelerator helps monitor machine health status and predict failures across various conditions.

Operational intelligence

The operational intelligence solution accelerator tracks key performance indicators and improves decision-making in production and distribution.

DXC’s SPARK Solution Architecture on AWS

All five functional areas above are supported by a core platform of services built using AWS services. Some of the key functionalities are supported by:

Below is the DXC SPARK platform reference architecture on AWS:

The architecture uses AWS serverless technology to provide cost-efficient, advanced, scalable, and highly available data collection, data processing, and user interface systems. AWS IoT services such as IoT Greengrass and IoT SiteWise provide a robust data collection and storage pipeline. AWS machine learning services, such as Amazon Lookout for Vision, Amazon SageMaker, and AWS Panorama, provide the capability to identify product defects and predict equipment failures. AWS AppSync provides near real-time user interface updates based on the machine data feeds. Finally, an analytics dashboard built using AWS Glue and Amazon QuickSight provides users with data analysis and reporting capabilities.

Start SPARK-ing change in your organization

If your company wants to implement or augment a smart production system, the solution accelerators powered by the DXC SPARK platform on AWS can help you modernize your production operations with lower costs and greater speed to improvement. To request a demo, visit DXC.com or contact your AWS account team today to get started.

Discover the latest DXC – SPARK IoT consulting offers:


AWS Partner spotlight

With over 10,000 AWS-accredited professionals, DXC helps enterprises incorporate smart production into their processes through connected machinery, computer vision, connected worker, operational intelligence, and power monitoring solutions.

The DXC SPARK platform’s AWS-native architecture provides out-of-the-box architectural patterns, reliability, scalability, and integration with powerful AWS analytics tools.

Russell Dugan-Rees

Russell Dugan-Rees

Russell Dugan-Rees is a chief technologist specializing in digital transformation in manufacturing and has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry. Russell is leading DXC’s Smart Manufacturing offering, developing its solutions and services such as Smart Factory. He combines his manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and legacy systems experience to develop business transformation strategies and outcome-based solutions to deliver real competitive advantage for DXC clients.

Raghu Iyer

Raghu Iyer

Raghu Iyer is a senior partner solutions architect at AWS, supporting customers in their digital transformation journey. He brings over 21 years of experience in leading digital transformation programs and architecting solutions for different industries. He is passionate about helping customers achieve their business goals by implementing robust, scalable, and innovative solutions.

Edwin Roestenburg

Edwin Roestenburg

Edwin Roestenburg leads the Global IoT practice for DXC called Smart Places and Things, supporting DXC sellers and account teams with all business and technology related to IoT services. He is an entrepreneur with experience in business development and sales, developing offerings for DXC relevant to the Commercial and Public Sector market providing end-to-end solutions and services in Smart Manufacturing and Intelligent Transportation. Edwin has been working for 26 years at DXC and has a BSc in electronics and telematics from the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands.