Article | April 15, 2020
In the midst of the rapid lifestyle changes incurred by COVID-19, consumer behaviors have shifted considerably: grocery and variety stores are experiencing consistent spikes in consumer demand, while other brick-and-mortar retailers are experiencing dwindling sales and a spike in traffic to their ecommerce sites. Undoubtedly, this reality significantly impacts manufacturers who, by and large, are worried about what COVID-19 will mean for their organizations in the short to medium terms. In fact, PwC has reported that 80% of manufacturing leaders expect to see a negative financial impact on their business due to the pandemic.
Innovation, Industrial 4.0
Article | July 17, 2023
The curated list of platforms and industry 4.0 tools above, delves into simplification and enhancing of digitalized manufacturing processes. These value chain tools enhance the user experience.
The advent of Industry 4.0 has revolutionized the way businesses operate, with technologies such as IoT, AI, and automation driving digital transformation across the entire value chain. In this dynamic landscape, collaborative platforms have emerged as powerful tools that enable organizations to optimize their value chain, fostering seamless collaboration and integration among stakeholders. In this article, know the significance of collaborative industry 4.0 software and the benefits they offer in optimizing the value chain.
PARCview is a powerful real-time manufacturing analytics software that empowers data-driven decision-making in manufacturing environment. It is a central hub for aggregating data from various sources such as machines, ERP, MES, and quality systems, providing valuable insights for continuous improvement. With flexible integration capabilities, it supports connectivity via multiple protocols. PARCview enables operators, engineers, and subject matter experts to troubleshoot process issues, visualize historical and real-time data, diagnose equipment problems, and predict process issues for proactive action. Its high-performance archive engine allows for fast retrieval of short-term and long-term data, ensuring efficient troubleshooting. The software also offers customizable dashboards and displays to monitor real-time equipment status and production KPIs. PARCview's Asset Hub also enables users to add context to raw data by creating digital assets and organizing tags by asset, facilitating quick information retrieval and resource comparison.
2. aPriori Digital Manufacturing Simulation Software
One of the value chain tools, Digital Factories by aPriori enable manufacturers to identify and overcome obstacles in their production processes, ensuring smooth operations and avoiding delays. This software provides manufacturability analysis and directional costing, incentivizing design teams and engineers to incorporate manufacturing considerations early on, reducing engineering change orders and enabling timely product launches. With digital factories, sourcing teams can compare manufacturing environments based on various criteria, evaluate fully burdened manufacturing costs, and make informed site selection decisions. By leveraging extensive libraries of materials, machines, labor, and overhead costs, digital factories offer comprehensive simulations, process cycle time calculations, and manufacturability analysis, empowering companies to optimize their manufacturing practices.
Factbird is a revolutionary manufacturing intelligence solution simplifies data gathering and analysis for all manufacturers. With its comprehensive cloud-based application and edge devices, sensors, and cameras, Factbird streamlines data collection and converts it into actionable insights. Key features include built-in OEE calculations, production monitoring, video capture, historical data analytics, process and quality performance management, maintenance support, and utility consumption tracking. Factbird stands out from competitors' non-intrusive integration, rapid installation, real-time data access, scalability, and advanced data security. It offers pricing plans for different levels of functionality. Factbird empowers businesses to enhance their operations with data-driven insights, ensuring competitiveness in the Industry 4.0 landscape.
Fishbowl is one among industrial revolution tools, manufacturing software designed for growing apparel companies that need a complete solution integrating all aspects of their business. It offers full-featured on-premise or cloud-based options. Fishbowl seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks, providing secure and cost-effective inventory management to manufacturers. It is known for its user-friendly interface, ease of use, and excellent customer service through value chain optimization techniques. With Fishbowl, businesses can streamline their production processes, manage inventory efficiently, and benefit from robust integration capabilities.
FactoryLogix: Digital Manufacturing Engineering is a powerful solution that enables faster time-to-market by providing greater flexibility, control, and simplicity in production design. With this software, manufacturers can quickly transform CAD and bills of materials into interactive visual work instructions, process routes, inspection plans, and more. The features and benefits of FactoryLogix include accelerating and simplifying production launches, driving new business opportunities, standardizing and automating best practices, improving customer value and satisfaction, avoiding unexpected costs, eliminating manual errors and waste, as well as consistently meeting product launch dates.
One of the industrial revolution tools, MachineMetrics is an industrial IoT platform explicitly designed for manufacturing businesses. It offers universal machine connectivity, cloud data infrastructure, and communication workflows to optimize machine operation. With the ability to connect machines both in the cloud and at the edge, MachineMetrics enables manufacturers to digitize their legacy processes and enhance profitability. Numerous manufacturers have adopted the platform worldwide, with thousands of machines already connected. By delivering timely and relevant information, MachineMetrics helps improve machine performance, productivity, and capacity utilization. Ultimately, it empowers manufacturers to stay competitive and win more business in the global market.
7. Siemens Opcenter
Siemens Opcenter is a comprehensive Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) solution that facilitates the digitalization of manufacturing operations. By offering end-to-end visibility into production, Opcenter empowers decision-makers to identify areas for improvement in product design and manufacturing processes. This enables operational adjustments for smoother and more efficient production. Opcenter encompasses various modules, including Opcenter APS for production planning and scheduling, Opcenter Intelligence for data aggregation and analysis, and Opcenter Execution Discrete for shop floor visibility. With Opcenter, businesses can achieve improved efficiency, reduced time-to-market, enhanced quality management, better planning, and flexible integration capabilities. It supports the realization of innovation in the digital enterprise.
The industry 4.0 software and industry 4.0 tools listed above allows seamless collaboration and integration among stakeholders, leading to enhanced operational efficiency, accelerated innovation, and improved customer experiences. By embracing collaborative platforms, businesses can unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0, creating agile, interconnected ecosystems that drive growth and competitive advantage. As the Industry 4.0 revolution unfolds, organizations that proactively adopt and leverage collaborative platforms will be well-positioned to thrive in this era of unprecedented connectivity and digital transformation.
Procurement & Supply Chain
Article | January 3, 2022
Production planning and control are critical components of any manufacturing organization. It helps organizations with the regular and timely delivery of their goods. Furthermore, it allows manufacturing businesses to increase their plant’s efficiency and reduce production costs.
Numerous software and tools for production scheduling and planning are available on the market, including Visual Planning, MaxScheduler, and MRPeasy, which assist manufacturing organizations in planning, scheduling, and controlling their production.
According to KBV Research, the manufacturing operations management software market is anticipated to reach $14.6 billion by 2025 globally, expanding at a market growth of 10.2 percent CAGR during the forecast period.
So, what exactly is production planning and control?
Production planning is an administrative process within a manufacturing business. It ensures that sufficient raw materials, personnel, and other necessary items are procured and prepared to produce finished products according to the specified schedule.
Scheduling, dispatch, inspection, quality control, inventory management, supply chain management, and equipment management require production planning. Production control makes sure that the production team meets the required production targets, maximizes resource utilization, manages quality, and saves money.
“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.”
– James Dyson
In oversize factories, production planning and control are frequently managed by a production planning department, which comprises production controllers and a production control manager. More significant operations are commonly monitored and controlled from a central location, such as a control room, operations room, or operations control center.
Why Should You Consider Production Planning?
An efficient production process that meets the needs of both customers and the organization can only be achieved through careful planning in the early stages of production. In addition, it streamlines both customer-dependent and customer-independent processes, such as on-time delivery and production cycle time.
A well-designed production plan minimizes lead time, the period between placing an order and its completion and delivery. The definition of lead time varies slightly according to the company and the type of production planning required. For example, in supply chain management, lead time refers to the time required for parts to be shipped from a supplier.
Steps in Production Planning and Control
The first stage of production planning determines the path that raw materials will take from their source to the finished product. You will use this section to determine the equipment, resources, materials, and sequencing used.
It is necessary to determine when operations will occur during the second stage of production planning. In this case, the objectives may be to increase throughput, reduce lead time, or increase profits, among other things. Numerous strategies can be employed to create the most efficient schedule.
The third and final production control stage begins when the manufacturing process is initiated. When the scheduling plan is implemented, materials and work orders are released, and work is flowing down the production line, the production line is considered to be running smoothly.
The fourth stage of manufacturing control ascertains whether the process has any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. You can use this stage to compare the predicted run hours and quantities with the actual values reported to see if any improvements can be made to the processes.
Production Planning Example
Though production planning is classified into several categories, including flow, mass production, process, job, and batch, we will look at a batch production planning example here.
Manufacturing products in batches is known as "batch production planning." This method allows for close monitoring at each stage of the process, and quick correction since an error discovered in one batch can be corrected in the next batch. However, batch manufacturing can lead to bottlenecks or delays if some equipment can handle more than others, so it's critical to consider capacity at every stage.
Consider the following example of batch production planning:
Jackson's Baked Goods is in the process of developing a production plan for their new cinnamon bread. To begin with, the head baker determines the batch production time required by the recipe.
He then adjusts the bakery's weekly ingredient orders to include the necessary supplies and schedules the weekly cinnamon bread bake during staff downtime.
Finally, he creates a list of standards for the bakery staff to check at each production stage, allowing them to quickly identify any substandard materials or other batch errors without wasting processing time on subpar cinnamon bread.
Running a smooth and problem-free manufacturing operation relies heavily on a precise production planner. Many large manufacturing companies already have a strong focus on streamlining their processes and making the most of every manufacturing operation, but small manufacturing companies still have work to do in this area. As a result, plan, schedule, and control a production that will enable you to run your business in order to meet its objectives.
What is the difference between planning and scheduling in production?
Production planning and scheduling are remarkably similar. But, it is critical to note that planning determines what operations need to be done and scheduling determines when and who will do the operations.
What is a production plan?
A product or service's production planning is the process of creating a guide for the design and manufacture of a given product or service. Production planning aims to help organizations make their manufacturing processes as productive as possible.
Robotics and Automation
Article | November 12, 2021
Robotics industry growth has accelerated rapidly across several industries. It has aided manufacturers in overcoming numerous barriers related to real-time communication, workplace safety, and overall manufacturing cost and timeliness. However, if we trace its history back to 1961 when George Charles Devol introduced the first robot, dubbed 'UNIMATE,' it has exponentially grown and utilized across sectors to make operations more effortless, precise, and faster.
“As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.”
– Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
However, the industry has seen snags or difficult times due to market fluctuations, unfavorable situations, and the need to remain competitive in the drive for expansion. To thoroughly understand the robotics industry, let us examine each component that surrounds it.
Industrial Robotics Global Market Size
According to recent Allied Market Research studies, the global industrial robotics market was worth $37,875 million in 2016 and is expected to reach $70,715 million by 2023, rising at a 9.4% compound annual growth from 2017 to 2023.
Industrial Robotics Market Analysis
The global industrial robotics market is primarily driven by a global increase in labor costs, which has compelled firms to replace human labor with robots. As a result, Asia and Europe are the world's fastest-growing areas, with top companies such as ABB, Fanuc, KUKA, Kawasaki, and Yaskawa Electric Corporation headquartered in the region.
The global market of robotics has been segmented by its type, industry, and function.
Soldering and Welding
Electrical & Electronics
Healthcare & Medicine
Assembling & Disassembling
Rubber & Plastics
Painting and Dispensing
Others if any
Machinery & Metals
Cutting and Processing
Food & Beverages
Precision & Optics
Others if any
Others if any
Industries That Are Pioneering the Use of Robotics
As we have observed, the global robotic market will continue to rise in the future years. Therefore, let us examine which industries will extend their use of robotics in their operations.
Healthcare & Medicine
Medical robots help surgeons optimize hospital logistics and free up the working staff to focus on patients. In the healthcare field, robots are revolutionizing surgery by speeding supply delivery and disinfection and freeing up time for doctors to interact with their patients.
da Vinci System – A General Surgical Robot
The da Vinci System is a surgical robot that focuses on a wide range of urological, bariatric, and gynecological surgical treatments. In addition, Stryker's MAKO System also specializes in orthopedic surgery, specifically partial and total knee replacements.
The da Vinci SP system is cleared for use in the United States exclusively for single-port urological procedures, lateral oropharyngectomy (often referred to as radical tonsillectomy), and tongue base excision.
Police robots are meant to gain access to areas inaccessible or dangerous to first responders, and they are capable of manipulating items and gathering data using several technologies. It encompasses robots capable of operating in various conditions and displaying a range of data and communication capabilities.
Agriculture & Food Industry
Farm equipment is now routinely equipped with sensors that utilize machine learning and robotics to identify weeds, compute the appropriate quantity of herbicide to spray, or learn to detect and pick strawberries, for instance.
Additionally, in the food business, robotics has been used to do repetitive tasks such as picking and placing food items and cutting and slicing food items during any given food item. For instance, the modern bakery business uses robotics to perform traditional craft skills and produce any product in large quantities while maintaining high quality and hygiene standards.
The transportation sector is highly leveraging robotics. The powerful transport capability, advanced control technology, and sensing precision are some of the benefits that make the transportation robots widely utilized in this sector. These benefits from robotics help the sector convey various commodities in factories, restaurants, and medical institutions, among other locations.
Robots are employed in manufacturing to do repeated jobs and streamline the overall assembly process. Additionally, robots and humans can also collaborate on product making. Robots can replace humans for hazardous tasks or processes that need large quantities of materials, which might be hazardous for a human employee to handle.
Factors Sustaining the Growth of the Robotics Industry
Reduces Manufacturing Costs: Robotics application in all industries reduces the overall manufacturing process running costs.
Improves Product Quality: The precision of robotics throughout the manufacturing process helps produce high-quality items that meet target client needs.
Offers Competitive Market: Increased income due to utilizing the benefits of robotics applications makes any industry more competitive.
Speed-ups Production Time: Robotics speeds up production and helps manufacturers increase output.
Offers Task or Process Flexibility: Robotics can weld, cast, mold, assemble, machine, transfer, inspect, load, and unload items, among other duties. So, it gives the manufacturer process flexibility.
Reduces Excessive Use and Waste of Production Materials: Robotics employs the exact quantity of material required for the manufactured product, reducing waste and overuse of materials.
Offers a Safe Working Place: Robotics improves employee health and safety by performing tasks that humans find risky. For example, in the chemical industry, a human employee may not do a hazardous task. In such instances, robots can replace people.
The rise of the robotics industry has accelerated dramatically, and it is now spreading its wings across industries. Research firm IDC provided a projection for the commercial robot market, forecasting that the market will exceed $53 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 20%. In addition, several advantages of robotics such as safety, productivity, uniformity, and perfection are pushing its expansion and making it an essential element of industry 4.0.
Why are robots the future of the manufacturing industry?
The use of robots in manufacturing has improved process efficiency and product quality. As a result, robots are gaining favor in production and becoming the future of manufacturing.
Which industries make the most use of robotics?
Healthcare, agriculture, food, and manufacturing are the industries that are embracing robotics to get the most out of it.
How is manufacturing utilizing robotics?
Manufacturing uses robotics for repetitive tasks. This helps in the reduction of errors and human efforts. It also improves production efficiency.
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"name": "Which industries make the most use of robotics?",
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"name": "How is manufacturing utilizing robotics?",
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