Article | January 25, 2021
These days, smart can be added to the front of just about everything. And unsurprisingly, packaging is no different.?
Being influenced by digital transformation, smart packaging is a way for brands to connect their online and offline offerings. And as?ecommerce sales continue to rise, Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, a packaging solutions provider for luxury retailers such as Coach and Tom Ford,?believes the smart trend in packaging will too.
In this piece, Robert shares his predictions on how?the?new era of smart packaging and?consequently, products,?will?connect,?improve?and transform industries?and?shape new?consumer expectations.
Smart packaging refers to a container or outer shell of a product that has extended functions. Now, the concept is nothing new as these functions are?often the reason?specific?materials are chosen for use in?the?packaging?of?certain products.
For instance, in the food market,?it’s?common to find fresh produce wrapped in film with ethylene absorbers in order to lengthen shelf life. Or, for bottles to be fitted with oxygen absorbing caps to keep drinks fresher for longer.
But typically, in other FMCG markets, packaging has largely remained disconnected from?the product it is containing. Packaging is merely seen as a means for transportation or a protective outer layer.
However, we are?seeing?a shift?in perception. Increasingly, brands are investing in the smart functions of their packaging?in order to?add value to their products. And consumers are beginning to expect such things from brands as a result.
Consumer benefits of smart packaging
As the trend prevails, there are?a number of?reasons?why?brands?should consider?introducing smart packaging to their product offering. The most significant of these being the ability to improve the overall customer experience of shopping from your brand and encouraging greater customer engagement.
Although in?traditional?retail?customers are presented with various?physical touchpoints before making a purchasing decision, ecommerce is different. Unless a customer has visited a store first, which is unlikely at present due to COVID-19 restrictions, the package is often the first physical point of contact a customer has with a brand.
Therefore, from the moment the package is delivered, before it is even opened, it needs to make an impression on your customer. An impression that reflects your brand and the intended customer experience.?This way, consumers will already have positive perceptions of your business, encouraging a better reception of your products, greater overall?engagement?and a higher likelihood of a repeat purchase in order to go through the whole experience again.
And smart packaging is a way for brands to do exactly that. Packages can offer customers additional benefits and an improved customer experience by integrating within them various technologies and features.
Face value features may include?illuminations, sounds, and aromas, enticing customers by appealing to their sensory needs. But other smart technology integration can be much less obvious, yet equally as advantageous.
For instance, through use of connectivity and augmentation features, whether that be scannable QR codes,?sensors?or microchips,?this?can be used to improve communication with customers and the functionality and use of the product.
By scanning a QR?placed on the outside of a box or bag with a smartphone?for example, customers can be provided with more information on the product inside, including details of ingredients,?origins?and production.?QR’s can?also provide?other marketing content such as competitions, product recommendations?through digital discovery?channels?and the?offering of?virtual brand experiences.
Or, if the package itself is not “smart” in function, perhaps brands can look at using customer data and insights to inform designs and even tailor the outer materials to the needs of individual customers or groups, making them smart in design instead.
Either way, smart packaging is becoming a way for brands to differentiate themselves from competitors?by improving customer interactions and supplementing their product offering with additional features and benefits and overall, creating a more favourable customer experience.
Commercial value of smart packaging
However,?smart packaging?isn’t?just about giving your customers more. Rather, there are many benefits for the business,?too.
Ultimately,?there are advantages for?connectivity and transparency in the supply chain?as well as on the customer facing front. And of course, this is exactly what is offered with smart packaging.
Through the inclusion of chips and systems, such as radio frequency identification (RFID)?which identify packages wirelessly, tedious processes involved with scanning at various logistic points can be removed, making the entire process from order to delivery much more efficient.
Naturally, this would reduce?administrative tasks as well as costs for the business due to a much more streamlined chain.
For more sensitive items, particularly in food or even in the health and beauty industry, temperature can also be both managed and monitored through smart packaging. Readings can then easily be displayed on packages, giving both the brand and customer assurance that the items inside have not been breached and remain?compliant and safe to use.
Consequently, smart packaging is on track to transform industries by offering both brands and consumers new ways to deliver and use products.?Although barriers do exist at present, namely the costs related to manufacturing, it will be interesting to see how more and more brands begin to innovate and integrate smart technologies to more than just their products.
Article | January 20, 2022
A smart factory that leverages Industry 4.0 concepts to elevate its operations has long been a model for other industries that are still figuring out how to travel the digital manufacturing route. Smart manufacturing technology is all you need to know if you're looking to cash in on this trend.
“Industry 4.0 is not really a revolution. It’s more of an evolution.”
– Christian Kubis
In this article, we'll look at the advantages that many smart factory pioneers are getting from their smart factories. In addition, we will look at the top smart factory examples and understand how they applied the Industry 4.0 idea and excelled in their smart manufacturing adoption.
Industry 4.0 Technology Benefits
Manufacturing Industry 4.0 has several benefits that can alter the operations of manufacturers. Beyond optimization and automation, smart manufacturing Industry 4.0 aims to uncover new business prospects and models by increasing the efficiency, speed, and customer focus of manufacturing and associated industries.
Key benefits of Manufacturing Industry 4.0 in production include:
Improved productivity and efficiency
Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing
Better agility and adaptability
Improved customer experience
Reduced costs and increased profitability
Creates opportunities for innovation
World Smart Factory Case Studies and Lessons to Be Learned
Schneider Electric, France SAS
Schneider Electric's le Vaudreuil plant is a prime example of a smart factory Industry 4.0, having been regarded as one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world, utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a large scale. The factory has included cutting-edge digital technology, such as the EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to accelerate operation and maintenance, resulting in a 2–7% increase in productivity. EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor's initial deployment saves up to 30% on energy and contributes to long-term improvement.
Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes, Ireland
DePuy Synthes' medical device manufacturing plant, which started in 1997, just underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to better integrate digitalization and Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing. Johnson & Johnson made a big investment in the Internet of Things. By linking equipment, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (referred to as “digital twins”). These digital twins resulted in sophisticated machine insights. As a result of these insights, the company was able to reduce operating expenditures while simultaneously reducing machine downtime.
Bosch's Wuxi factory's digital transformation uses IIoT and big data. The company integrates its systems to keep track of the whole production process at its facilities. Embedding sensors in production machinery collects data on machine status and cycle time. When data is collected, complicated data analytics tools analyze it in real-time and alert workers to production bottlenecks. This strategy helps forecast equipment failures and allows the organization to arrange maintenance ahead of time. As a consequence, the manufacturer's equipment may run for longer.
The Tesla Gigafactory, Germany
According to Tesla, the Berlin Gigafactory is the world's most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant. On a 300-hectare facility in Grünheide, it produces batteries, powertrains, and cars, starting with the Model Y and Model 3. For Tesla, the goal is not merely to make a smart car, but also to construct a smart factory. The plant's photographs reveal an Industry 4.0 smart factory with solar panels on the roof, resulting in a more sustainable production method. On its official website, Tesla claimed to use cutting-edge casting methods and a highly efficient body shop to improve car safety. Tesla's relentless pursuit of manufacturing efficiency has allowed them to revolutionize the car industry.
The SmartFactoryKL was established to pave the way for the future's "intelligent factory." It is the world's first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production facility, demonstrating the value of high-quality, flexible manufacturing and the effectiveness with which it can be deployed. The last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been guided by particular strategic objectives that drive innovation; the aim is to see artificial intelligence integrated into production. Two instances of AI-driven transformations include an "order-to-make' mass customization platform and a remote AI-enabled, intelligent service cloud platform that anticipates maintenance needs before they occur.
Enabling smart manufacturing means using the latest technology to improve processes and products. The aforementioned smart factory examples are industry leaders and are thriving by implementing Industry 4.0 technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use these smart factory examples to learn about the adoption process, challenges, and solutions. Industry 4.0 is aimed at improving enterprises and minimizing human effort in general. So adopt the smart factory concept and be productive.
What is the difference between a smart factory and a digital factory?
The digital factory enables the planning of factories using virtual reality and models, whereas the smart factory enables the operation and optimization of factories in real time.
Where does Industry 4.0 come from?
The term "Industry 4.0" was coined in Germany to represent data-driven, AI-powered, networked "smart factories" as the fourth industrial revolution's forerunner.
Article | March 22, 2022
Manufacturing analytics, or real-time manufacturing analytics, is the process of collecting, cleansing, and analyzing data from machines to forecast their future use, prevent failures, forecast maintenance requirements, and identify areas for improvement.
“The goal is to turn the data into information and information into insight.”
- Carly Fiorina, ex CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Manufacturing data incorporates all structured and unstructured information collected manually or through software from machines and humans throughout the manufacturing process, up to the point at which a product is launched to the market.
In this article, we will look at the use cases of data analysis in manufacturing and some of the start-ups from the U.S. that are helping manufacturers gather their real-time manufacturing analytics.
Data Analysis in Manufacturing: Use Case Analytics
Forecasting demand is highly dependent on historical data on supply levels, material costs, purchase trends, and customer behavior. Manufacturers can use analytics to accomplish the following:
Define the products to be manufactured in a time frame
Define products that are no longer in stock
Determine the quantity of products to be manufactured
Forecast sales prospects
Forecasting demand enables manufacturers to manage inventory, purchase materials, and optimize storage capacity based on data. Additionally, manufacturing industry data analysis provides insight into:
The sales-to-inventory ratio indicates the average inventory value over net sales.
Days in inventory refers to the time a manufacturer retains before selling a product.
Gross margin return on inventory (GMROI) is a term that refers to the amount of gross margin a manufacturer receives for each dollar invested in inventory.
Data collected from various manufacturing machines, tools, and devices, as well as information about operations and the gears required for the machines, can be analyzed to:
Predict when a machine will require maintenance based on the amount of time and the operations in which it has been used.
Identify and resolve operational anomalies caused by or will result in machine failure.
Prevent downtime by scheduling machine breakdowns, repairs, and replacements in advance.
Utilizing analytics can assist manufacturers in determining the actual cost of a product based on the costs of materials, labor, machines, and tools used or purchased during the manufacturing process. Additionally, manufacturers can optimize prices based on data about competitors, market trends, consumer behavior, and purchase history. Additionally, analytics can assist in setting dynamic prices that are determined by demand, supply, competition, and subsidiary product prices.
Analytics for Manufacturing as a Service: Three U.S.-based Startups
Uptake offers predictive analytics solutions powered by artificial intelligence for various industries. It provides a compass, which allows organizations to optimize work orders and scout. This allows users to analyze data and custom alerts and radar to get failure and anomaly detection solutions. Failure prediction, noise filtering, situational analytics, and detecting changes in operational behavior are just a few of the features that these systems offer to their customers today. The product, by Uptake, is intended for use in various industries like mining, construction, fleet management, manufacturing, aviation, government, and oil and gas.
Seeq is a leading provider of industrial data analytics solutions. Its big data analysis solutions help in the analysis and comprehension of industrial process data (IPD) more effectively and quickly than typical alternatives. Reduced analysis time, quicker relationship discovery, ERP and other system connectivity, support for business intelligence (BI) tools such as Excel, Tableau, SAS, and MATLAB, and collaboration support are some of the features.
Sight Machine provides a platform for manufacturing applications that utilize digital twins. It provides solutions for continually analyzing images captured by industrial cameras, sensor data, and data from manufacturing systems to improve product quality and operations. It provides real-time visibility and actionable data for every part, machine, line, and plant manufacturing process. Its clientele includes Nike, Sony, Nissan, and Google, to name a few.
Big data analytics in manufacturing assists businesses in identifying the parameters that have a direct effect on production. Additionally, modifying the target process helped businesses increase productivity by 50%.
McKinsey estimates that when analytics are used in design-to-value workflows and projects, manufacturers' gross margins can increase by as much as 40%. Manufacturing analytics can help with design-to-value, supply chain management, and after-sales support. Real-time manufacturing analytics enables manufacturers to optimize their overall production.
Why is data critical in manufacturing?
Big data helps manufacturers understand their customers' needs and wants better. To launch a new product or upgrade an old one, data is required to make it appealing to customers and assess the risks of competition.
What is production analysis?
Production analysis visualizes production output and helps assess production losses and associated costs.
What is predictive manufacturing?
Predictive manufacturing uses descriptive analytics and data visualization to provide a real-time perspective of asset health and reliability performance.
Article | April 28, 2020
Google Search Console is a great tool for content creation. If you’re partnered with an industrial marketing agency, they will likely use the Search Console to inform you about the health of your website and if there are any loading or security or server issues. The longer you use the Search Console, the more helpful it becomes. The amount of information Search Console collects over the first year of use can be used to optimize rankings of current webpages and find new key terms your visitors are using during their online searches.