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 | December 8, 2021
The manufacturing production schedule is a critical aspect that enables the manufacturing business to complete each production activity precisely and on time. Allocating different raw materials, resources, or processes to distinct project phases is called a production schedule. Its goal is to make your manufacturing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible in terms of resources and labor — all while delivering products on schedule.
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
So, how is the overall production schedule managed?
According to businesswire, the global APS (Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling) software market was valued at $1,491.22 million in 2020 and is anticipated to raise $2,941.27 million by 2028 expanding at an 8.86 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2028.
Some software and tools are available to assist manufacturing organizations in properly scheduling production planning, including MaxScheduler, TACTIC, MRPeasy, and Gantt charts. Though there are numerous software programs available on the market for production scheduling, the most crucial aspect is determining which elements to consider when planning production.
This blog will look at the five most important factors to consider while planning the production schedule.
Five Elements to Consider When Scheduling Production
As we saw in the introduction, production scheduling is used in the manufacturing process to assign plant and machinery resources, schedule human resources, plan production processes, and purchase materials.
So, what are the primary components or stages of this production scheduling process? Let's take a quick look at each of them.
Planning to Make the Best Use of the Company's Resources
The role of planning in production scheduling is to use the company's resources to maintain a regular production flow. As a result, downtime is decreased, and bottlenecks are minimized, allowing production to be optimized. For production scheduling, two forms of planning can be used:
Dynamic Planning: Dynamic planning is carried out under the idea that process stages will alter. So, materials must be ready, but production cannot begin until demand is decided.
Static Planning: Static planning is done keeping in mind that all process steps will be completed on schedule and without adjustments.
Routing to Determine the Order of Actions
A “bill of materials” is used in discrete manufacturing to specify what things are needed and in what quantities.
Routing determines the path and sequence of required phases of the process. It may involve in-house operations, but it may also comprise sub-contracted components that must be returned to the production flow for final assembly.
Scheduling to Make Use of Predetermined Planning Levels
To manufacture products from components or raw materials, scheduling makes use of the previously set planning level. As a result, it is time-dependent and must meet the demand outlined at the planning level.
Each department, product, and procedure can have their own unique set of timetables. Sub-schedules for sub-assemblies or mixes and blends may be defined by department-specific master production schedules, utilized at the highest level to define product timeframes.
Dispatching to Decide on Immediate Actions
Dispatching assigns the following jobs to be done from a subset of the production queue. Dispatching is utilized to make quick decisions. This is in contrast to planning, which involves the planning of future actions. Dispatching is utilized in both pull and push production systems.
Execution to Ensure that all Processes are Carried out Correctly
Production scheduling must rely on proper execution to ensure that all processes are completed appropriately and in the sequence planned.
It requires everyone to know what they are expected to do and when they are expected to do it. Execution requires knowledgeable management decisions, well-trained employees, correct data in the manufacturing plan and schedule, and consistent sales statistics and forecast numbers. All must be present for the organization to carry out its production plan and fulfill orders.
How MRPeasy – A Production Scheduling Software Assist Manufacturing Companies in Scheduling Their Production?
MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) application explicitly designed for small manufacturing units. Its primary functions are purchase order management, forecasting, and inventory management.
This software simplifies the process of scheduling production. It enables you to evaluate all of your anticipated manufacturing orders (MO). The bill of materials (BOM), purchasing, and stocking are all maintained in one location, allowing you to quickly book inventory and increase purchase orders (PO) for acquired parts.
MRPeasy enables you to:
Obtain all of the detailed information on all of your MOs
Consider MOs as a single block or as distinct operations.
Drag-and-drop operations and operations to reschedule
Calendar or Gantt chart views are available for monitoring scheduled orders.
Additionally, you can manage MOs smoothly. With the production planning component, you may create, amend, and update MOs. This app compiles an exhaustive list of all your MOs. You can track their progress based on the status of an order or a part's availability. Additionally, you can search for, filter, and export your MOs.
How to schedule production for your organization requires extensive research, planning, and analysis of overall product demand as well as a grasp of the time required to meet the demand. Production scheduling techniques such as job-based planning, batch method, flow method, and others help develop a productive manufacturing production schedule. Include the elements mentioned above in your manufacturing scheduling to get the best possible benefits, such as better production efficiency, lower production costs, and on-time product delivery for your manufacturing in 2022.
How production planning differ from production scheduler?
Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done.
What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?
Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively.
How can scheduling be improved?
Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa.
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Article | December 30, 2021
Risk management in manufacturing has always been a top priority for manufacturers to avoid any unfortunate incidents. As a result, it is possible to create a more secure work environment for employees by conducting risk assessments and implementing remedies.
“If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business.”
– Gary Cohn, an American Business Leader.
As of 2019, the worldwide risk management market was valued at $7.39 billion, and it is expected to rise at a CAGR of 18.7% from 2020 to 2027, according to allied market research.
Why is Risk Assessment Critical in Manufacturing?
The manufacturing industry must have a credible risk assessment and management plan to defend itself from any breaches. Risk assessment helps firms understand the dangers they face and their implications if their systems are compromised. Hence, risk assessment is very critical in the manufacturing industry.
Five Risk Assessment Principles
Identify hazards/risks - Employers must examine their workers' health and safety risks. Therefore, an organization must regularly inspect its employee’s physical, mental, chemical, and biological threats.
Identify who may be hurt and in what way – Identifying the personnel both full-time and part-time at-risk. Employers must also examine threats to agency and contract personnel, visitors, clients, and other visitors.
Assess the risks and act accordingly - Employers must assess the likelihood of each danger causing injury. This will evaluate and lower the chance at the working space. Even with all safeguards, there is always some danger. Therefore, employers must assess if danger is still high, medium, or low risk.
Get the Risks Documented - Employers with five or more employees must record the critical findings of the risk assessment in writing. In addition, register any risks identified in the risk assessment and actions to minimize or eliminate risk.
This document confirms the evaluation and is used to examine working practices afterward. The risk assessment is a draft. It should be readable. It shouldn't be hidden away. The risk assessment must account for changes in working techniques, new machinery, or higher work objectives.
5 Manufacturing Risks to Consider in 2022
Accidents at Work
Even if official safety policies and programs are designed, followed, and enhanced, manufacturers may endure workplace accidents and injuries. Risk assessment for workplace accidents assists in mitigating the negative impact on both employees and the organization.
Manufacturers have distinct issues regarding fuel handling and hazardous waste disposal in facilities. Sudden leaks or spills may be extremely costly to clean up and result in fines from state and federal agencies. Risk assessments for such plant accidents assist businesses in mitigating financial losses.
Essential machinery throughout the production process might fail at any time, incurring significant repair or replacement costs. Therefore, it's critical to recognize that business property insurance may not cover mechanical issues.
Risk assessment and prepayment solutions protect against equipment failures without interfering with typical company operations.
Supply Chain Disruption
Dependence on your supply chain may result in unintended consequences that are beyond your control. For example, if you experience downtime on the manufacturing line due to a supplier's failure to supply materials or parts, you risk losing revenue and profitability. If a disturbance to your supply chain poses a hazard, risk management can assist you in managing it more effectively by quickly identifying the risk and providing a suitable response.
Operation Temporarily Suspended
Depending on the severity of the weather event, a factory might be severely damaged or perhaps utterly wrecked. While major repairs or rebuilding are being undertaken, recouping lost income might be vital to the business's future profitability.
Risk assessment in this area enables your organization to budget for overhead expenditures such as rent, payroll, and tax responsibilities during the period of suspension of operations.
Risk management is critical in manufacturing because it enables manufacturers to comprehend and anticipate scenarios and create a well-planned response that avoids unnecessary overhead costs or delays in delivering the production cycle's final result. Manufacturing risks are undoubtedly not limited to the risks listed above and may vary according to the nature of the business and regional environmental conditions. Therefore, create a well-defined strategy to overcome threats in your business and be productive at all times.
How are manufacturing business risks classified?
In most cases, the business risk may be categorized into four types: strategic risk, regulatory compliance risks, operational compliance risks, and reputational risks.
Why should a manufacturer conduct a risk assessment?
Every manufacturing employment has risks for injury or illness. But risk evaluations can significantly minimize workplace injuries and illnesses. In addition, they assist companies in discovering strategies to reduce health and safety risks and enhance knowledge about dangers.
Article | June 28, 2021
Manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler visited the remarkable and magnificent country of Uganda.
Foreign investment is coming into the country and that is a good thing; it is not however, enough. To tap into this workforce corporate citizenship and contribution is essential. Just as I underestimated the stamina needed to climb the mountain to experience the gorillas, the role of transforming Uganda requires a careful, well-thought approach.