The connection between IoT, Industry 4.0, and productivity

GRAHAM IMMERMAN| March 12, 2020
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN IOT, INDUSTRY 4.0, AND PRODUCTIVITY
Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things are similar, but not quite the same.  In fact, they work together to help manufacturers increase their productivity. Today we will discuss what they have in common, how they are different, and how they collaborate. Both Industry and IoT involve smart technology that is made to make your life or your business easier. In fact, IoT products are often a vital component of Industry 4.0! That's probably why those terms are used so interchangeably.

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Bridon-Bekaert

Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group is the world’s premier supplier of mission-critical advanced cords and ropes. As a leading innovator, developer and producer of the best performing ropes and advanced cords globally, the Group provides superior value solutions to the oil & gas, mining, crane, elevator and other industrial sectors.

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Manufacturing Production Planning and Control: What, Why, and How?

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 Routing 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. Scheduling 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. Dispatching 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. Follow-Up 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. Example 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. Final Words 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. FAQ 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.

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How Can Manufacturers Redefine Marketing Strategies in the Age of COVID?

Article | April 27, 2021

What do you need to create a killer B2B marketing plan or scale it to support a new marketing business in the age of COVID-19? Many manufacturing companies struggled when the coronavirus started. Some of them paused all marketing activities, waited for the lockdown to end, and then made up for potential losses. Looking at this situation, where does your business stand when it comes to marketing planning in 2021? Simply copying and pasting the old calendar, changing dates and campaign names will be far from being sufficient for the years ahead. Instead, establishing steady and tangible SMART B2B manufacturing marketing goals, which are specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and flexible, is crucial for marketers. And such goals should be made every quarter and bucketed under a planned manufacturing marketing strategy. Aren't you sure what to include in your B2B manufacturing marketing plan? Read on the following ideas that will help you do marketing in the age of COVID-19. Redefine your Budget Season As marketers in industrial manufacturing face planning failures such as inevitable spreadsheets, board meetings, sales, and client handling that accompany for an entire year, they're also facing dwindling budgets. So, redefining your manufacturing marketing budget in 2021 will be one of the most important aspects of marketing for manufacturers. Digital Marketing AMA's latest CMO Survey found that manufacturing marketers anticipate an 8.4% rise in digital marketing spending throughout 2021. What is your digital marketing goal in 2021? Generate double-digit leads for products and services? Promote or launch a new product or service? Expanding reach by ranking in Google's first search engine result page (SERP)? Creating a proper digital marketing plan will leverage to know beyond its tip of the ice. The digital platform will keep your marketing activities on track and in one place, and you will see what's working and what doesn't. This way, you can create a solid budget to implement digital marketing in your marketing business. Customer Experience A survey found that customer experience expenditure surged 10% from past years after companies started marketing budgeting. This prominently included A CRM (customer relationship management) platform. So, including a CRM will benefit your business to track and manage contacts present in your marketing pipeline. Social Media Platforms Interestingly, social media expenditure has soared by 74% since February 2021, and the investment by other manufacturers has paid off. Manufacturers report that social media has contributed to the company's performance 24% more after the pandemic. In general, 62% of marketers report that the importance of social media marketing for manufacturing has grown during the pandemic due to its critical role in reaching customers digitally. It's clear that companies that already implemented digital marketing see the value of budgeting for social media, which increased the positive results of marketing. So, when you set up a new budget, include social media to grow your business. 5 Things to Consider while Marketing your Business A Lead Scoring Model One of the most important aspects of marketing in manufacturing is implementing a lead scoring model. Investing in it will allow you to see through the valuable metric of your leads that will make you determine which ones are qualified. Metrics include your ideal customer's demographics such as company size, revenue, industry, and main pain points. Also, these have a number of website visits, specific page views, content downloads, contact forms, emails unlocked, engagement with social posts, and more. Regularly evaluate your lead scoring model and update to ensure your metrics are closely related to your ideal prospect. It would lead both sales and marketing for manufacturers to identify valuable leads in your database easily. Invest in A Video Marketing Strategy Video Marketing is a great deal. As per Cisco's research, by 2021, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. In addition, being one of the internet’s traffic sources, it’s practical and reasonable. Video marketing for manufacturers has been profitable by 83%. From creating more leads per year to a rise in sales, 80% say that video marketing has aided their business significantly. If you haven't invested in video marketing yet, or if you've only dipped your toes in the water, 2021 is the year to dive in completely. As per HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing report, video beats content forms like blogging, email, and infographics. Also, video is the most-used marketing content type for manufacturers. So, there are many tools and resources that make it easy to get started with video marketing. Videos help to sell industrial manufacturing products and create a brand story. So, think about it and include this when budgeting your marketing plan. Move Beyond Basic Marketing Analytics Through digital marketing, manufacturing marketers have been trying to determine the ROI of their efforts. But do you know that most of them have been doing a lousy job? That's because they, and the tools they use, tend to focus on things that don't matter. These include views, clicks, etc. More than 600 manufacturers and industrial companies in the U.S. have learned that their marketing and sales are going wrong. Out of which, 35% of manufacturers are not using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. So, it is advisable to move beyond basic marketing analytics to track how much traffic is coming to your website. The latest tools can identify companies visiting and allow salespeople to engage them in their research phase. It will result in creating and maintaining promising relationships with clients. Content Isn't Optional A rock-hard content marketing plan is the core of your online business's success. Keep in mind; a few blogs are not sufficient to get accurate results! Creating content helps (by answering) your potential buyer's queries in their research process and throughout their buying journey. A survey found an online search or a blog acts as a key source for finding answers to questions. As most sales are happening online now, Hubspot suggests that manufacturing businesses' sales will surge incredibly in 2021. An average B2B manufacturing marketing has involved 68% of stakeholders. Prospects are now making more decisions by reaching out to a company than ever before because they want your website and social channels to educate them completely. If they can't find the information on your owned channels, they might turn to your competitor's website instead. This makes content the most important aspect of marketing. When it comes to steady and consistent lead generation for b2b manufacturers, content is at the front and center of all the B2B manufacturing marketing trends. So, take content seriously instead of keeping it just as an alternative. What's Important for 2021? Plan in quarters Many companies create full-year planning calendars in November and December. The pandemic in 2020 has taught us that to plan too ahead in advance can get your business to flow in the wrong direction. Because who knows whether those plans or events would fall digitally or be back to in-person. Will your target audience be as approachable as to emails and webinars or not? So, plan your marketing things quarterly from annual to ensure your business leads in the right way. Audit Constantly It's not advisable to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric, for example, tracking traffic to your website. Instead, it's the whole picture that matters. 2021 is the year to evaluate every goal, every channel, and every message related to your business. With this, think about creating a big picture as well—company positioning and values, competitive research, and even business goals. Here are some standard audit actions recommended: 1. Conversion rates Visitors converting to leads Leads converting to customers 2. Email engagement Number of sent emails Deliverability metrics Subscriptions/unsubscribing 3. Revenue attribution audits How much revenue can be credited to marketing campaigns? 4. Campaign success How did all of the individual elements of your campaign perform? That includes: The site and landing pages Email marketing Paid ads and PPC Social messages How did the campaign perform against other campaigns? 5. Social media audit Engagement by channel Overall reach and growth 6. Funnel audit How effectively contacts are moving through the funnel In addition, conduct an audit and analysis vertical to ensure all the automation is taking place or running appropriately. Doing it will help your marketing team keep a constant check on all the processes and cater to you with exact marketing activities. Keep this activity active throughout the year. Continue Shifting Budgets—Don't Be Afraid Much of 2020 has been experimental in marketing for manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies moved away from in-person events to a webinar, shifted expensive prospect meetings to internet meetings, trade events to PPC, website, and content creation. In these cases, you might have to shift your budgeting when needed. Consider revising the budget to create advertorials, creative virtual events, and strategic lead generation tools if you plan in quarters. Along with these, 2021 brought a good time to invest even in intent data, ABM, SEO, and other automated technologically advanced digital initiatives. According to a recent study, manufacturing companies are now 21% more likely to invest in automation and technology. As they are now inclined towards the use of webinars & virtual events (20%), search & social media (14%), and website (12%). All of these increased in light of COVID-19. So, start planning for what's sure to have a better year ahead with your marketing strategies. Frequently Asked Questions What is the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry? Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company. How to use social media marketing in manufacturing? Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways: Choose right platform Share useful content Create advertisements Create creative posts Connect with in-market participants Encourage engagement Create videos and share Address problems and provide solutions through content What are the important aspects of marketing for the manufacturing industry? Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are: Website Brand name Platform Promotion SEO Sales How can Email Marketing help to market in the manufacturing industry? Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN MANUFACTURING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways: Choose right platform Share useful content Create advertisements Create creative posts Connect with in-market participants Encourage engagement Create videos and share Address problems and provide solutions through content" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF MARKETING FOR THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are: Website Brand name Platform Promotion SEO Sales" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW CAN EMAIL MARKETING HELP TO MARKET IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers." } }] }

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Wireless AGVs May Prove Most Important ProMatDX Innovation

Article | April 1, 2021

April 12 -15 ProMatDX, the largest material handling event, will take place virtually. It will feature dozens of AGV vendors. Sadly, some of these highly innovating products still need to be plugged-in to capture power. No more. Wiferion in process charging eliminates the plug-in charging making AGVs truly autonomous. In process charging eliminates the waste of AGV downtime – the fleet is always working AND charging. In process charging is safe ensuring the OSHA, ergonomics, and danger to workers significantly reduced. In process charging is cost-efficient because full vehicle deployment means a reduced fleet count ensuring a rapid ROI. For OEMs of AGVs and industrial trucks implementing inductive charging technology solves the wear and tear issues caused by conventional charging methods as well as making vehicles fully autonomous. For end-users of AGVs and industrial trucks, inductive charging in combination with lithium batteries can improve fleet availability by more than 30%. Whether driverless transport systems (AGVs), electric forklifts, or mobile robots (AMRs), the efficient use of industrial trucks is a decisive factor for competitiveness during ever- increasing cost pressures. The energy systems are being scrutinized and lithium-ion batteries are the preferred technology. The advantages versus lead-acid batteries (including the ability to recharge faster and more often) are obvious. Until now the full potential of storage technology has not been fully realized.

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Lessons Learned in Electronics Transforms Other Discrete Manufacturing Operations

Article | May 10, 2021

Jason Spera, picture left, recently shared his vantage of the changes for factory floor automation in 2021. Jason is CEO and Co-Founder, Aegis Software. Spera is a leader in MES/MOM software platforms for discrete manufacturers with particular expertise in electronics manufacturing. Founded in 1997, today more than 2,200 factory sites worldwide use some form of Aegis software to improve productivity and quality while meeting regulatory, compliance and traceability challenges. Spera's background as a manufacturing engineer in an electronics manufacturing company and the needs he saw in that role led to the creation of the original software products and continue to inform the vision that drives Aegis solutions, like FactoryLogix. He regularly speaks on topics surrounding factory digitization, IIoT, and Industry 4.0. Contact Jason on LinkedIn.

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Bridon-Bekaert

Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group is the world’s premier supplier of mission-critical advanced cords and ropes. As a leading innovator, developer and producer of the best performing ropes and advanced cords globally, the Group provides superior value solutions to the oil & gas, mining, crane, elevator and other industrial sectors.

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