Manufacturing processes typically are in place for quite some period of time, often months if not years. During this time changes in process can occur and the use of IoT collected data can be highly valuable to determining the impact of the change. Let’s consider our stamping operation again. We have been producing a specific part on the line for months and have collected significant data. We can use analytics and trend charting and reporting to see if. . .Read More
Just knowing an alert has occurred and sending it to a human user may not be the ideal outcome. Again, just like in the previous sections, depending on humans to handle tasks introduces variability and more important, excess cost. Let’s look at an example of a machine that is experiencing abnormally high hydraulic temperature. We have determined this is abnormal based on the specific machine, the in context item / part specific parameters and perhaps external sensors such as ambient temperature. An alert gets raised . . .Read More
There are many ways to present alarms and alerts from IoT data being collected, but in the case of manufacturing, we have an environment that has special needs. Maintenance people are working in loud, hot, noisy situations that a simple SMS phone message may not suffice - as it would in a front office or consumer environment. Alerting and Alarms must be generated in such a way to fit the needs of the recipient’s environment. As manufacturing. . .Read More
With huge amounts of data coming in from machines, some IoT vendors would make you think that’s all it takes. They can set up some alarms, alerts and flashing lights - and perhaps even send emails. From the surface, that may look interesting and bring some perceived value. The truth is, there is much more to it than simply aggregating data and when a threshold is hit, ringing the bell.
Machines on the production floor make items – that’s your life’s work and why you are in business. Each of these items have unique requirements in the production system. Perhaps it’s a tolerance, or an oven temperature something must be cured at. Perhaps it’s the punch press dwell time that’s critical – too quick and you get cracking, too slow and you get parts that are too weak to perform. Most times, production equipment will...Read More
Currently, you cannot avoid the deluge of hype and pitches around the ‘Internet of Things’ – IoT and how this is going to revolutionize the world in which we live. As a manufacturer you may be asking yourself how IoT can benefit your organization by making you more profitable, reduce risk and grow your business. Indeed IoT can play a major role in doing this and helping you achieve your goals, but you need to take a careful look - and not get caught up in the hype that providers of IoT with no manufacturing experience are pitching.
For IoT to work properly in manufacturing, the supplier of the tools and systems needs to have a deep understanding of how manufacturing works. Let’s face it, we can have appliances in our homes connected and talking but this is not the same as manufacturing production equipment providing real time production operation data and as well since IoT is bi-directional in nature, having costly and potentially dangerous machines being controlled via IoT. Let’s take a few minutes to put IoT into the context of manufacturing and see how it can be deployed properly for companies in the manufacturing and assembly environments.Read More
Home renovations can be challenging. As a “do-it yourself” kind of person, it was even more of a challenge to bring in a project manager and other assistance for a large renovation project. If I am only relying on myself, then there is no one to blame if I am behind schedule or if the project isn’t turning out exactly the way I planned. Relying on others to show up, care about the project, and your budget is a lot to ask. That is why the project manager could potentially be the most important piece of the puzzle.
It is the same concept when selecting an ERP professional services provider. There is a lot of information available about how to choose ERP software, but what about the real challenge of implementation? Implementation is definitely more costly and time consuming than the actual software purchase . . .Read More
Recently I was having a discussion with a client who uses CPQ (Configure Price Quote) for the creation of custom products. The conversation was around the requirements for maintaining engineering controls – ECNs (engineering change notice) and revision management and how to maintain control with rule sets.
Engineering controls such as maintain BOM details and routing processes is straight forward when it comes to standard products. Most contemporary ERP solutions such as Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) allow for the locking down of any BOM and routing changes unless ECNs are enacted, routed and approved. This is usually enforced as well with Quality Procedures that may be specified in an ISO QC method. When it comes to configured products however, the engineering controls...Read More
No doubt you have seen the growth and interest of 3D Printing and additive manufacturing over the recent years, especially as the capabilities of the technology permit not only prototypes to be created but fully functioning metal and ceramic parts and assemblies. This manufacturing method coming to the forefront has the capability to radically change the way production is done, especially for products that have low volumes or more importantly high degrees of configuration options. The ability to take a base assembly and allow for dynamic changes to be made to the unit to exactly meet the customer’s demands will bring the most value to the technology and yield the largest revenue and financial outcome.
So let’s take a look at what we shall call the trifecta of digital manufacturing. Starting with . . .Read More
ERP and other Industrial / Manufacturing Software Implementation projects can be (and usually are) complicated endeavors with many facets that need to be managed and executed effectively. The simple definition of a “Project” is that it is a temporary activity with a Start date and a Completion date and milestone dates in between. The purpose is to create a unique result (i.e. implementing a new ERP system). If you’ve been involved with a project that seems to keep on going, maybe even well past the original “Completion Date”, then chances are it is being poorly managed, even though it may seem successful and some objectives have been achieved.
Key Factors for Project Success:
This “open-ended”, never-ending project syndrome is most likely due to several (missing) factors. These factors should have been set in the earliest stages of project definition and typically include:
Project Objectives are usually set by the Management team. It defines the purpose of the project; what are the benefits to the company, department, or individual in qualitative and/or quantitative terms. Without aRead More
Over 600 million apps are downloaded worldwide each day. Moore’s law observes that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. With computing moving into nanotechnology, this continues to be true. I recently read that knowledge is doubled at least every year (soon to be measured in hours?). Just a few years ago it was unheard of for a mid-sized manufacturing company to have a terabyte of data. But, now I have a quarter of a terabyte of storage on my iPhone. How do you keep up? How do you keep your business systems up-to-date? How much of your competitive advantage is based on this ever changing technology? How much better are you than your competitors? It’s such a blessing to have all this incredible technology and data storage available. What’s hard is sifting through all the noise and settling on what’s right for your business. You want to upgrade, but is your upgraded business system going to result in “Better, Faster & Cheaper”?Read More
It’s become standard operating procedure to offer maintenance contracts on a variety of electronics that we purchase. Maintenance and warranty offers extend far beyond cars, televisions, and appliances.
You have already committed to . . .Read More
As a distributor, whether that is industrial products, HVAC, electrical or building products, you have new challenges to face as the next generation of buyer comes to the counter. This next generation of buyer has grown up differently than you customers of the past and they have different expectations.
Buyers today want choices and customization, off the shelf and generic does not excite them nor are they willing to have loyalty to you if you just supply commodities. If they do business with you, can you provide them a broad portfolio of solutions configured the way they want?
Buyers today expect visualization. They have grown up with computers that present high resolution displays so they can experience life virtually. Can you present your products in such a way that they are stimulated to buy?
Buyers today areRead More
Selecting a new ERP software often requires more than just research, demos, and budgets. Often, it is the team that we assemble for a project that determines its success.
Team sports are a prime example of how this works. If you have a basketball, baseball, or football team that doesn’t recognize and utilize the strengths of each player then you typically end up with dysfunction. Every member of a team has a role to play in reaching the goal of a winning season. An ERP selection committee is much like a sports team with the goal of a winning season.
Assembling a winning team does not necessarily mean you focus solely on power users or department managers. In fact, itRead More
The manufacturing of unique products and the consumer demands for increased variants and features and options are requiring the need for change within business operating software. If you are still focused on core ERP to make efficiency improvements, cost reductions and streamlining your supply chain, you are only going to get half way to optimal success. You must start looking forward to how you are interacting with your customers and meeting their demands for unique products. The new millennial buyers are thinking differently and expect their products to be built the way they want. Let’s take a look at what you should be looking at for the future if you are going to lead the market through the offering of configured to order products, versus becoming commoditized and marginalized.Read More
I just returned from the 2016 IBEX boat show in Tampa, getting out right before the hurricane, and the winds outside could not compare to the energy and invigoration of the marine suppliers and buyers on the exhibit floor. The industry is definitely alive and well which is going to push the limits of the boat industry supply chain if the upward trends continue. We all keenly remember the near death of the industry just a few years ago and during that time it was a survival mode operation only. Little investment was made in business systems technology, supply chain optimization and systematic efficiency improvement.
Turning to today where the industry has been seeing near 20% annual growth in many segments, this...
With the economy on a continued recovery the demand for boats, especially small to mid-sized styles is increasing dramatically according to the recent NMMA U.S. RECREATIONAL BOATING STATISTICAL ABSTRACT. While not yet back to pre-2007 numbers, it’s still significant growth. This level of growth has opened up the need for boat builders to become more efficient and streamlining of production. Prior to 2006, many builders just made capital investments in plants and equipment which during the downturn put many of them out of business. Cash flow dried up and the capital equipment became a major liability.
Learning from the missteps of the past during those pre-2006 growth years, how can the smart boat builder gain production levels to meet today’s demand without breaking the bank with capital investment? Other industries have faced similar issues such as the automotive markets. Suppliers to the automotive industries have felt the same pain and been in the same scenario. So what did they do to avoid the problems of the past?
Production efficiency in boat assembly can be increased and optimized thorough the use of ...Read More
If you took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to spend some time on the water, chances are you saw a lot of boaters. The number of boats on lakes, waterways, and oceans during holiday weekend is incredible. It makes you wonder how many people own the boat they are driving or are they renting it for the weekend. Regardless, of the number of boats on the water and who owns them, boating is a huge industry with many possibilities.
If you are in the market for a boat, and looking to join the ranks of other boaters, how do you know what you want? If you look...Read More
The FAA estimates that nearly 100,000 aircraft will need to equip with ADS-B Out between now and 2020, but does the U.S. aviation industry have the time and resources to get them done in time? (As reported in Avionics Today)
Companies that supply advanced navigation and electronics systems for private, commercial and military are facing ever increasing challenges to meeting regulatory requirements such as the new requirements for ADS-B. Requirements such as this not only affect the ability for companies to ramp up to the production demand but also the engineering, ERP and business systems that are used to design and build these products. Extending from . . .Read More
Take a step outside and listen to what you hear, take a deep breath and take in the smells around you. If you are like some of the rural population in the United States, that is a refreshing moment. However if you live in an urban or city with a high population, it’s not refreshing. You will more likely hear the din of traffic, harsh sounds of diesel city buses, their engines clamoring and with the stench of diesel exhaust. In extreme cities such as Mexico City, and multiple cities in China and India this is more than just an annoyance, it’s a major heath issue.
Cheap fuel of the...Read More
We all know that to be ahead of our competition we need to get there fast. The question I would pose, “Is it necessary for ALL things”? We realize that technology has driven the universe to run at a much faster pace. We think we need it now - not later. So does that mean that we should all be doing things exactly the same way? Should everything have a cookie cutter approach? Does one size fit all?Read More