IIoT or "Industry 4.0" is one of the hottest and most highly rated technologies for manufacturers today. Picking the right partner and solutions provider is paramount to success.
As a manufacturer, there’s no doubt you have seen the high levels of information, stories and hype surrounding the Industrial Internet of Things market and the large number of providers that make claims to their expertise in the market. Recent numbers including IDC and their December 2017 forecast $772 billion for IoT spending, and Gartner’s March 2016 claims of 43% of companies using IoT would indeed indicate a market that is growing rapidly. Indeed, if you were to perform a simple Internet search on IoT, or more specifically Industrial IoT which is what industrial manufacturers should be looking at, you will find hundreds . . . Read More
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
Excel is probably one of the most widely used software programs among students, businesses, and manufacturers. It is incredibly versatile and relatively simple to use. Despite its simplicity, it can even compute and perform complex mathematical operations. It is a useful tool and an accessible way to analyze and communicate data.
Despite its usefulness, you may soon find yourself in a love / hate relationship with Excel.
As business develops, so does the amount of data. If your business operations are being managed from spreadsheets there is . . . Read More
Top 5 Benefits of Owning a VCR:
- You can own a rewinder shaped like a race car
- Remembers where you left off after 15 years on shelf
- Find hit movies for $1 in the looney bin or flea market
- You get to hear the audio in FastFoward too
- FF though anti-privacy warnings with ease
Of course, in theory you'd have to travel 6 miles to and fro twice a week to rent and return videos . . . if video stores still existed!
Recently there was a . . . Read More
Having accurate inventory is VERY important for the success of any ERP system. An accurate inventory will improve the efficiency of Customer Service, Purchasing, Manufacturing, and Shipping. Improving efficiency means reducing cost and waste in almost all of your processes.
We suggest that you measure inventory accuracy as part of your monthly “Dashboard”. This can be done by setting “accuracy standards” for your items. Not every item needs to be exactly correct in order to be “accurate”. For low cost, easily obtained items +/- 10% might be OK. For high cost, long lead time items, +/- 0% might be appropriate. They typical process for obtaining these numbers is through cycle count records, so if you are not already doing that, we highly recommend that you start.
First of all, there are two levels of inventory “accuracy” . . .
We are all called on to trim the fat and become more efficient. You understand the basics but putting thoughts/goals into action is all too often an overwhelming effort. But, an effort worth tackling.
In a recent training class with a number of quality professionals we were given a test assignment to simulate a manufacturing assembly process. We set up multiple work centers in our training room and took on multiple roles. Our team, which consisted of . . . Read More
Companies are going deeper into the massive amounts of data that are housed in their ERP systems, and they are using tools that are available within the ERP structure to do it. Data analysis used to require data dumps and separate analyzing tools to get information that was intuitive and suggestive of trends. Now, these tools are built into the architecture of the ERP framework, and according to . . . Read More
As I look at all of the statistics on how employees can lose time and productivity at work (from Angry Birds to Email), it’s staggering. Minutes per day turn into days per quarter and then weeks per year . . . lost. According to an IDC report titled “The Knowledge Quotient”, 61% of knowledge workers regularly access four or more systems to get the information they need to do their jobs. Also, 36% of a typical knowledge worker's day is spent looking for and consolidating information spread across a variety of systems. And finally, it said that only 56% of the time workers can find the information required to do their jobs. Read More
If you are a Material Planner and part of your job is to find Planning Data, those stats . . .
Manufacturers and businesses, like elections, have for too long
relied on an expert's voice to guide decisions and predict how the winds
would shift in their favor. There was an allowance for expert driven
decisions because every business operated this way. That meant every
business could tolerate a certain number of poor decisions and continue
to survive. But as big data is taking hold and decisions are being
predicted based on information,
the number of poor choices a business can make is quickly dropping. The
analysis and subsequent decisions that used to be acceptable is leading
to increasingly poorer performance relative to their competitors.
Businesses that guess cannot survive in this analytical marketplace.
Not a believer yet? Consider this . . . Read More