All posts by Kara

Made In The North West Shortlisted 2019

We are excited to have been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Made in the North West Awards. Now in its seventh year, the event is a celebration of all that is great about manufacturing in the North West region. It applauds the use of technology, the ambition to export, and the motivation to train and invest in people. It is a showcase for the region and its diverse industries ranging from life sciences to food, to automotive. Metis Automation has been nominated for the Automotive Award for our paperless manufacturing MES software product Tascus. The shortlisted companies will find out who has won at […] Read more

Improve Profits Through Accurate Labour Costs

To improve profits, manufacturers need to keep tight control of material and labour costs.  When jobs are estimated and quoted to customers, they are based on standard labour times for each manufacturing process.  But when products are moving through your factory, how do you know how accurate the time estimates are? And, if they were not accurate, how do you go about identifying the cause of the problem? It could be that certain operators are slower than others. There could also be process design problems, shortage of components or 101 other possible problems. In this article, I’ll explore a few […] Read more

Initiatives for Manufacturing Innovation at the Wirral Manufacturing Forum

Our Technical Director, Martin, attended the Wirral Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Forum earlier this month. It was a great opportunity to catch up with local manufacturers based on the Wirral. The theme of this event was business improvement projects and funding available in the North West, for manufacturing innovation. The two key projects being the Manufacturing Growth Fund and also Made Smarter. The North West is a real focus for projects focusing on improving manufacturing productivity at the moment, due to it being a key part of the UK economy. In the North West, there are 14,500 manufacturing companies, generating 15% […] Read more

5 Ways to Increase Manufacturing Productivity with an MES

In order to remain competitive, manufacturers need to maintain high manufacturing productivity – or high revenue generated per employee. Most methods of improving manufacturing productivity begin with a thorough analysis of a company’s systems and manufacturing processes, to eliminate waste and optimise the value-adding processes. Eliminate wasteful processes. Systemise what’s left. Automate wherever possible. When it comes to automating processes, a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can help. A good MES can automate the manual decision making, data collection and process instructions, that have previously been paper-driven or controlled using a variety of separate IT systems. Read the Ultimate Guide to […] Read more

Smart Factory Expo 2018

The countries’ largest digital manufacturing show – Smart Factory Expo, took place last week at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool. The Smart Factory Expo is part of ‘Digital Manufacturing Week’ – the UK’s showcase for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It brings together expertise, ideas and opportunities in all aspects of manufacturing operations with exhibition floor presentations and drop-in advisory clinics, throughout six dedicated exhibition zones – Industrial Automation, Internet of Things, Digital Transformation, Smart Factory, Manufacturing Innovation, Industrial Data. Running through the entire exhibition was ‘Innovation Alley’ – a showcase for manufacturing tech start-ups, ensuring that the whole 4IR ecosystem is represented. Exhibitors had […] Read more

Industry 4.0 Guide – An Overview

We are currently experiencing the 4th Industrial Revolution, where machines and manual operations are being connected together to bring the benefits of automation to entire production processes and factories. The term Industry 4.0 was coined in Germany, as a proposed way for SME manufacturing companies to remain competitive and relevant in the future. Business leaders recognised that German manufacturers could not compete with low-cost manufacturing, so they must develop new and innovative manufacturing techniques. “Industry 4.0 is not just about technologies. It is also about new ways of solving problems, creating unique experiences and accelerating business performance.” Bjorn Johansson – […] Read more

Industry 4.0 Guide Part 1 – Creating a Secured Network Factory

The benefits of Industry 4.0 are achieved when computers can collate production data and make production decisions that are currently made manually. The first step to implementing this is connecting each production operation and machine with a secure network connection. Secure Local Networks The majority of installations we have been involved in, have had secure local networks for production lines. These were connected to the internet or corporate network through a gateway computer with TLS/SSL Encryption. The connections between production devices, gateways and the processing & analytics services in the cloud or on corporate networks, must, therefore, have Confidentiality, Integrity […] Read more

Industry 4.0 Guide Part 2 – Connecting Devices Throughout Your Factory

Device Communications Once a secure network that enables a connection between production devices is in place, a system must be created for connecting devices that will allow production machines to communicate with each other. There are two main reasons for enabling production devices to communicate:- 1. Monitor Machinery Status Firstly, acquiring and storing machinery status. Health and production data will enable you to perform machine data analysis to predict its performance. Doing this can also help you decide when and how the machine should be used and ultimately improve its production efficiency and machine utilization. 2. Control The Production Processes […] Read more

Industry 4.0 Guide Part 3 – Connecting Production Operations

Connecting production operations is the first step in creating a paperless factory. This can deliver large increases in production efficiency and reduce the lead time of manufacturing products. Many production systems control product routings manually. A bill of materials and job routing will be developed for a product. It will be printed out and carried along with a product batch, through a factory and various manufacturing operations. This requires planners, supervisors and production operators to review each product routing and also to decide what should happen next to the product batch. By connecting manufacturing processes together, a software system can […] Read more

Industry 4.0 Guide Part 4 – Improving Your Business With Production Data Analytics

Once manufacturing operations are connected to IT systems, large amounts of production data can be gathered. However, it then needs to be converted from large volumes of unsorted production data, into data that is relevant to business processes. By performing automated analysis on the raw production data, the data can consequently be used to make business decisions about which manufacturing processes need further optimisation. Companies can continually improve their manufacturing operations by using production data analytics as an additional tool, in helping them make the right business decisions. Businesses are taking advantage of this information to: Increase manufacturing efficiency. Improve […] Read more