All posts by Martin

7 Ways to Grow With an MES

Investing in new production processes is a major step for any business. It requires balancing of the costs in time and money versus the benefits the business will reap in the future. Using an MES helps you succeed by focusing on what your customer wants at every point on the shop floor. Here, I’ve summarised some of the key benefits our manufacturing clients have realised following their adoption of paperless manufacturing software. Business Growth By using an MES, the specific sequence of tasks required for reliable, repeatable production processes become defined for your business. As the business grows, this helps […] Read more

The Growing Pains of Manufacturing Travellers

When I visit manufacturing companies around the UK, I see lots of traditional manufacturing travellers and work instructions causing problems in otherwise innovative and successful businesses. So, in this article, I want to dig a bit deeper into travellers. Why are they used and what alternatives do manufacturing companies have? What Are Manufacturing Travellers? A traveller is a paper document pack that follows a product throughout the factory. It is used to record every manufacturing operation that has been completed. It is also used to record batch numbers, serial numbers and key numeric data from the manufacturing process. Recording this […] Read more

Digitalising Manufacturing

I visited the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry for a Digitalising Manufacturing Conference, where I had the chance to discuss the benefits that digital manufacturing can bring to manufacturing businesses, and also some of the roadblocks to its full adoption in the UK. Impact of Digital Manufacturing Carlos Lopez Gomez discussed the results of an Innovate UK funded study into the impacts of Digital Manufacturing globally. The study is aiming to collect and analyse evidence on the potential improvements from digital manufacturing. Most predictions of improved manufacturing productivity have focussed on expected, rather than observed impacts. So this Study is […] Read more

LabVIEW Web Vis

Modern Business Need Data Across the Organisation Web interfaces to engineering software applications is a key requirement of modern applications. Control, test and monitoring applications that perform specific tasks in an engineering business, used to focus on that task and store their data locally. The primary user of the application would benefit from the tasks performed and the data acquired.  However, other stakeholders in the business would find it difficult to access this information. One of the main benefits of Industry 4.0 is the free availability of manufacturing data throughout an organisation, to aid decision making at all levels. For […] Read more

New MES Features to Improve Manufacturing Productivity and Quality

We’ve had a busy couple of months at Metis Automation developing new MES features for our flagship paperless manufacturing software product Tascus. In January, we began a series of customer interviews to get feedback on what features we could add that would bring value to manufacturers. As a result, we have recently added the following features: Display smart work instructions. These can populate with values taken from step measurements. This makes it easier for your production operators to follow complex work instructions and reduces the chance of errors. Display work instructions with CAD models. This means that you can cut out […] Read more

February 2018 LabVIEW User Group Review

Metis Automation hosted the North West LabVIEW User Group at sensor City Liverpool on February 5th, 2018. During this fun and educational event LabVIEW developers from all over the North West met to discuss their current challenges and learn from the sessions. Time Critical Communications for Industrial Robotics Peter Whiteley, Metis Automation presented a fascinating session about the progression of a project involving remote control of an industrial robot. He explained how the software had developed to meet harsh environmental challenges found when operating the robot in remote areas. He explained the solution that we finally implemented involved using UDP […] Read more

Metis Automation to Present at NI IIoT Roadshow

Metis Automation will present practical case studies and experiences of implementing IIoT and Industry 4.0 projects at this free one-day educational seminar hosted by National Instruments. The event will be on 28 March 2018 from 08:30 – 16:30 at Coventry Manufacturing Technology Centre. Event Details This event is for engineers and engineering managers with an interest in implementing an IIoT solution. Implementing the Industrial Internet of Things and achieving its benefits can’t be done alone. No single engineer has all the answers, and no one vendor has all the tools. But, through collaboration, the IIoT’s promises of increased uptime, enhanced […] Read more

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 (otherwise known as connected manufacturing)was developed in Germany as a proposed way for SME manufacturers to remain competitive and relevant in the future. German business leaders recognised that their factories could not compete with low-cost manufacturing abroad, so they decided to develop new and innovative techniques to stay competitive. Key Features of Industry 4.0: Digitally connected production systems Paperless factories with fewer overheads More responsive manufacturing businesses Process automation that speeds manufacturing processes Supply chain automation to integrate with customers and suppliers Key Results: Software, Hardware, Integration & Support Service 30% boost in productivity, as a result of increased […] Read more

Connected Manufacturing

Connected Manufacturing is a factory automation system where manual and automated manufacturing processes are connected together. Consequently, this allows the automation of entire manufacturing processes and production planning. Key features of Connected Manufacturing: Manual and Automated processes are connected to business planning systems. Immediate feedback on the current production status. Improved maintenance and machine usage. Automated control of the manufacturing process and flow. Key Results: 30% boost in productivity as a result of increased machine uptime and usage. Reduced time for marketing new products. Competitive advantage as a result of meeting customer demand with ‘make to order’ products. Increased production quality and reporting as a result of […] Read more

Communicating with Smart Tools

Smart tools can be used in advanced manufacturing processes to put automation directly into the hands of operators. They eliminate manufacturing mistakes, speed up production time and automate data collection and manufacturing traceability. They are a low-cost investment that can transform manufacturing processes and save costly rework or product recalls. I will outline their basic operation and the strategies for using them in assembly and manufacturing operations. What is a Smart Tool? Smart tools perform the same functions as regular manufacturing tools. However, they also have; sensors, electronics, a processor and a communications module. This enables them to be programmed […] Read more