All posts in Education & Resources

How Can You Get Your Manufacturing Operations Team Working Remotely?

You rely on your manufacturing operations team to expedite production orders, to ensure that targets are met and orders fulfilled. With paper-based production systems, it’s impossible for operations teams to manage work in progress, from home. A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) enables your operations team to be just as effective remotely as when they are in the factory. In this article, we’ll look at the key features of an MES that allow operations teams to work remotely. Instant Communication With Shop Floor Messaging This means that shop floor operators can directly message members of the operations team at home when […] Read more

How Can Manufacturers Work Remotely?

Remote working has been popular with software companies and freelancers for the past 10 years, but it hasn’t really taken off yet with manufacturers. With the current global pandemic of coronavirus, most government advice is to remote work where possible. So, in this post, we’ll share our experience of how to shift to remote working with specific thoughts of how manufacturers can do it. Who Can Work Remotely in a Manufacturing Business? When deciding who can remotely work, it comes down to a set of decisions about what tools are available for the employee to carry out their job from […] Read more

What is the ROI for a Manufacturing Execution System?

Manufacturers are now using digital manufacturing software to integrate Industry 4.0 technology in their operations. This enables them to go paperless on their shop floor and to improve their manufacturing processes. However, a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can be a significant capital expenditure. So, how do you justify this? ROI From Labour Productivity Improvements Produce more from your existing labour by reducing time spent capturing shop floor data, product traceability, and quality inspections. By using a Manufacturing Execution System to automatically capture this information, our clients typically see a 10 – 20 % productivity improvement and a positive Return on […] Read more

Ultimate Guide to Manufacturing Execution Systems

In this article, I will take you, step by step through each of the stages required to set up and implement an MES in your manufacturing organisation. Overview Step 1 – Creating a Secure Networked Factory Step 2 – Communicating with Devices Step 3 – Connecting Manufacturing Processes Step 4 – Improving Your Business with Production Data Analytics Overview We are currently experiencing the 4th Industrial Revolution. Machines and manual operations are being connected, bringing the benefits of automation to entire production processes and factories. An overview of the 4 Industrial Revolutions (Source: Wikipedia) A MES is one way to […] Read more

Manufacturing Capacity Planning Tools

How To Do Manufacturing Capacity Planning An overview of the theory behind capacity planning, and tools that are available to help aid more effective manufacturing capacity planning. However, as the manufacturing process becomes more complicated, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to manually perform capacity planning calculations. This often leads to sub-optimal capacity planning which either disappoints customers or underutilises resources. Both of these results will have a negative effect on company sales and reputation. So, in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the tools available to help perform more effective capacity planning. Tool #1 – Excel […] Read more

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

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

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

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

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