All posts in Education & Resources

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

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

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

Paperless Manufacturing

Paperless Manufacturing is when work orders and work instructions needed to control the production process, are replaced by an IT System that connects to manufacturing processes. The IT System then controls and guides the production process, resulting in increased efficiency and enhanced product quality. Key Features of Paperless Manufacturing: Digitally connected production systems. Work orders and work instructions delivered to each workstation. Error Proofing from manual decision making at each production station. Reduced training for new products with guided manufacturing processes. Key Results: 30% boost in productivity, as a result of increased machine uptime and usage. Improved reporting and data sharing, […] Read more

Mass Customisation

Mass Customisation is when a manufacturer creates completely customised products at the same scale and cost of mass-produced items. Key Features of Mass Customisation: Customers and suppliers collaborate to create customised products. Unique product designs are scheduled automatically into a manufacturing process while using an automated sales ordering process. Connected Factories can be used to process sales orders into the manufacturing processes, to produce the customised product. Customers can track the progress of their product, with insight into the production data. Key Results: An advantage over competitors, who can consequently only supply a fixed number of options. Reduced manufacturing costs of […] 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. As a result, this allows the automation of entire manufacturing processes and production planning. Key features of Connected Manufacturing: Manual and Automated processes connect 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 […] Read more

Smart Tools in Manufacturing

Smart Tools are a low-cost investment that can transform manufacturing processes and save costly rework or product recalls. This article will outline their basic operation and the strategies for using them in assembly and manufacturing operations. 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. A good example is an electric torque wrench, which is basically a smart torque wrench. It can be programmed to tighten to various torques and number of turns. Tightening programs can […] Read more

LabVIEW Sub VI Design

Any large LabVIEW application should be using well-designed sub vi’s to build reliable, manageable software. To ensure that a LabVIEW sub vi design is consistent across projects and developers, we like to use some standard design principles. This means that when looking at sub vi’s across the entire project, they all conform to a standard design. Thus, making it easier to focus on the specific function. LabVIEW Sub VI Design – Block Diagram Alignment I always try to ensure that my input controls and output indicators are horizontally and vertically aligned on my block diagram. Horizontal alignment of Controls and […] Read more