All posts in Educational

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. View Our Paperless MES Software […] Read more

Digitalising Manufacturing

At the end of last month, Martin visited the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry for a Digitalising Manufacturing Conference. During the two-day conference, he had the chance to discuss the benefits that digital manufacturing can bring to manufacturing businesses, and 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, […] 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. 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

Transformation of the Automotive Industry

The current state of the UK automotive industry is extremely healthy, with vehicle manufacturing at its highest level since 2005. Vehicles built in the UK now have 15% more UK content than they did in 2012. However, there are dramatic changes happening in the industry. Cleaner, safer and more efficient and technologically advanced vehicles are being developed. The main objective of the UK automotive industry is that it must remain globally competitive. The opportunity presented by Connected Manufacturing is to reduce manufacturing costs and respond more effectively to customer demand. This will, as a result, help UK automotive manufacturers remain […] Read more

Fully Connected Factories Predicted by 2022

Zebra Technologies’ recently published “2017 Manufacturing Vision” predicting that by 2022, the majority of manufacturers will have fully connected factories. It has also identified that manufacturers are currently connecting operations to gain greater visibility and improve quality assurance. They are expecting up to 5% growth in revenue year after year and cite the flexibility to adjust to a fluctuating market demand, as being a top business strategy. The Rising Importance of Connected Factories One of the reasons manufacturers are implementing Connected Manufacturing in their factories, is to keep up with increasingly complex Bills of Materials (BoM). These are driven by […] Read more

Connected Manufacturing & Production Test Systems

How Connected Manufacturing will affect production test systems in factories, to ensure that a high-quality product is shipped to customers. Explore how Connected Manufacturing is being implemented in businesses, and how test systems need to adapt to be ready to capitalise on the opportunities of Industry 4.0. What is Connected Manufacturing? Several terms describe the introduction of connected manufacturing processes. Its a connected network that shares data, consequently allowing manufacturers to make better business decisions. Some of these terms are Industry 4.0, 4IR, Smart Factories and Connected Manufacturing. In recent years there has been a revolutionary change, where manual and automated process […] Read more