It is not just making nice cars that the Germans are good at, trade shows are also up there. Being an even numbered year, there is no Productronica, which means the smaller SMT Hybrid Packaging show, taking place in Nuremberg from the 5th to the 7th of June, takes the strain as the focus of attention for technology and innovation in the electronics assembly manufacturing market. So, with only six months since the last Productronica show in Munich, how much new stuff to look out for can there be?
Today’s shop floor is a highly-complex, continually-shifting environment. A recent study by Aberdeen Group polled today’s best-in-class manufacturers and found that the top reported pressures of modern manufacturing include:
• Differentiation while still improving quality (39%)
• The flexibly to respond to business demands (36%)
• Compliance with current and future industry regulations (27%)
While an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can solve challenges in areas such as capacity planning, inventory management, and business financials, today’s manufacturing environment requires much more than an ERP system alone — more flexibility, more data, and more connectivity.
With companies like Microsoft promoting their HoloLens for design and manufacturing environments, Augmented Reality (AR) is finding its way into today’s factory, promising value through increased visibility. But what AR concepts are already being applied today, delivering measurable value for the operator, the manufacturer, and the end customer?
Every aerospace manufacturing organization needs a quality system. The differentiator is how readily one can react to a non-conformance and how frequently report their quality metrics. In absence of MES, reporting is purely historical and is often available too late to take action on its findings. MES enables non-conformances to be addressed in the present and minimize their potential impact.
Around this time last year, many people, including myself, were quite confident that 2017 would be the year of shop-floor IoT communication. While progress in many areas has been strong, 2018 is now looking like a more realistic contender for practical application of IoT in manufacturing, but, it all depends on you.
Productronica used to be all about evolving machine and materials technology, every two years, big steps forward. Not so much anymore, as laws of physics cannot yet be broken, and factories are more focused on high-performance flexibility than speed alone. Western manufacturing is more like rallying than a drag-race.
We recently held an Aegis Software user group meeting, the first one to take place in the UK. It may seem a little “old-fashioned” to have a face-to-face meeting these days, but even in this world of increasing digitalization, the values of the face to face communication persist.