Before you invest in a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for your facility, you need to consider how easily and efficiently it will be deployed throughout your operation, and what the long term relationship with your vendor will be like. A successful system deployment plan depends on far more than simply which product you select. Here are five key elements you should consider when assessing an MES vendor’s service capabilities.
In an interview with Kim Sauer, filmd at APEX 2016 in Las Vegas, Jason explains how Industry 4.0 goes beyond communication around the SMT line and highlights how materials management is a key component a fully integrated SMART Factory approach.
It doesn’t matter which tech company you admire, engineers largely start them all, be they hardware guys like Steve Wozniak, or software guys like Mark Zuckerberg. Imhotep, who many refer to as the first civil engineer, built the pyramids. The Wright Brothers we’re the creators and fathers of the aviation industry, which we now take for granted. Leonardo da Vinci was quite the engineer, sometimes credited with inventing the helicopter and the parachute, and a decent painter to boot, having knocked off The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa between engineering projects.
As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, 2015 closed on the heels of a very successful presence at Productronica in Munich, Germany. As well as enjoying the best event we’ve had in terms of enquiries and interest, I also took part in a number of video interviews, press meetings and some fascinating roundtable debating topics around Industry 4.0, IoM and factory automation.
The manufacturing world has been turned on its head by the outsourcing industry, and in many ways for the better, but what about the impact this trend has had on innovation in the manufacturing process?
Most recently viewing methods have become a critical factor when data is being utilized by an organization. Mobility is the norm in modern business and the team’s ability to stay connected to the data via mobile analytics has become key. The use of smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed, with the addition of people utilizing their own devices in a work environment. This means any system absolutely must be visible through smartphone and tablet based applications.
Right data, right place, right time - why data needs to be timely, complete, precise and appropriate
The basic requirement of a successful data driven or ‘transparent’ factory are the ability to collect data and to store data centrally. But that data is largely useless if it does not enable improvement, corrective action and the pursuit of manufacturing excellence. This can only be done if the data is properly mined and appropriately displayed to the right people at the right time. The right data, at the right time, delivered to the right person in a manner that they can act upon, is the best formula to achieving real operational excellence.
In 2013 there had been a lot of Industry 4.0 talk at the show, lots of companies pinning their colors to that German-led smart factory mast, but very little in real solutions. This year, I felt, it was time for less talk and more action, so I was hoping to see some companies actually telling us how they would deliver that solution and providing real clarity on the route to this manufacturing utopia.
People’s perception of what constitutes the paperless shop floor may vary from individual to individual and indeed from company to company, but if you are looking to get all the benefits from going ‘paperless’ it needs to be much more than just another way of displaying documents that were formally printed and held on the shop floor.
The benefits of going paperless are many, including reductions in costs in terms of print consumables, people’s time and waste due to errors. Also adding value to the process is the mitigation of risk, reduction in downtime, the simplification of traceability and an increase in job satisfaction. The path to paperless enlightenment requires a holistic approach that fully embraces many factors. As digital delivery is fundamental and this needs to be available to each operator on his or her own terminal.