Monday, October 15, 2018

Three Ways Industry 4.0 is Forcing Manufacturers to Rethink Lead Times

Manufacturing Engineering,
September 24, 2018

By Aaron Continelli

    Named the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector by McKinsey & Company, Industry 4.0 is sweeping through manufacturing—combining connectivity with computational power and data for unparalleled capabilities. Here are three ways Industry 4.0 is forcing manufacturers to rethink one key metric: their lead times.

ERP Solutions

    An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution integrates processes and systems in one digital location. It streamlines production by providing instant visibility into inventory, materials, and supply chain. When areas for process improvements can be seen, changes can be made to fill orders, reduces costs, and cut lead times.
    Before implementing ERP, business leaders must assess potential pitfalls and get buy-in from all teams. A change management plan is essential for not only implementing ERP but also for ensuring company-wide adoption of the system. With comprehensive employee training, ERP can quickly become a powerful tool to help manufacturers reduce lead times.

Internet of Things (IoT)

    The IoT merges information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) by allowing hardware to communicate with software and allowing different software systems to communicate with each other. For manufacturers, IoT usage has focused on improving operations. Having real-time information allows manufacturers to make decisions based on predictive analytics. With the IoT, manufacturers know ahead of time when machines may need maintenance or repair, or when there are supply chain delays. This helps manage inventory and adjust production to reduce lead times.
    Before investing in IoT technology, conduct proof-of-concept tests to see how specific technologies would work within specific processes. For broad IoT, choose one plant for testing. To improve a process through multiple technologies, choose one end-to-end process at a given plant.

Additive Manufacturing (AM)

    AM is already changing the way manufacturers design components and assemble parts—it’s commonly used to make spare parts or prototypes directly from scripts or pre-programmed files. Printing spare parts on demand saves time and reduces component inventory levels. The decentralization of 3-D printing facilities has further reduced inventory levels and transport distances to cut lead times even more significantly.
    GE announced the opening of its Customer Experience Center late last year, which aims to accelerate the adoption of AM.
    While 3-D printing is a potentially game-changing technology, today’s AM has its limits. Follow the example of current AM users and focus on specific aspects of production processes, namely prototyping and spare parts. With these in mind, a business can approach different 3-D printing manufacturers to understand initial costs as well as potential time and cost savings.
    Although these technologies can seem daunting, companies that don’t adapt will see their lead times hold steady while other companies become agile and adaptive through IoT, ERP systems, and AM. In short, Industry 4.0 isn’t a trend—it’s the new way of doing business.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Value of Sharpening Skills Through 'Jishuken'

The Value of Sharpening Skills Through 'Jishuken': Jishuken, or self-learning, is a wet stone that grinds a worker's brain down to a start point, says Matt Savas--and is key to a disciplined management system of learning and improvement.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

With companies adapting to Industry 4.0, what will the professional of the 4th Industrial Revolution be like?

A new professional profile will appear with the 4th Industrial Revolution. In order to work on the floor of a digital factory, new skills will have to be developed.
By: Cristian Machado de Almeida 9/30/2018

    With the rapid automation of processes and machines together with the Internet of Things (IoT), companies are starting to have a new model all over the world. The 4.0 industry will radically change its assembly lines, and will increasingly begin to produce innovative and customized products for its customers in the near future. Inside the productive processes it will be present in the day to day of the collaborators much more robots, and with that, it will change the profile of the professionals because in addition to knowing how to work with the machines they also will cooperate together with the robots. These will be some of the characteristics that Industries are looking for professionals.
     In a survey conducted by Consulting Roland Berger estimated the shortage of more than 200 million skilled workers in the world over the next 20 years. One of the main reasons for this scenario is the need to increasingly have a skilled workforce, whether in productive or administrative processes. This does not mean that employees will be eliminated from production lines or from offices, these in many companies they will be focused on strategic tasks and project control as long as they keep up with the changes and seek the necessary expertise.
     With all these changes, what will be the impact on the life of the professionals? For us to have a better view of these changes we can look at Germany where the 4th Industrial Revolution is much more advanced. An estimate by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) indicates that the number of jobs is expected to increase by 6% over the next ten years. The demand for employees in the mechanical engineering sector is expected to rise, even more, about 10%. The overall expectation is that about 960,000 jobs will be created, especially in the IT and software development areas.
     Brazil is still walking slowly on the way to Industry 4.0, but it is a subject that arouses much interest not only from the professionals who work in the factories but also from many young people who look at this path as a great challenge. If in recent years the interest of young people was not focused on industry, with this "rebirth" of industries in general and with them becoming industry4.0 young people will be able to look at them with a defiant look. Not only students but those professionals who still want to stay in industries, and have the growing interest in understanding this convergence of information, IT, electronics and hardware will have a great field ahead.
     With this scenario, those who want to gain space in the factories of the future should develop new skills, among the most common will be to learn to work side-by-side with collaborative robots to increase productivity, with that in everyday life will bring more space to exercise more complex and creative functions. Such a professional will not only be responsible for exercising a specific part of an assembly line but throughout the production process. It will be needed to be open to change, having the flexibility to adapt to new roles and become accustomed to continuous multidisciplinary learning.
    Many experts say that having a multidisciplinary approach does not mean that technical knowledge has lost importance in the curriculum, quite the contrary, an academic training in the area of Engineering in the area of IT is important, but it will not be enough, this is because the skills learned in each year less time. It will be necessary to specialize in several fronts and to know a little more of each thing and of course to like technology, innovation and mainly to be curious to learn and follow an industry that always reinvents itself.
     As said by Charles Darwin " It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one who adapts the changes best "

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The powerful rule that can invalidate everything you've done

When the rules change, everything goes back to square one.
By Ernesto Berg

    There is a universal principle - which has never been more true than it is today - called the zero-rule rule that says: When the rules change, everything about that thing goes back to square one. "Maybe you think this is a little overdone, but just look around to see that the precept is true.
    For example, the giant Kodak, founded in 1888, the largest photographic equipment company in the world, in January 2012 filed for bankruptcy to the US government, a pre-bankruptcy.
    Since then he has been experiencing a slow and painful recovery. During the twentieth century, until the 1980s, Kodak dominated the world market widely. The massive shift of consumers to digital photography - which competitors have begun to manufacture - has crippled its traditional camera business.
    The curious, and at the same time surprising, is that the digital camera was invented in the 1970s by an employee of Kodak himself, who was not interested in making it because he did not believe in the future of new technology, and because he did not want to invest in a new business.
    Their billionaire investments were directed toward what they already did so well: traditional cameras using film. Thus, they ignored the new and extraordinary opportunity that appeared right before their eyes, which completely changed the rules of the photographic segment.
     Another classic case is the digital clock. Invented in the 60's, it was introduced to Swiss companies, world leaders in the watch market at that time. However, these companies immediately ruled out the possibility of making the battery-powered quartz watch because it ran away from the traditional model of rope watch, bearing, spring, etc., in which they had already invested so much money.
     Then the inventors of the new watch presented their invention in the United States, in the world congress of watchmakers in 1968. Seiko was interested in the invention and started to manufacture it in 1969, at a much lower price than Swiss watches.
     In a short time the Japanese dominated more than 60% of the world market, while Swiss companies, which until then owned 80% of world trade, were almost totally bankrupt, being forced to lay off more than 300,000 people in a few months. Again the zero-action rule in action: "When rules change, everything goes back to square one."
     What makes this case even more singular and dismal, is that the digital clock, quartz-powered, was invented by the Swiss themselves. Even so, the invention was rejected by its domestic manufacturers. Only a few days later, Switzerland began to manufacture digital quartz watches, when there was no alternative.
     It is the same in the professional field. Immunize against the rule back to zero. Study and continually update yourself in your area of ​​knowledge, and other related areas, so you do not end up out of place and out of function when the rules change.
     Your brilliant past will not serve you in the new juncture. The only way to stay on top is to adapt to change and learn the new rules. So do not hesitate or be afraid to do what needs to be done, however much the changes may seem scary - and sometimes they are.

Rules of action:

- Experience of no good goes when the rules change completely.

- Set your goals and stay focused on them; is your guarantee of success.

- Study and update yourself uninterruptedly in your area of ​​expertise and related areas.

- Establish an active and quality network that supports you when you need help.

- Learn to "sell your fish". Know how to expose and defend your arguments convincingly. All studies reveal that knowing how to sell ideas is one of the hallmarks of successful people.

"The only thing you should fear is fear itself"

Ernesto Berg is a business consultant, lecturer, speaker, writer, author of 18 books, specialist in organizational development, negotiation, time management, creativity in decision making, conflict management

3D printing: the disruption is real

The Impacts of 3D Printing for Manufacture in Context 4.0.
By: STRATASYS 10/3/2018

The term disruption is often viewed negatively, but "disruption", combined with innovation, is often what is needed to take something to the next level. The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAP) says that disruptive innovation in manufacturing has created a new standard of normality for manufacturers.
     So this break is a good thing? If you are a manufacturer and are looking to reduce costs, reduce waste and / or increase productivity, it is a good thing. Thanks to cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), we are all more connected to each other and to our devices.
     And what does this mean for manufacturing? It means that "IoT has the power to transform manufacturing by changing the types of products manufactured by the companies and how they will be made, while reducing costs. Disruptive technologies are good for business, "said Steve Beard, an information industry analyst.
     In this series of articles, we will talk about 3D printing (additive manufacturing) and the advantages of adopting this technology considering the industry context 4.0.

Emergence of 3D printing

    Although 3D printing has been around for almost 30 years, there are still many people who are unaware not only of their capabilities but of their ability to disrupt. And digital expansion during this time served only to push this additive technology to a new level.
     So what exactly is 3D printing? Another term for 3D printing is Additive Manufacturing (AM). Often used for rapid prototyping in many industries, 3D printing is now finding its place on the shop floor as well.
     AM uses a layer-by-layer or particle-by-particle manufacturing method. With additive manufacturing, it is possible to move directly from the digital design data to the final part, without intermediate steps of production. The information is collected from a scan or Computer Aided Design (CAD) file, and sent directly to a 3D printer. From these digital files, the 3D printer starts building from the bottom up to create a three-dimensional representation of the object.
    There are many 3D printing processes and many other materials, but they all have one thing in common: scanning. Without digital technology, 3D printing would not exist. This is a way to easily print what was projected onto the screen, using a fully digital workflow.
     3D printing has emerged as a hobby for hobbyists and has rapidly expanded its use in rapid prototyping (RP) of items that can, through additive manufacturing, be made faster and at a lower cost. RP is still the most used feature of 3D printing, but new production printers and materials that can replace metal parts have come up to add a whole new dimension to 3D manufacturing.
     Additive technology deposits the materials layer by layer, and in subtractive or CNC manufacturing and other machined manufactures, the parts are made by successive cuts from a solid block of material. Subtractive technology, while proven over time, is slow, costly, costly, and ideal only for high volume operations.
     Since its inception, it has been argued that 3D printing would completely replace traditional machining. This has not happened, and it probably will not. Instead, in the realm of manufacturing, there is now room for both for traditional manufacturing and for additive manufacturing. Often, these two processes can complement each other at the same level of production.

Low volume production

     The ability to quickly and economically print low-volume or low-volume 3D productions is one of AM's greatest attributes. In all areas, design engineers began to rely on 3D printing for fast prototyping of their designs, making it possible to iterate daily, rather than a monthly iteration or even longer. Many designers create their project files and print the piece at night, getting a freshly executed 3D project in the morning.
     With the production of low volume parts, the products can be customized to local markets or even according to individual preferences of each customer, driving their adoption in sectors as diverse as fashion, health and automotive.
     In addition, with the ability to print on demand, companies also have the opportunity to eliminate inventory and reduce lead times by providing digital spare parts catalogs that can be printed when needed.
    AM can break traditional economies of scale by allowing the production of cost-effective single or low-volume parts.

Life cycle sustainability

     Another way of thinking about the sustainability of a part's life cycle is to think about its environmental impact. This thought begins within the factory that produces and continues through its active use, and after that. The environmental impact of a part can be substantially reduced when produced additionally, rather than being produced through traditional machining.
     How? The AM is highly efficient in terms of materials. There is virtually no waste with 3D printing, since only the necessary material is used for the project. Thanks to digital technology, the construction of a part can be optimized by placing the material only where it is needed. This not only reduces the amount of discards, but also reduces the amount of energy needed to produce it.
     Taking this a step further, this ability to design a part with an optimized strength-to-weight ratio also has an environmental benefit in the life cycle. Lightweight parts used in vehicles such as aircraft and cars further reduce fuel consumption and resulting emissions.
     The ability to stop shipping is another feature that makes the additive technology have a positive effect on the environment. Parts can be printed closer to where they are needed, reducing or eliminating shipping and shipping. In addition, the disposal of end-of-life parts will no longer be performed because they will only be printed in case of actual need. Finally, 3D scanning allows reverse engineering to support discontinued products, so parts can continue to print long after the traditional stock becomes obsolete.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Putting Industry 4.0 to Work in a Molding Plant 

Learn why—and how—innovative molders have begun to develop “smart factories,” using advanced equipment, IT, and communication technology to enable greater connectivity and productivity.

Article Post: 9/25/2017 - DR. CHRISTOPH SCHUMACHER

Monday, September 24, 2018

Panel: Partnerships key to more composites in cars

By Audrey LaForest

Audrey LaForest 2018 SPE ACCE Chair Alper Kiziltas, left, with panelists Paul Platte, Jud Gibson and Jeffrey Helms.

Novi, Mich. — Along the winding road of current and future automotive trends, there is an opportunity. And that opportunity, mixed into mega trends like electrification, lightweighting and connectivity, is for composites to become more broadly accepted in interior and exterior applications for next-generation vehicles.

But for that to happen, it's going to take partnerships and collaboration, according to panelists at the Society of Plastics Engineers' Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition.

"There are about 30,000 parts in a vehicle today, and of the 30,000 about 10,000 are plastic," said Jud Gibson, vice president of commercial Americas at DSM Engineering Plastics Inc., during the Sept. 5 panel discussion. "The one thing that we're seeing with composites and the push for lightweighting is that we're nowhere near entitlement if you think about our industry, and we have a long way to go."