Making Industry 4.0 a Reality

Critical Manufacturing Blog: Insights into a successful digital transformation across your operations.
  • Augmented-Reality (AR) is very much part of the digital revolution in manufacturing. By simply donning a hands-free headset, workers can add a virtual layer of contextual information on top of what they see before them along with detailed information about a machine or process.

  • Recognize a paradigm shift in technology that affects your line of business and re-organize to take advantage of it, in spite of the short term pain. It is worth the risk to be the first mover, to gain an advantage over the competition and wow the customer.

  • It’s not unusual to have concerns about progress to plan when the majority of resources will be working remotely. That’s why we’ve decided to share our practices and experience in these trying times.

  • A highly automated factory is also inherently more resilient. In times of crisis, such as with the Coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic that the world is experiencing today, a highly automated factory is far more likely to continue manufacturing operations than a factory with low automation.

  • IT and OT each manage different aspects of a plant’s functioning. Equipment data is the domain of OT, and it becomes far more valuable when it goes into an IT environment for context and analysis. Only with IT and OT working in harmony can a plant achieve optimal performance.

  • Finding success with smart factories can be a frustrating experience. It’s not for lack of trying, since most major companies have undertaken projects, but as a Cap Gemini report shows, it appears they are not getting the results they’d expected.

  • The selection process for a MES system is by nature time consuming. If this downtime is properly used by the manufacturer, for all phases in which physical contact is not necessary once restrictions are lifted, it will be in ideal conditions for the final stages of the process.

  • As manufacturing relies on increasingly more complex equipment, the management of the recipes that the equipment will use for a certain process becomes increasingly important. Not only it’s a basic requirement to ensure that the right recipe is used for the right process, but also the recipe information is a key enabler for performance and efficiency improvement.

  • Recently, the leading technology market analysis firm ARC released a market report – “How Digital Transformation is Changing the Business Value of Connectivity to Machines”. In today’s increasingly complex global competitive environment, real-time information is vital to help manufacturers at both the plant and enterprise levels make decisions that improve efficiency and effectiveness, bringing intelligence to their business.

  • It is no secret technology keeps advancing. Today, it seems to do so at an accelerated pace with a level of innovation that is nothing short of spectacular! These advances have created new opportunities for manufacturers to explore new ways to increase productivity. At the same time, these technologies have opened up greater global competition, which is now placing new pressure to be more creative with how work gets done.

  • I am John Meulemeester from http://www.mesa.org and I would like to add some feedback to Francisco's comments, focused on some particular items. For me, SCADA and MES are not the same and should be separated. In my 30+ years visiting factories that produce everything you can imagine, I have personally witnessed that most manufacturers have some kind of HMI/SCADA

  • I just read CapGemini’s Smart factories @ scale report. Some of the numbers in it caught my eye. The report is good and the methodology seems solid. And yet I believe that with such self-reported research, we need to take the findings with a grain of salt. I will be doing some critical analysis in this post.

  • As automotive manufacturers continue to accelerate the pace of electrification within their industry, it may surprise you that this might not be the greatest challenge facing these manufacturers, their technology partners and their internal IT departments.

  • We live in a world where digital technologies have warped what we now consider “normal.” For example, with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), it is now widely accepted that by next year, the IoT will comprise more than 30 billion connected devices. Can you imagine what 30 billion devices look like? If we are going to make sense of all this data, then we’ll need a better way to process and act upon it. Augmented Reality could be our best option.

  • With all the focus on new technologies and how the world of manufacturing is digitally transforming, it is easy to lose sight of what the repercussions will be with regards to how people will do their job. One thing is certain – it will be different!

  • Instead of a painful, time-consuming and costly process, what if being audited by the FDA, or any other regulatory body, was just part of the day to day routine? For the MedTech industry this makes perfect sense – it would not only reduce the financial overheads associated with being audited, it would also substantially reduce time and business risk.

  • Perhaps the most important feature of the smart factory, its connected nature, is also one of its most crucial sources of value. Smart factories require the underlying processes and materials to be connected to generate the data necessary to make real-time decisions. In a truly smart factory, assets are fitted with smart sensors so systems can continuously pull data sets from both new and traditional sources.