Generally, we meet with companies that ask us about the step towards 4.0. We explain to these companies that to become a smart factory, or factory 4.0, they must start with simple solutions that help visualize and analyze data from small areas, and then extend them to the entire organization.
This means that we must start by taking short, but firm and constant steps to capture data from production and other manufacturing areas (maintenance, quality, logistics, and planning). This data collection will allow us, first, to know how your current level of efficiency and productivity is. This is achieved when these data are crossed to generate relevant information that helps to make decisions in the short, medium, and long term, with a multidisciplinary vision (a factory is not the only production).
At this point, the next step would be the natural evolution towards systems known as MES systems or Software MES (Manufacturing Execution System). The most important thing about these systems is their ability to monitor, store and, above all, automatically trace all activity performed by factory operators, providing detailed information about WHO did the activity, WHERE it took place, WHAT exactly it did, WHEN it was performed and HOW much it cost.
Therefore, an MES system will provide the following benefits:
- Collect data automatically!
- Know in real time the machine stops and the reasons for the rejected product!
- Trace direct and indirect activities, justified machine stops, preparations, quantities produced, rejects according to type, rework!
- Eliminate manual notes, because it allows managing the whole factory without paper!
- Know in detail the realized and pending production in real-time, allowing to know-how is the Manufacturing plan at any time and from anywhere!
- Analyze productivity and resource efficiency!
- Have reports for production management according to the needs (short, medium, and long term)!
- Enable real-time monitoring of resources and consumption!
- Provide real-time dashboards!
- Generate interactive maps of factory, department, area, or work center, showing the status of the machines at all times!
Being an INDUSTRY 4.0 necessarily goes through the natural evolution of paper data, Excel, ERP, etc, to the integration of an ERP with a system that facilitates the interconnectivity between machines, things, people, systems, processes, and other actors such as customers, suppliers or other collaborators.
Article written by Ralui George, in charge of Logistics and Lean Manufacturing Projects at Scwuimac!