Smart manufacturing explained

Smart manufacturing for Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 promises better quality, improved productivity and increased flexibility for manufacturers. Smart manufacturing (also known as intelligent manufacturing) is a vital element to achieve these promised benefits. Here at Facteon, we are at the forefront of this revolution. Our entire organisation is focused on combining Industrial IoT (IIoT) technologies with lean manufacturing processes. These processes are supported by our smart products and services. In isolation, each of our products or services offer great advantages, but in combination they enable manufacturers to become an industry leader.

Smart design for smart manufacturing

The foundation of smart manufacturing design is based on an IIoT approach to process analysis. Utilising lean manufacturing principles, and our cross-disciplinary technological expertise, we help define what is needed in terms of people/machine interactions, smart machines and smart systems. The purpose of these systems is to streamline your operations to enable greater efficiencies through process improvements, lean operating methodologies and selective automation of manufacturing systems.

Streamline Operations

The first step in elimiating non-value-add activities is identifying them. IIoT software solutions, such as Facteon's COSMOline, enable the identification of manufacturing bottlenecks. For example, a manufacturer can identify if a particular process is resulting in an extended cycle time. Such data can inform decisions regarding which processes should be prioritised for automation.

Facteon's smart IIoT software also allows manufacturers to schedule maintenance tasks. For example, functionality is available that automates the process of notifying your purchasing team when a spare part required for maintenance is low in stock. The IIoT software also enables the transfer of parts between manufacturing sites. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here. 

A Proactive Approach to Machine Maintenance

Facteon's IIoT software solution, COSMOline, provides manufacturers with a tool to schedule, monitor and record the completion of maintenance tasks within a single system. By automating the maintenance process, manufacturers have improved visibility over their operations. Through effective management and planning, factory managers can schedule maintenance tasks to occur when it's most convenient. This negates interference with planned product runs. 

In facilities that don't schedule and track preventative maintenance cycles effectively, damage to a tool may only be detected when faulty product is produced. This results in wasted raw materials and production delays. By contrast, predicitive maintenance ensures a manufacturer's production line is consistently operating at its best. When maintenance is required, it occurs in advance of the failure to minimise operational impact. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here. 

Utilising Robotic Cells

The integration of robotic cells to perform a specific function on a production line is central to achieving time and cost savings on the factory floor. Facteon has developed a quality control robot that assigns a pass or fail grade to each product checked. This data is automatically recorded in a computerised system. Then, your human quality control team member can take action if a concerning trend is identified. Manufacturers can significantly decrease scrap rates and minimise production delays by completing preventative maintenance to prevent tool or machine failure during a production run. Learn more about automated quality control and inspection here.

Smart machines for smart manufacturing

It's possible to continue drawing value from your existing operational assets by upgrading an existing line with modern technology. The retrofitting of current assets is often a cost-effective alternative to replacing all machinery with automated equipment. The process of retrofitting makes disconnected machinery smart. This means it's possible to draw data from machinery of any age.  

Facteon uses a business needs-lead approach, as opposed to a technology-lead approach. We believe this is central to manufacturers drawing maximum benefit from their smart manufacturing investment. As a manufacturing facility needs smart machines to draw the benefits of smart manufacturing, you need a partner with a depth of smart manufacturing experience to lead the way.

Retrofitting Existing Equipment

Realise the value of your existing operational assets by retrofitting existing equipment. The retrofitting of equipment is a cost-effective solution that allows manufacturers to bring their operations into the smart manufacturing era with a lesser financial investment. In connecting sensors to existing machines, machine data can be captured by an edge computer, such as COSMOedge. IIoT software can then convert data to information for decision making. If a manufacturer does decide to integrate modern, automated machinery, Facteon has the ability to design, build and commission customised production equipment. Learn more about custom IIoT solutions here. 

Automation of Manufacturing Processes

Introducing automation into a manufacturing facility has the potential to revolutionise a manufacturer's operations. Increased product yield and cycle times combine with decreased waste and producton costs to improve the efficiencies of your manufacturing operations. Facteon has strong working relationships with leading robotics companies so we're able to source the best technology from across the globe to improve your operations. The automation of quality control processes enables manufacturers to accurately collect data on the quality of product produced. Then, an IIoT software solution converts this raw data into information in real-time. This information allows manufacturers to correct concerning product trends before significant waste is incurred. Learn more about automation technologies here. 

Integrating IIoT Solutions for Visibility

Facteon's powerful IIoT solutions integrate with existing legacy systems. IIoT technologies are a staple in any smart manufacturing environment. In extracting and consolidating data collected by the other systems in your technology stack, Facteon's IIoT tools provide improved visibility of factory operations. Integrating IIoT factory solutions that enable greater visibility of operations improve quality of outputs and operational efficiencies, while reducing waste.

Smart IIoT software for monitoring, controlling & scheduling, the Industry 4.0 way

Facteon has developed an IIoT software solution, COSMOline, that utilises the latest Industry 4.0 and IIoT technologies. COSMOline enables manufacturers to easily and simply monitor core manufacturing operations. This IIoT software solution integrates with a manufacturer's existing technology stack, PLC, SCADA, MES and ERP systems. The Industry 4.0 era has required significant adaptability from manufacturers. To cater to this need for flexibility, COSMOline is a Software as a Service (SaaS) product. This means, a manufacturer can scale its usage to suit changing requirements. Facteon's dedicated IIoT team has created a modern IIoT software solution that can be accessed both within your production facility and remotely. If a manufacturer's staffing requirements change, additional users can be added to the system at no extra cost. As a result, COSMOline is a cost-effective solution suited to manufacturers of all sizes.

Maintenance

The maintenance functionality of Facteon's IIoT software solution incorporates the core functionalities of CMMS, including request for services (RFS) which is integrated with spare parts management. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here.

Efficiency

Access to production line efficiency information allows manufacturers to intervene on concerning production trends in real-time to minimise impact on product quality. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here. 

Quality

Providing real-time monitoring and reporting on quality processes and metrics, an alerting system informs manufacturers of concerning quality trends. A manufacturer also has the ability to set pre-established quality standards. A standard can be set per product model. This standard can be varied per product type. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here. 

Environmental

The environmental offering reports on the usage and cost of resources in your production facility. Information on power, water and trade waste, for example, is collected in real-time. The tracking of resource consumption negates the hassle of unplanned expenditure and the fees associated with exceeding consumption limits. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here.

 

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