Leveraging Technology in Manufacturing to Prevent Shortages

Leveraging Technology in Manufacturing to Prevent Shortages

  • Technology
  • July 6, 2022
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  • 8 minutes read


Beverage Factory Interior, Juice Product Manufacturing and Packaging Production Line, Close-up, Glass Bottles with Screw Caps on a Conveyor Belt.

By Bill Rokos, CTO, Parsec

The digital transformation has created a landscape full of opportunities for manufacturers to optimize their operations. While most companies tend to focus on the ways these technologies can help improve their overall operating efficiencies, 4IR (and the umbrella of solutions that make it up) can do much more than mere optimization. of processes. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) acting as pillars of many of these digital tools, solutions that “learn” a company’s production process are helping to prevent shortages. of finished products.

By leveraging AI and ML, manufacturers can be better equipped to mitigate the risks associated with unexpected production delays, material shortages, quality problems, and other up and down value flow complexities. That said, it takes significant work, vision and commitment to continuous improvement initiatives to achieve digital maturity.

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The importance of real-time visibility

Poor visibility of production (and factory floor in general) has traditionally been a problem for manufacturers. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Manufacturing Operations Management Platforms (MOMs) are fixing this. Through their interoperability, these software-linked solutions collect and contextualize data from traditional closure plant systems. All of this aggregated data is then presented to operators and managers on live and evolving production dashboards, which help draw a real-time image of what’s happening in the store and throughout an operation.

Having access to real-time data related to production and performance allows manufacturers to anticipate possible delays. It allows them to perform root cause analysis and have better control of the causes of poor quality. This knowledge helps teams avoid equipment breakdowns, standardize operating procedures, implement best practices, and more. Relevant real-time data and visibility transform the way companies do business and empower responsible people to run production day after day.

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Taking advantage of an optimized calendar

Production planning is no small feat, and this crucial piece of the manufacturing puzzle has been (traditionally) notoriously difficult to change or optimize. With scheduling often earlier in the month, teams have had to rely on forecast metrics and trends and data from previous months to craft an idealized plan. However, manufacturing sector variables (whether customer demand, availability of raw materials, incoming orders, etc.) can change rapidly. Many companies have begun to look for solutions that allow for informed, dynamic, real-time planning and scheduling to adapt to these different changes.

MES / MOM solutions can provide programming teams with the vision and flexibility they need to optimize their schedules in real time. As these platforms integrate with existing plant infrastructure, their programming tools can control things like the availability of human and machine assets, materials inventory, production and performance states, and more. Leveraging these real-time feedback, these solutions present teams with optimized and evolving programs that they can review and then take to production.

In highly regulated industries (such as food and beverage), where change plays a prominent role, these programming tools can be used to design production programs that limit the number of changes a team will undergo, or schedule executions in an order. which will result in minimum terms of change.

Increased human intelligence

As shocking as AI and automation are, it’s important to remember that smart systems can only go that far. Humans will continue to be an integral part of manufacturing operations. As AI continues to evolve, emerging technologies that require a human touch to be implemented, executed, and maintained will empower and support their users.

The most advanced intelligent systems allow humans and machines to interact symbiotically through a framework known as “humans-in-the-loop.” This framework works to ensure that when a machine cannot solve a problem, an informed and empowered human will be there to intervene and intervene, thus creating a continuous feedback loop.

It is through this harmonization of humans and machines that the true power of digital transformation is revealed. From this convergence of the organic and the inorganic will emerge a future where the scarcity of production, inefficiencies of processes and less than ideal quality are really a thing of the past.

Since 1999, Bill has led the development of Parsec’s Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) platform, TrakSYS. As a CTO of Parsec for a long time, he has worked with many of Parsec’s customers around the world. From the implementation and deployment architecture of TrakSYS to the design of the latest features, Bill has been instrumental in the impact and success of Parsec (and TrakSYS).



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