How to make more profits from my production shop? How do I increase the productivity of my machines? Are these the questions that are there on the top of your mind? Be it a small family run job shop or a large professional organisation, Productivity improvement & Profit maximisation are the two factors which are very critical to their operations and are interlinked. So what does Smart Manufacturing have to do with this? Smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0 means, integration of data with process expertise to enable ‘data or evidence based‘ management of manufacturing. Data-driven Manufacturing enables better decision making in the manufacturing process. Software and computer networks make it possible to gather data and turn it into actionable information to make better decisions about manufacturing processes such as optimizing machine up time, scheduling machine maintenance, etc.
First step for Smart Manufacturing is machine monitoring. We can connect machine tools and other manufacturing equipment through internet enabled network. Through this we would be in a position to see (even remotely) as to which machines are running and which are stopped. The reason for the stoppage like, non-availability of the operator, component, drawing, tools or machine is being setup etc. can be captured. Based on facts and figures better decisions and corrective actions can be taken which will lead to better utilisation of the machine and hence better productivity or OEE. Global manufacturing companies are currently implementing this “intelligent connectivity of smart machines” in their factories and on the shop floor. This development is predicted to lead to a sweeping change that will fundamentally reconfigure manufacturing industry. It is being called the next Industrial Revolution – “Industry 4.0”.
History of Industrial Revolutions
Over 200 years have passed since the first industrial revolution changed manufacturing forever.
As humankind continues to march into the 21st century, a fourth round of industry transformation is preparing for a “smart” reboot of the factory framework. Following in the footsteps of the other revolutions, Industry 4.0 will make changes that previous generations could have never imagined.
The term Industry 4.0 was coined by the German government (as Industrie 4.0) and stems from a project set out to prepare German industry for the future of production. The fourth industrial revolution paves the way to and for the Smart Factory. It is based on cyber-physical systems (CPS) networking machines and components with the addition of intelligent, “smart” and highly flexible software.
Smart, connected machines have three main elements: Physical components, “Smart” components, and Connectivity components.
Physical components comprise the CNC Machines and other equipment on the shop floor.
Smart components comprise the sensors, embedded systems, CNC, software, enhanced user interface etc.
Connectivity components comprise the ports, Ethernet cards and LAN or wireless connection.
Connectivity can be:
- One-to-one : An individual machine connects to a PC,
- One-to-many : A central System is connected to many machines simultaneously.
Drivers for Smart Manufacturing (IIoT)
The push for Smart Manufacturing is primarily from the following factors;
Need for reduction in Machine / Asset Downtime -
More Rapid service response -
Improved Process performance -
Improved personal productivity -
Reduced machine life cycle cost -
Improved machine utilization ROI -
Ability to sell products as service -
Smart Manufacturing is currently in various stages of maturity across the globe. Also, the adaptation of the same varies from a small job shop to a large multi-location – multi plant organization. The various possible stages and their characteristics could be defined as in the table below;
|Maturity Levels||Asset / Machine Capability|
|Conventional||No Intelligence or Connectivity|
|Instrumented||Connectable or connected Provides data externally|
|Software Defined||Some local intelligence Software tunable machines Enhanced data feeds|
|SMART||Enhanced intelligence Active condition monitoring Self optimization Interact with ecosystem|
|Autonomous||Additional sensors Real time analytics Onboard execution software New business models Performance guarantees|
The evolution of Smart Manufacturing will enable many additional service offerings from companies of Ace Micromatic group. With remote access to the machine data, companies of our group could provide timely predictive maintenance support. We could also provide access to experts who could assist in process optimization / productivity improvements at your shop. At a higher level, Performance guarantees could be signed to ensure a risk free operation of your plants.
AceMicromatic group has taken the lead to assist our SME’s & MSME’s benefit from this technology. Extensive work has been done to develop MachineConnect™ by AmiT and ACE Designers. The new software provides plug-and-play connectivity for machine tools by enabling machines to provide data in structured formats. Automated, real-time data collection and much greater visibility into machine operations are possible at minimal cost. Brief highlights of AmiT – MachineConnect™
- Remotely access accurate production data and machine stoppages by connecting it over LAN
- Hourly part count - by program number or number of programs run and number of times of each part
- Down time or Machine stoppages– when a machine is not operated greater than thresh hold time.
- Preventive alerts
- Preventive maintenance schedule
- Daily Maintenance Check list
- User manual and electrical documentation
- ower Calculator - Calculates machine's required power based on user inputs (Material, Diameter etc.)
- Operator, MTB & control alarms - Record of all Operator, MTB & control alarms / critical alarms time stamped for analysis
- CNC Program Transfer over LAN
The USP’s of MachineConnect™ are:
- Data is collected automatically in real-time from all relevant systems, by an application residing in the machine and is transferred to the connected PC / Server
It does not need human help to verify, validate, cleanse and prepare data in the appropriate forms for analysis without demanding new people/skills. Finally, let’s end with a summary that includes three main imperatives for all of us:
A Mature Industry 4.0/Smart Manufacturing would lead to a massive shift from the conventional Product + Service model to a “Product as a Service” model where customers will be buying Guaranteed results (Hybrid of Product & Service).
- Take heed.The Industry 4.0 / Industrial IoT is real and taking shape here and now. Global companies have already implemented it and are getting substantial benefits at their plants.
- Keep your eye on the prize. A better decision-making and actionable step is the main benefit of creating a connected factory in which machines and people are smarter.
- Start small, but plan big.Whether it is machine monitoring or cloud-based CAM programming, the initial steps have to be manageable, transparent and respectful of the individuals of the organisation.