Archives : Industry 4.0

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    AI Creates more than it Costs

    Innovation in technology is something that we all use and look forward to using. We want to see the new things come along and make our lives better, of course. AI in manufacturing is one such innovation that we are looking forward to seeing and want to use to our advantage, but it is also an innovation about which we have grave concerns.
    Nearly every type of innovative change may be a double-edged sword.
    Inventions come along every day that change the way that we do business and the way that we manufacture. Innovations give us the means to perform tasks faster, better, more cheaply. This is known as displacement or the displacement effect.
    In China this kind of innovation has been a part of the changing landscape for more than half a century.

    Fifty years in the past, more than 75 percent of the workers were in agriculture. Along came time saving and energy saving innovations and today only about 25 percent of the people of China are employed in agriculture today.

    New technology and innovation freed them up for manufacturing and many other, safer pursuits. New methods can take away jobs, but conversely they can also create jobs for everyone. The jobs that they can create may be higher paying and safer jobs.

    From job security to national security, it’s no secret that one such innovation–AI or artificial intelligence –has caused some grave concerns in both industry and individual sectors, but it has also given new hope and new life to many job sectors.

    AI and the technologies that it engenders such as robotics, autonomous vehicles and drones have the power to boost our economy and to boost our business growth. They will add billions of dollars to our economy this year alone.

    Unfortunately,AI also has the power to negatively impact jobs. In July of 2018, PwC’s UK Economic Outlook confirmed that AI could and likely would displace jobs that are being done by humans—even over the course of the next five years.

    While AI has the power to replace humans, it will also create new jobs and bring better and more innovative products to the marketplace. The impact on the UK and the US will stay at about 20 percent and is projected to remain largely neutral .

    This means that there will be approximately as many jobs created as there are jobs lost. That holds true in the UK and probably the United States but the same is not true everywhere. Around the world, where many low skilled jobs and manual jobs are being done, these lower paying jobs may be undertaken by machines using AI.

    One example of this is China and it is not surprising that people are resistant to the use of AI when they are not well trained and will not –in their opinion—be able to find another job to support their families.
    The technologies associated with AI may well displace more than a quarter of all jobs that are currently being done in China. Between 26 and 27 percent of current jobs may be lost.

    Fortunately there is one more difference. AI will also create more jobs in China than it will in the rest of the world. In China, particularly in the service sector, the net job increase is expected to be around 29-31 percent. That amounts to about 97 million jobs being created by the advent of new AI technology.
    Whether or not the current labor force is able to be retrained to do these jobs remains to be seen, but there will be myriad new positions being created by the advent of AI technology and these will be higher paying and infinitely safer for the average worker.

    What’s your take? Can lower skilled workers without a lot of tech savvy be retrained to allow them to keep their jobs?

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  • IIoT-Industrial Internet of Things

    IIoT-What it Is and Does

    IIoT is a term that isn’t even remotely new but many people haven’t heard it. While IoT is a network of intelligent machines, devices and items that share data, IIoT takes it a step further.

    IoT shares data to a cloud base where it is then shared with end users in a way that makes it helpful This allows them to better their bottom line and speed the work. Industry 4.0 is changing all that we do in factories, making the process faster, cleaner and safer.

    Using IoT in manufacturing is called IIoT or to use another term for it. Industry 4.0. It is changing the way that factories work and that companies create goods. IIoT is making life easier by increasing the amount of automation that we use in schools in factories and in homes.

    Many companies have begun to leverage the power of IIoT by using connected and intelligent learning machines or devices in their factories and manufacturing methods.

    IIoT can vastly improve the efficiency, increase the time savings, improve scalability and connectivity of course and cut the costs of nearly every type of manufacturing in existence today. It does so by the use of predictive maintenance and improved safety in the plants as well as offering more efficient operations. The data that it provides offers us a more accurate view of what is happening and even what may happen in the future, preventing lost time due to down machine times.

    The major stumbling block seems to be the problems with security that IoT and IIoT have seen in the recent past. One of the largest breaches and DDos attacks in history came into play due to IoT connections. Technology writer Margaret Rouse observed recently, “A major concern surrounding the Industrial IoT is interoperability between devices and machines that use different protocols and have different architectures.”

    Companies are concerned, and rightly so, about their security and operational issues. With so many sensors and smart connected devices being used together there has been a massive explosion in vulnerabilities in security for most companies which use IIoT.

    With IIoT being one of the primary trends that are shaping the new industrial revolution, ensuring security is of paramount importance. How do you see our ability accomplish that improving. What will do the job for us?

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    IIoT – Who is using it? Part II

    IIoT. while not well known or understood, is one of the top applications being used in manufacturing and industry today. It’s found in nearly every industry in the world including these:

    Agriculture-to provide for connected farms that can do things such as even tell the farmer when the cow is coming into season.

    Aerospace, to be used in un-mapped vehicles in air such as drones and airplanes or to manage airports.

    Automotive, for connected or autonomous cars.

    Energy systems for things like renewable energy, smart homes, smart grids, and distributed energy resources.

    Healthcare systems such as connected healthcare, things like insulin pumps and medical imaging but also including the newest up and coming robotic surgeries.

    Manufacturing, connected factories that are offering data and safety information.

    Oil and gas exploration and connected refineries.

    Transportation and travel, where it is used by buses, hyper-loops, trains, subways, parking structures.

    Typical IIoT systems mean that you have to share the data and information between multiple different devices. This means that it must be available and used between multiple devices and across multiple networks. From the edge (sensors, remote devices and computers) to the cloud (centralized computer systems) the data must be able to flow everywhere.

    That’s a challenge not only due to the connections and the security but because of the vast array and the massive volume of the data. It can easily overwhelm a network, particularly one that encompasses very remote operations. “These interconnected systems require new ways to manage increased data volume, performance requirements, security risk and safety certifications.”

    What’s your take on autonomous parking, vehicles, logistics, supply and manufacturing?

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    IIoT – What Is It?

    Its been five plus years since the Industrial Internet of Things exploded into our world and the IIC was launched. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and a lot of issues have been discussed about the amazing new day of AI, intelligent machines, connected devices and what it can do for us, but all in all, what do most people really know about IIoT? Continue Reading…

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    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times and Resourcing Manufacturing Jobs

    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times

    Machining center manufacturers are all looking for and touting the ability to reduce part cycle times by offering faster and more efficient machines. That is what the job shop and part production customers of these products demand, because their end-product customers are driving a purchasing philosophy of lower costs per part.

    While the choice of a high-speed machining center makes a major difference in operational productivity and part cost, the tooling utilized on that machine can be another dominant factor. The efficiency of such new, special purpose proprietary tooling can even further enhance the output of a horizontal machining center. It can provide a wide degree of flexibility in compressing several machining processes, especially in parts production.

    As an example, there are a number of unique, special tools that can reduce the initial capital investment and drive out substantial process time in the machining of engine blocks. Cylinder bores can be finished and honed with a precise closed-loop boring system that automatically compensates for tool wear or thermal distortion and produces exceptional repeatability.

    You can also grind bimetallic surfaces utilizing a cubic boron nitrite super-abrasive grinding wheel all on a standard machining center.

    Machines incorporated with this special, multi-functional tooling will outperform a number of individual specialty-purpose machines when used in an integrated system. Mid- to high-volume parts manufacturers often invest in state-of-the-art machine tool technology, and can further enhance their flexibility and productivity with the use of such special-purpose tooling.

    With more and more demand to streamline processes and production cycle times, especially from original equipment manufacturer outsourcing operations, there is a growing need for more valuable and cost-effective solutions for jobs shops and production facilities. And, the solutions exist to allow them to “work smarter.” It is also important to note that the reason so many of the manufacturing jobs have been re-sourced to the US is that technologies like these have eliminated the price gap. It is now possible to manufacture in the United States what was once outsourced.

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    Business Growth: Outsourcing your manufacturing

    The goal of every business owner is growth. One of the main reasons that you decide to undertake the challenge of developing a business is to create a venture that can improve your life. As your enterprise begins to expand, you will have to make some difficult decisions. One of those might be the need to establish a manufacturing process where outsourcing could be a possibility.

    Outsourcing business processes is getting very popular today. But did you know that you can also outsource a manufacturing process as well? Basically, you can ask another company to manufacture your product on your behalf. You may be wondering about the advantages of this choice since the goal is to manufacture your product without the help of another company. However, outsourcing part of your manufacturing process has several benefits that need to be considered.

    For example, when your peak season arrives, it is inevitable that the demand for your product will increase. Should you buy new equipment and hire new workers to meet this demand? In the past, this might have been the solution. Today, outsourcing your production enables you to avoid paying the higher costs for meeting the demand of the market during this particular timeframe.

    However, despite the advantages of outsourcing your manufacturing process, you should be aware of some of the risks that are involved. For example, you would not have the same control over the quality of the product that is being produced because you are not present during the manufacturing process. This is especially true if the outsourcing company you hire is new or if it has never produced the kind of product you are asking them to manufacture for you.

    You might observe that most of the companies that take advantage of outsourcing are usually the larger companies instead of the small and medium scale enterprises. But in fact, outsourcing could be more advantageous for small and medium scale enterprises. This is because even though manufacturing outsourcing may cost a larger company more money per unit produced, outsourcing can enable small and medium enterprises the chance to sell more products at a profit. Instead of paying the costs for using your own production resources, this overhead can be absorbed by the business you outsource to.

    Outsourcing the manufacturing process is also a good strategy for business start-ups that do not have the initial capital to build an entire factory by themselves. In the long run though, if your company is large enough to achieve economies of scale, it is recommended that you produce all your products yourself to maintain the quality standards that your company is known for.

    Obviously, manufacturing the products yourself can produce more money because you eliminate the overhead for using the outsourcing company and derive all of the profits for your own company. Overall though, the outsourcing of your manufacturing process can be advantageous if your profit margin is more when you outsource the process. It is a complex and difficult choice that should be considered very carefully.

    Any decision that is made to improve your business requires research, examination and caution. If your business has developed to the point where outsourcing is a possibility, consider the disadvantages as well as the advantages. The choice you make could propel your business to a new level.

    “When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder.”

    If you’re looking for the right manufacturing team, you have to start with the right recruiting team. Let WH Meanor put our experience to work for you.   Register now for a free ten minute assessment of your search efforts by clicking the link https://whmeanorassociates.as.me/

     

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    Intelligent Manufacturing, Part 2

    Intelligent Manufacturing: Machine to Machine (M2M) Communication

    The manufacturing industry has been changing dramatically over just the past few years. Advancements in technology have been rampant and the newest machines being built require absolute precision. The only way that we can get that today is by the use of intelligent manufacturing.

    Absolute accuracy and efficiency are required by many of today’s factories. The existence of the automotive industry as an example is dependent on their ability to provide for safety and accuracy in their automotive manufacturing and building. Who is, after all, going to buy an automobile that isn’t guaranteed to be safe and well built? The electrical systems and many other components need to be–in some cases– a level of perfection that cannot always be achieved by human hands. Enter the use of intelligent manufacturing & Machine to Machine (M2M) communication.

    One great example of intelligent machines in current use is the Machine to Machine communication platform used by CNC machinery that is used today to create high end machines & products for use in the aerospace, power generation & automotive industries. Another would be the automotive and the programmable logic controller manufacture. These intelligent machines in use today can not only manufacture more cheaply, but they can manufacture machinery in a far smaller space and can save money by telling you when or if the machine is liable to breakage or is having some problems that could lead to down time. Applications and software being used in the factories today can offer dramatic savings in time, in money and in headaches.

    Companies in this economic climate are under increased pressure to have their machinery running to capacity yet to provide for and produce increased number of nearly perfect goods. Due to that pressure

    the machinery that is running is usually running at peak capacity and as such can be prone to breakdown.

    Mechanical breakdown can cost a company plenty. Not just in the financial losses that take place when the company is experiencing down time, but also from lost contracts or orders due to that down time.

    The challenge then is to ensure that there is a nominal amount of down time and minimal breakage. Today a wide range of applications are being used in manufacturing that can help to lower stoppage or breakage as well as to provide nearly personalized information sent to the operator to assist them in diagnosing the issues that may be taking place. The machines are being diagnosed by other machines or applications that can help to keep them operational and to warn the operations manager when there is a problem and prevent the breakdowns by suggesting fixes before the breakage or down time even takes place.

    Machine to Machine (M2M) provides for the means for machines to operate at peak capacity.

    Today, companies who have embraced this type of manufacturing include the CNC industries, Ford Motor Company and multiple other automotive manufacturers and, surprisingly the oil and gas industry. The refineries for a wide range of different oil and gas companies have embraced intelligent manufacturing wholeheartedly.

    Machine to Machine (M2M) has given the oil and gas industry the ability to improve their planning, their overall operations and improved the maintenance taking place in refineries today preventing a wide range of problems such as mechanical failure that might have led to spillage and other issues, saving both the companies and the public as a whole from the problems to which refinery errors can lead.

    Machine to Machine (M2M) communication is not just limited to manufacturing but also the power generation and smart grid energy sectors. In this report the Carbon War Room goes into great detail on the 1 trillion dollar market that M2M technology will provide not only to manufacturing but transportation, energy and even agriculture. The report is detailed and interesting: Machine to Machine technology

    The wave of the future, the way in which to arrive at precision, cost effective manufacturing is intelligent technology and it is transforming a wide range of businesses and industries now. Some of it is even diagnosing problems and telling the machinist or machine operator how to correct the fault to prevent the down time or to prevent disasters from taking place. Intelligent manufacturing may be a key player in the not too distant future in preventing oil refinery fires, oil spills and preventing environmental problems from taking place.

    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers. He can be reached at: jms@whmeanor.com or 704-372-7640 #102 or visit at www.whmeanor.com

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    Improving Manufacturing Times

    Machining center manufacturers are all looking for and touting the ability to reduce part cycle times by offering faster and more efficient machines. That is what the job shop and part production customers of these products demand, because their end-product customers are driving a purchasing philosophy of lower costs per part.

    While the choice of a high-speed machining center makes a major difference in operational productivity and part cost, the tooling utilized on that machine can be another dominant factor. The efficiency of such new, special purpose proprietary tooling can even further enhance the output of a horizontal machining center. It can provide a wide degree of flexibility in compressing several machining processes, especially in parts production.

    Makino, a global provider of advanced machining technology, says that the use of special-purpose and multifunctional tools, like the SmartTools it manufactures, helps in this process compression. These specially designed and patented tools reduce cycle times as well as production costs, which saves money.

    As an example, there are a number of unique, special tools that can reduce the initial capital investment and drive out substantial process time in the machining of engine blocks. Cylinder bores can be finished and honed with a precise closed-loop boring system that automatically compensates for tool wear or thermal distortion and produces exceptional repeatability.

    You can also grind bimetallic surfaces utilizing a cubic boron nitride superabrasive grinding wheel all on a standard machining center.

    Machines incorporated with this special, multifunctional tooling will outperform a number of individual specialty-purpose machines when used in an integrated system. Mid- to high-volume parts manufacturers often invest in state-of-the-art machine tool technology, and can further enhance their flexibility and productivity with the use of such special-purpose tooling.

    With more and more demand to streamline processes and production cycle times, especially from original equipment manufacturer outsourcing operations, there is a growing need for more valuable and cost-effective solutions for jobs shops and production facilities. And, the solutions exist to allow them to “work smarter.” ?

    If you’re looking for the right manufacturing team, you have to start with the right recruiting team. Let WH Meanor put our experience to work for you. Register now for a free ten minute assessment of your search efforts by clicking the link https://whmeanorassociates.as.me/ WH Meanor can help. Call today.

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    The Internet of Things in 50 Years

    It used to be that the only electronics that were networked together and able to communicate were computers – and they only were able to connect with each other over a wired connection. But now, not only do we have wireless internet everywhere, we also have the Internet of Things – the network of devices that make up our world, sharing information, gathering data and learning from us so that they can serve us better. But what will this network look like in 50 years?

    Where exactly is the Internet of Things going?

    The Internet in 50 Years

    In 50 years, some experts think that the internet itself is going to be completely different than what we are used to. In the future, there will be internet much farther advanced than our current technology and it will literally be everywhere. Rather than finding “hotspots” with internet, people will very likely have a unique login of some kind that is the same across all of their devices to access the wide array of internet spanning the globe. You’ll probably have to pay every month for access, but maybe not. After all, you can find Wi-Fi that is free to use in my places even right now.

    The Communication in 50 Years

    Most people don’t have any idea just how fast the internet will be in 50 years. Right now, data centers or “nodes” that provide internet service communicate with each other at lightning speeds at least 10 times faster than the average home download speed. That will change. In 50 years, we’ll be connecting to each other at speeds that will probably be 100X faster than what currently passes for internet speed at these data centers, and rather than having home internet and Wi-Fi speeds that are optimized for download, both the upload and the download will be mega-fast. Fast enough that you could stream or upload a huge HD movie in seconds.

    The Network of “Things” in 50 Years

    Finally, the Internet of Things will literally be everywhere. From the clothing that we wear to the appliances, electronics and furniture in our homes, everything will be connected to the internet, gathering data, learning how to improve and sharing information with each other. When you sit down on your couch, your entertainment system will come on. When you get sick or injured, your clothing will not only have your medical information – they will also be able to call 911. Everything will be networked and it truly will be an Internet of Things.

    If you’re looking for the right manufacturing team, you have to start with the right recruiting team. Let WH Meanor put our experience to work for you. Register now for a free ten minute assessment of your search efforts by clicking the link https://whmeanorassociates.as.me/ WH Meanor can help. Call today.

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    The Advantages Of Lean Manufacturing

    Lean manufacturing is the processes, techniques, strategies and initiatives being implemented by companies around the world that aim to reduce unnecessary and unproductive tasks, activities and behaviors in the work environment.

    Because the times have really gone hard, demanding and intense due to political and turbulent concerns affecting all nations, firms are currently facing challenges to be able to keep their profitability and efficiency.

    Lean manufacturing not only reduces operational costs but also targets to boost, restore and significantly raise the competitiveness of a company.

    There are seven identified ‘forms of waste’ within the work environment and systems that lean manufacturing principally aims to alleviate, if not totally eliminate. These are over production, over processing, transportation, motion, inventory, waiting and scrap and defects.

    Several advantages of adopting lean manufacturing principles

    The first advantage identified by experts from implementing lean manufacturing techniques and strategies is the reduction of manufacturing time.

    When the manufacturing lead time is significantly lowered, it follows that the operational costs incurred from the use of energy, utilities and wages from laborers’ time will also be significantly reduced.

    Thus, lean manufacturing helps companies retain, maintain and significantly increase their earnings, widen their margins and help them generate savings from lower costs.

    Space is another area where lean manufacturing advantages are clearly and effectively exhibited. Working space, it is understood, is one of the primary and basic factors that keep operations of businesses going.

    Labor and human resource experts estimate that adoption of good and effective lean manufacturing techniques and strategies will likely help companies reduce their physical floor space requirements by as much as 5% to 30%.

    The figures involved could be small and miniscule for your eyes, but, actually, that will significantly contribute to much more efficiency and savings. That would be an advantage almost all businesses will surely look after.

    The advantage in productivity

    It is found that in general, companies implementing and adhering to lean manufacturing practices significantly boost and increase their manufacturing productivity by as much as 75% to 125%.

    It is because time and efforts are principally targeted by lean manufacturing processes. Thus, elimination of wastes, practices, behaviors and unnecessary and disturbing objects in the work place will surely and practically help workers get on to their tasks with much smooth pacing and comfort.

    You know how it is when workers work without any distractions and interruptions. Productivity is very much maximized. Thus, lean manufacturing becomes a necessity for companies to be able to achieve that goal.

    The advantages in terms of waste to profit relationships

    It follows that elimination and reduction of wastes will gradually and efficiently help boost and raise up earnings and profits in companies.

    Thus, elimination of wastes and unproductive activities, objects, tasks and behaviors in the work place will surely help the company and its personnel focus on the requirements and demands of the customer.

    The advantage of that, above all is that, when customer satisfaction is achieved, sales will surely rise. The best way to establish a good relationship with customers is to improve the products and services offered to them.

    Lean manufacturing would be of great help to achieve a good customer or client relations.

    Another advantage brought about by lean manufacturing techniques among various companies and firms adopting it worldwide is streamlined, rationalized or lean structuring of the organization.

    You should know that elimination of excess and unnecessary job positions and tasks in a company is a sure way to help that firm reduce labor costs and eventually lead to generate savings.

    Lean manufacturing without a doubt brings that advantage of leanness upon organizations and companies practicing and adopting it.

    Advantage on culture improvement

    Various companies around the world are practicing and implementing different cultures. It is usually a cause of problems, conflicts and issues around and within the organization.

    In lean manufacturing, the cultures are standardized, thus, unfavorable practices and behaviors of both the employees and the management are reduced, if not eliminated.

    The greatest advantage of lean manufacturing in terms of cultures adopted by companies is that lean manufacturing makes the differences between management and personnel reach to a verging point.

    Lean manufacturing principles should really be implemented by companies. It is high time to reap its advantages.

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