ChipChat: Industry 4.0 – A Digital Transformation to World Class Manufacturing
Since the First Industrial Revolution during the 18th century, industrial manufacturing, technology, and processes have continued to innovate creating new ways for manufacturers to become more productive, efficient, competitive, and profitable. As innovation continued to extend from the advent of computers and automation during Industry 3.0, we’re now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 (I4.0). Read along and watch the recorded ChipChat webinar as Ellison Technologies’ President of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Jeff Lage, discusses the topic of I4.0 and the journey towards achieving world class excellence, covering where to start, what to watch out for, and what are the next steps for your organization.
If you missed the webinar, continue reading and view the recording.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 introduces the era of Cyber Physical Systems which integrates computers, networks, and physical processes. During Industry 3.0 we saw the physical technological advancements of automation within machine tools such as barfeeders, tool changers, pallet changers, and robotics. On the computer-driven side we saw advancements in tool life management, CAD/CAM software, and measurement probes. Now with the integration of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), networking and smart technology, Industry 4.0 takes automation another step further with live monitoring, live feedback, cloud networking and data transferring, and autonomous controls for machining centers and lathes to make real time adjustments without human intervention. Additionally, Industry 4.0 has brought to reality the utilization of Digital Twins allowing manufacturers to create virtual demos of their process before executing. Digital Twins allow manufacturers to build, design, and troubleshoot their operations before running them live.
Where Do We Start?
Making the digital transformation to world class manufacturing excellence starts with understanding your Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). By understanding how well our shop, staff, and machines are operating, shop owners can analyze and assess areas that can be improved or automated. To understand how to manage these improvements, we need data and information. The first and easiest way to acquire useful data is through machine monitoring technology which offers machine shops an affordable way to see how well their machines are operating. As all shops and machines have different needs and requirements, the direction in which you take with your data is determined by your goals.
What to Watch Out For?
As you begin integrating I4.0 practices to bring your shop to world class excellence, there are a few things to keep in mind. Change impacts the shop, the machines, and most importantly, the people. Communicating the changes to your team is vital to ensuring that the changes your make are taking full effect. Understanding your process maturity and being realistic about the changes you want to make will help make improvements more manageable. Be sure to plan and communicate your changes to your customers to mitigate any issues with contracts or lead times. Finally, get the right people on board to champion the process and continue communicating changes and goals.
Where are We Going and What’s Next?
Now that you know where to start, its time to understand where you want to go. Whether your goals are to achieve lights out operations, 85% or better OEE, process controls, tool management, or zero overtime, knowing where you are now and where you want to be will determine your next steps. With numerous I4.0 tools at your disposal including machine monitoring, cloud networking and remote controls, live feedback loops, augmented and virtual reality technology, and tool management, your goals will determine which works best for your shop. Understand your process maturity, what your shop is ready for, and be sure to Plan, Do, Study, and Act (PDSA). If you’re not sure where to begin, contact your local Ellison team and let our engineering experts help you MAKE MORE for your shop.
About the Presenter
Jeff Lage is the President of Advanced Manufacturing Technology at Ellison Technologies based out of Los Angeles, CA. Jeff’s mission at Ellison is to evaluate, integrate and promote new and emerging technologies from around the world into Ellison Technologies and their U.S. market base. Jeff brings his passion for industry along with over 40 years of manufacturing experience from the job shop industry to Ellison. Jeff has a keen understanding of machining, lean manufacturing, operational excellence, supply chain management and managing a successful job shop with over 100 CNC machines and $80M in annual sales.