- Sonja Herger
...so large that new players are approaching the enterprises every day. You don't have an ERP system yet? But then it will be about time! What do you mean, you don't use CAD and CAM software? Then you are living in the Stone Age. Are you still dependent on written notes? Your ERP system does not do its job properly. What, you can't track the status of your machines in real time? You need a solution for machine monitoring. So, wallet up and be ready for a shopping pleasure.
From frying pan into the fire - data silos and information saturation
But caution is called for. Beware of throwing everything wildly into confusion. The smart companies design and implement industry 4.0 solutions so that everything fits together. All the others are unwittingly building isolated solutions with data silos. Manufacturing companies that connect and collect data have long faced two opposing challenges. On the one hand, there are data silos caused by multiple disparate systems. They cannot be integrated with each other, which leads to limited data transparency. On the other hand, there is the problem of information saturation due to integrated data that flows - and flows and flows and flows, without filters and context. The solution to one challenge inevitably calls the other on the screen. Unfiltered data can create unhindered data flows that are too overwhelming to be put into practice.
There are many right ways to increase productivity - and there are also a lot of wrong ways
Manufacturing has used 5S, Lean, Six-Sigma and other trendy protocols to squeeze productivity out of operational processes. It isn't so good at combining data from multiple sources to significantly increase productivity. To make products faster and better, in many areas of the manufacturing industry it is common practice to treat software as hardware: you simply buy new software when a problem arises. In other cases, you add one software solution after another to fix several bottlenecks. However, many of them never make the expected profits. Even more, those who do not rely on ALL-IN-ONE software suffer from further disadvantages.
Isolated solutions prevent collaboration within the company
Manufacturing companies naturally require functional specialisation. But when information gets "stuck", it causes chaos along the entire supply chain. Production may know that it is lagging behind. But you're too busy with troubleshooting and can't report the delay to sales until it's time to serve the dissatisfied customer. The fact that the sales department has its headquarters on the other side of the world doesn't necessarily help. In the meantime, production urgently needs to communicate with a plant manager in another country, but in the end it's just one voicemail at a time.
Each island has its own language
In addition, different communication styles can overlap. For a maintenance employee, for example, the people in the administration department sit at their desks all day long, send e-mails or have meetings with customers. He's now on his feet for hours with a smartphone in his pocket and a walkie-talkie on his belt, solving problems on the assembly line. From his point of view, face-to-face meetings mean a loss of productivity.
Break open the communication silos in your company
Now take the same situation and apply a uniform software strategy including machine connection: Sales and production can set up a daily meeting with their smartphones. The sales manager makes the call from her home office and the production manager never has to leave the factory. Special systems enable both access to company servers and the discussion of current data. You can even stop a call on one device and resume it on another. The result is a flexible production process that brings products to market faster even under less ideal conditions - and the means to an end is software for the manufacturing industry from MySolutions.
Insular solutions can be dismantled without the world going to ruin at once
The connectivity provided by the IoT has created more advanced, detailed data that affects every level of the production ecosystem. There is a solution for every problem, but the result is a production environment with many stand-alone systems. To take advantage of this wealth of information, systems must be networked and data centrally managed. In this way, each solution contributes its part to the big picture. Arrange a personal consultation with the MySolutions Group to find out how manufacturing companies can make their data usable and accessible instead of isolated and opaque. As an ALL-IN-ONE provider, we can of course also help you with existing systems. In any case, we make sure that you only have sun, beach and holiday feeling in your head when you visit islands in the future.