MES or Production Analytics: What Is The Best Solution for My Packaging Factory?

By Mariana Costa, Marketing Specialist at PackIOT Production Analytics is not the same as Manufacturing Execution System - MES. Both are different tools with different goals. We want to help you understand and spot the main differences between these two distinct systems and hopefully help you make better decisions for your factory in the future. The goal of any manufacturing analytics application is always to increase capacity, productivity and throughput. Basically, what all this means is doing more with the same already existing resources. This is achieved by using machine and operator data through which is possible to find and eliminate bottlenecks in the manufacturing processes. In this sense, MES software might present some limitations. While it is possible to identify common functionalities between production (or manufacturing) analytics and MES they are completely different tools used for different jobs. 1_MES - Manufacturing Execution System MES is an information system that leads the execution of manufacturing operations. The goal is always to achieve and maintain high performance. To meet these goals MES is able to perform and complete a group of tasks on the factory floor that are integrated with other systems across the organization: Monitor and enforce…

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My Packaging Plant Already Collects Data. And Now What? Which Questions Should Be Answered?

By Fernando Pacheco, COO at PackIOT The situation described in the title is more common than one can imagine. And if you have come this far, it is likely that you have been facing this challenge in your factory. This problem can occur in several ways (they are not mutually excluding): Your machines are already factory-sensed and deliver general data, but you don't know what to do with it. Your data is stored in the PLC, but nobody could access it in an easy way and/or does not gets insights and information from there (you don't have a front-end tool, in the end). Your plant spends a giant amount of time manually collecting data, but it does not make any decisions. you already have a powerful MES in place, which helps you on a piece of the data journey, but you can't cross these numbers with real production information (actionable data). And after that, of course, these challenges can lead to other difficult situations, usually described by plant managers as below: "I wanted to automate everything. I have the data in different places, but every time we need to put it together, a person needs to sit down,…

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The 4 Advantages of Adopting SaaS vs On Premises for the Packaging Industry

By Mario Ishikawa, CTO at PackIOT The IoT revolution is here and we cannot deny it. What is incredible for manufacturing is that with the IoT adoption on the shop floor, we saw the convergence of OT - Operational Technology with IT - Information Technology, creating the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT. It does not mean killing what is already out there, but bringing more connectivity and use cases for so much data that can be collected on a plant. But certainly, there is an overlap. If in the past the stack PLC + SCADA or dedicated gateway was basically the only option to collect data from the process, now there are many more possibilities. And when we are not talking about critical missions, it is certainly viable to think in a system on the cloud. One thing is when you need your operator to keep the process in control using an HMI. Another thing is when you want your manager to study past data to make better maintenance decisions for a packaging line. For that case, a cloud solution, presented as a SaaS (software as a service) offering can have several advantages: 1_Converting CapEx to…

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The 5 Steps To Bring Industry 4.0 Into Your Factory

By Mariana Costa, Marketing Specialist at PackIOT Introducing Industry 4.0 is always a disruptive and challenging process for businesses and their employees. Manufacturers are progressively getting familiar with the idea of the smart factory and it is becoming hard to ignore its advancements towards becoming the new reality of the industry. One thing is clear: companies should prepare ahead and rethink their approach as the industry continuously advances towards the implementation of 4.0 technologies. As we already saw in previous blog posts, the technology of Industry 4.0 consists of interconnected systems. Consequently, data is shared across these systems allowing for the creation of meaningful insights. Manufacturers are then in the right position to analyze and make the best decisions for their factories towards a more lean environment (reducing expenses and optimizing operations). By now, you are probably wondering what are the exact steps you need to take to finally start your journey with Industry 4.0. We thought about this and compiled a list of the five main steps towards implementing 4.0 technologies to transition to the Smart Factory! 1_Identify Pain Points and Pick a Vendor The first step to start this journey is to document the pain…

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The Industry 4.0 in Europe and the Packaging Industry

By Mariana Costa, Marketing Specialist at PackIOT A lot of questions have been raised regarding the capacity that Europe has to adapt to the revolution of Industry 4.0 and in the packaging industry in particular. In this blog post we will go over the four main topics to cover this subject Opportunities of Industry 4.0 Challenges Europe is facing to adopt Industry 4.0 Context in the packaging industry regarding Industry 4.0 The next steps to boost the adoption of 4.0 technologies According to the study done by Interreg Europe on Industry 4.0, the industrial sector has been seeing a great development due to the adoption of new digital technologies, materials and processes. The Industry 4.0 is progressively becoming a priority for policymakers in Europe. It can present itself as an impulse to productivity gains, redefine the whole industrial production model and potentially having a major impact on manufacturing employment.   Nevertheless, there is a very interesting scenario to be analyzed. Between 2007 and 2017, the EU economy has experienced a decline from 20.1% to 19.6% of the relative contribution of industry. Besides, the share of the industry also ranges from 30% in Ireland and Czech Republic to…

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5 Things You Need to Know About the Industry 4.0 Revolution to Kick-Start Your Journey

By Mariana Costa, Marketing Specialist at PackIOT We are now living in an era where computers and automation have come together in a completely new way. More and more the input from human operators is not a key necessity anymore since systems have evolved to be almost entirely independent through machine learning, algorithms and AI.  This change brought by technology is often called the Fourth Industrial Revolution or the Industry 4.0 revolution and it has impacted the way businesses are done ever since. The Industry 4.0 revolution is closing the gap between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). It is a multifaceted revolution made by some key ingredients such as IoT, test automation and digital twins, all of which are essential to combine the physical and virtual worlds. The merging of traditional manufacturing and technological innovation has resulted in fast changes for the industry which is forcing manufacturers to either adapt quickly or fall behind of what has been called the Smart Factory. While there are some challenges in this transition, we can’t ignore the great benefits that come with it -  increased test reliability and efficiency, cost reduction and improved product quality. The first big…

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