Digital transformation for manufacturing: back to basics

Digital Transformation is one of the most highlighted buzzwords of this age (industry 4.0 age, we mean). But the concept can accept a lot of situations above its umbrella. Currently, digital transformation can be applied to a variety of things. The concept is broad and ends up being used by people, companies, governments, and organizations. An important report from PWC (with companies from 26 countries) shows a total of US$907 bn in annual digital investments - yearly. But, let's get started from the beginning. What is digital transformation Digital Transformation can be defined as a phenomenon that incorporates the use of digital technology to traditional problem-solving. Thus, it encompasses procedural changes in different spheres of society: this transformation modifies the paradigm of the use of technology, for example, in the following areas: government, economy, labor market, education, medicine, arts, science, global communication, among others. In addition, digital transformation has the capacity to increase integration between different sectors of society, being applied to issues related to public administration problems, for instance. Digital evolution index (Harvard Busines Review) The matter is so important that Harvard Business Review has created its own "Digital Evolution Index". This index is presented in…

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Remote monitoring of machinery and devices is a groundbreaking opportunity for OEMs

Day after day, it's becoming easier to realize that IoT has been transforming the way manufacturers identify and solve problems on the shop floor. And one of the most important partners to achieve this goal is wireless solutions (such as wi-fi, 3g 4g, and 5g connections). After that, all the features of connected devices have been developing a fantastic job to increase productivity, reduce costs and make the life of machine builders easier on this matter.  For them (and of course, their customers), decision making for machine maintenance is often based on a reactive, not proactive attitude. This means that hours or days are lost on both sides when a problem occurs, especially in a more distant factory. The above case is quite common and happens in most relationships between factories and OEMs. And this can become a real headache. But there are a few options to avoid this problem. For instance, by remotely monitoring different machine components, OEMs can detect excess vibration before it causes unplanned downtime (and this is a great operation advantage). Besides vibration, sensors also can send temperature, presence, and general performance data to a wireless logic controller or PLC for collection and…

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Coronavirus in Manufacturing: 3 reliable guides to help you dealing with Covid-19 (and keep people healthy)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Graphic. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)

Coronavirus in Manufacturing: 3 reliable guides to help you dealing with Covid-19 (and keep people healthy)

This is a quick post. We've been seen a lot of companies having problems dealing with the Coronavirus Outbreak. And we are here trying to make our part in this difficult time, providing reliable information.  After the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared pandemic status for Covid-19, many companies are already feeling the impact. And of course, the manufacturing industry has been affected by this crisis. Far beyond the economic impacts mentioned in the news, the most important thing is to take care of people's health, whether in the factory, the office or home. That's why we've selected 3 links from trustworthy sources to help you spread important information in your company on how to keep people healthy (or how to act in case someone tests positive for Coronavirus). We really hope that the guides can be relevant for you, your team, co-workers, and relatives. Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (by CDC) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a major document on this matter, and will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. CDC has been working across the Department of Health and Human Services and across…

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Packaging news and trends: 10 sites and blogs to follow

Being up to date is one of the best ways to keep you and your factory in good shape of productivity, efficiency and high performance. Besides courses, events and benchmarking, another good way to get new pieces of information is to follow specialized packaging news and trend websites. To help you with this journey, our content team has prepared a list with 10 packaging blogs and sites that worth a look. For obvious reasons, we are not to mention our own blog (you are here already) :). 1- Packaging Europe Packaging Europe (magazine and website) is the leading intelligence resource for European packaging professionals. It delivers daily news content, authoritative comment and analysis, case studies and high-profile interviews with the leading players inside the packaging industry. Packaging Europe connects early adopters, technologists, and buyers across the packaging value chain with the latest innovations in technology, materials, and manufacturing processes. 2 - OPN OPN Platform is an innovative B2B planet-friendly packaging digital Platform made to connect buyers and sellers directly, as well as to close a deal in few clicks - instead of a month's or year's time - to provide an end-to-end supply chain, improve sales procurement…

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How to gather and manage data (from teams and assets)?

Written by Infraspeak team! We live in the era of Industry 4.0, which is the revolutionary digitalization of manufacturing that involves Big Data, which is the concept that studies all the data gathered and managed. And managing and generating data are a crucial part of this process in all companies.  Why generate data? A well-run, efficient and productive company relies on data to achieve greater goals. But why? Well, there are a lot of perks in doing that: Decision-making One of the toughest and more stressful tasks leans on decision-making. Insecurities creep in and the human mind gets in the way. And how to avoid this situation? Analytics and data. By generating data, decision-making almost becomes a mathematical and analytical question. Depending on the industry, data can reveal essential intel regarding your own company, the field in general or global traits that can boost its efficiency. Harnessing data can, for example, help you find and retain new clients, improve your customer experience, predict new trends, enhance your marketing strategy and even track social media and its potential. Problem-solving Besides relieving you of making hard decisions on your own, it also helps you with solving problems. No company…

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10 statistics you can’t miss about IoT in the industry sector (packaging included)

I don't think I need to convince you that industry is changing and a revolution is happening in front of our own eyes, right? So, let's skip this part and go straight to the point... We've listed 10 statistics that support the above statement. Some of them take your breath away. Are you ready? Click the orange circles and check the first 5 statistics in the interactive image.   6 . Data and analytics are becoming increasingly important to decision-making (packaging industry) A report from PWC on Digital Transformation shows that 83% of respondents in forest, paper & packaging industry believe that data analysis will be a core factor to decision making in 5 years. When asked about the current situation, this figure is 55%. There's a great development opportunity here! 7. Most companies don’t yet have mature data analytics capabilities (yet) According to the same report mentioned above, only 18% of survey respondents rate the maturity of their data analytics capabilities as advanced, and more than half say that the lack of skills and competencies in their company’s workforce is a key challenge to making full use of data analytics. 8. Companies will have 5%% of…

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What are IoT sensors and how to use them?

Post wrote by Infraspeak Team. The technological world has been flooded with concepts and new topics  - and it’s normal to get lost in the midst of it all. Let’s focus on one of its highlights: The Internet of Things (IoT). We’ve all heard about it, but do we really know what it means? In the simplest terms, the Internet of Things comprises all stuff that connects to the internet, enabling all devices to gather information, analyze data and even take action. As Caroline Gorski, the head of IoT at Digital Catapult assesses: “it’s about networks, it’s about devices, and it’s about data”, it works as a “brain”, streamlining, enabling connectivity and warranting communication between everything internet-related. It’s considered one of the most critical and encouraging concepts of our time. To put in perspective: researchers estimate that is over 20 billion devices are connected and this number will increase as the world becomes “smarter” and “smarter” (not literally, just conceptually). With this technologically-driven world, concepts such as Smart Buildings (providing unique comfort and productivity in workplaces, for example) and Smart Cities (reducing environmental footprint, relieving the people of time-costing and stress situations by improving transportation, and increasing…

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What is the main relation between productivity and data management

Post Written by InfraSpeak Team.  We live in the age of Industry 4.0, the world of Big Data and Internet of Things. This means that generated and well-managed data are at the "pinnacle" of importance for companies and their workers. Its purpose lies in optimal performance and an increase in productivity. Let’s dive into the reasons that justify these theories. Why data matters? Firstly, for data to really matters, you’ll need to generate from the right source. It's pretty simple: if you gather data to be analyzed on a specific situation that is not applicable, the results won’t be adequate. So, for a boost in productivity, you need to capitalize on generating suitable data. The next step to upgrade your performance will be focusing on managing your data. Gathering all the data in the world won’t help you unless you manage it accordingly. Analyzing big data is just a super-enhanced way of traditional data study, which processes information coming from a huge number of sources thanks to the connectivity allowed by IoT. This IoT technology grants higher efficiency and quick processing. In enterprises, lack of information or data can lead to poor performance, non-motivated employees and mediocre…

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The biggest problems in running your factory with Excel

We don't need to explain that much right? If you are here, you might know a lot about this important tool. While you are reading this text, millions of people are using Excel right now.  Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of the Microsoft Office suite of software. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! Among its important use cases, one of them is to help factory managers to collect and manage data on a daily basis. It's been an important tool for the past decades, but some issues can be perceived as companies have new demands on their management environment. On this matter, we bring to you the biggest problems running your factory with Excel. Human error/data reliability First of all, this is the most common issue in Excel. In the reliable part…

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Scrap Rates in Packaging Manufacturing

Does Your Packaging Manufacturing Plant Know Its Scrap Rates? In which stage of the scrap reporting are you? Alongside downtime, scrap rates (or waste) are a major concern for any plant manager, especially in the packaging industry. Although the numbers vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, when we look at in-line production facilities (where all machines are connected in series), scrap rates of 15-25% are completely normal. During this time, the plant is consuming energy, raw material and equipment uptime. This means that for every 4 hours of production, the company is throwing material, energy and equipment time in the bin. The struggle to reduce these numbers is hard, daily and constant, and only one thing is for sure: you cannot do it without reliable production numbers, just by looking in the rearview mirror. Although almost every piece of equipment has integrated counters for rejected parts, few companies collect this data automatically to transform it into intelligence. As a result, they end up depending on manual notes, the nightmare of information reliability. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! Anyone who has spent a few hours on the factory floor knows:…

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