How to convince your boss to bet on digital transformation

We are already familiar with the story of having to convince someone about digital transformation: you found a fast, cheap and efficient solution for your factory, you left the last project meeting excited, but you still don't know how to persuade your boss. The ROI is positive, he can take a lot of benefits from it, so can you, and the company will win. But you can't make him/her jump in. It can be frustrating to go through a situation like the one above. But the idea of this article is to help you implement something new by convincing your boss of how important it is for everyone. And that's the first tip: everyone needs to realize that they are winning. First of all: it's all about negotiation Like it or not, you are a negotiator. Negotiation is a fact of life. These two sentences open one of the most important and best-selling books on the art of negotiating, "Getting to Yes" (Penguin Books), by authors William L. Ury, Roger Fisher. If we are all the time making agreements and resolving conflicts of interest in our lives, it is also true that, in a negotiation, the road…

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Lean Manufacturing Implementation: from zero to hero

For any type of business that wants to be successful, they will need to understand and fully implement the lean manufacturing principles. This is a business concept that has been around for decades but it is only now that the actual effects of the lean manufacturing method are being felt. If you go back to the 1970s, many large corporations tried to use lean manufacturing methods as a way to cut costs and improve productivity. But now, almost every major company that you look to for a new job or even an employee is doing this. What is Lean Manufacturing? Lean manufacturing, or Lean production, is a management philosophy from the Toyota Production System that focuses on reducing the seven types of waste (overproduction, lead time, transportation, overprocessing, inventory, motion, and defects). By eliminating this waste, quality improves and production time and costs decrease. Lean tools include continuous review processes (kaizen), pull production (in the kanban sense), and fail-safe elements/processes (Poka-Yoke). Lean Manufacturing was developed by Toyota executive Taiichi Ohno during Japan's post-World War II reconstruction period. The term was coined in 1988 by John Krafcik, but more clearly defined and popularized by James P. Womack and…

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How finance professionals play a key role on digital transformation in manufacturing

A worldwide survey by KPMG carried out in partnership with Forbes, entitled"Digital Transformation", pointed out that 79% of 261 CFOs had already started the digital transformation procedure in the companies they lead. The poll also showed that this movement has opened the way for the introduction of more advanced emerging technology such as large data, computer vision, and machine learning. These capacities can provide information and help companies respond more efficiently to business fluctuations. The intelligent automation provides professionals with the essential information-gathering tools for decision making and enables them to concentrate more on approach. "What we've seen, lately, is that this procedure has also been intensified in the finance function in the other organizations due to the urgent need for automation which has arisen in the face of the challenges imposed by the social distancing determined as a health measure to fight Covid-19", points KPMG. In our daily dealings with factories in a variety of areas of the planet, we've seen many fund managers who are more open to electronic transformation. The covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this process, sometimes in a tumultuous manner. But we believe it is a road with no turning back. Contracts are…

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Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmark Report

PackIOT decided to create a Benchmark Report to understand how digital mature are the packaging manufacturers around the globe. The goal of this benchmark report is to help the packaging industries to have a better understanding of itself during the journey through Digital Transformation.If the Digital Transformation could be defined as the attempt of companies and businesses to use technology and tools to innovate certain processes and products within the enterprise environment, the Digital Maturity would be the stage that the company is during this transformation.A digital mature organization is more prepared to respond and take advantage of technological innovations.  And that is why you should get a full understanding of what is your stage of Digital Maturity and where you are among the whole packaging industries.To build a complete report, we are approaching themes like:the importance of a transparent, easy and accessible information flow inside the factory;how involving people with different specializations in specific projects can bring success to your company;real-time data collection to see the trends, get insights and identify what is harming the manufacturing proccess;using the fast information flow to act upon unexpected problems in a short period of time;and to have a complete overview of your shop…

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When Is The Best Time To Integrate an ERP With Your Production Analytics Software?

By Fernando Pacheco, COO at PackIOT We have constantly been talking about how digital transformation in the industry should start with baby steps or pilot projects (or MVP, if you are already familiar with this concept). Manufacturing plants around the world have been looking for production optimization and Industry 4.0 solutions, and there is always one question on top of the decision tables: when is the best time to integrate an ERP with your production analytics software? We will explore this topic throughout this article but one thing is already clear: ideally, you should not integrate any new software with ERP from the start. Example: Are you implementing a MES or an IoT system? The first step is to make sure the roll-out will be a success. After, you can focus on the other integrations. 1_Each thing is a unique thing: ERP Enterprise Resource Planning is an information system that links all the data and processes of an organization into a single system. The interconnection can be seen from the functional perspective (finance, accounting, human resources, manufacturing, marketing, sales, purchasing, etc.) and from the systemic perspective (transaction processing system, management information systems, decision support systems, etc.). ERP is…

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Niched x Generic Solution: Which One Fits Best Your Factory’s Digital Transformation Journey?

By Fernando Pacheco, COO at PackIOT Find the right solution that really fits your digital transformation maturity/moment is not an easy task. But being honest, it neither does have to be a nightmare. First of all, we’ve been saying this for so long: industry 4.0. innovation and digital transformation are not only about technology but also highly committed and related to the culture of a company. After overcoming this stage of the cultural challenge, you will be able to pick the right suppliers to help you solve your factory's pain points. But should you choose a niched solution or a generically one?  (no matter the service you are looking for). This is a simple question to answer. Always choose the company/technology that has experience in your sector. Most of the time, niched solutions are adapted to address your needs because they were created to solve those specific problems exactly, already familiar to you and your factory. #1 How to find out if a company is able to help your packaging factory? Check out their cases: does the company have experience in your sector? Do you know their clients? How are they positioning themselves in the market? Ask…

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Deploying Industrial Analytics from Scratch (by Kudzai Manditereza)

Industrial Analytics has the potential to transform how organizations identify and eliminate operational problems that often arise in manufacturing plant-floors. Problems such as lack of visibility, unplanned downtime, low quality, and management of changeovers. Moreover, industrial analytics can help detect opportunities and/or issues that may have gone unnoticed. Examples include the detection of anomalous conditions in equipment and process data.  If operating your factory with the highest possible efficiency is what you yearn for, then there couldn't have been a better time than now for you to start on the path of understanding how Industrial Analytics work, and how they can help you transform the way you run operations.  In a nutshell, Industrial Analytics is a solution that helps you identify wastage in your factory. Wastage in the form of production defects, over-production, unplanned downtime, non-utilization of equipment, extra processing, inventory, transportation, and so forth. And once you've identified wastage, an analytics solution gives you the power to take action in order to reduce or eliminate that wastage. This article is meant to give you a guide on how you can go about deploying an analytics solution for your manufacturing plant. Let's first take a look at how…

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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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Women In Manufacturing: Changing The Industry’s Mindset

The jobs in manufacturing are mainly held by men: according to a study by Pew Research Center, in the US women make 40% of the labour force and only 29% work in an industrial field. There are thousands of job places that cannot be filled and it's difficult for manufacturers to hire people for those spots. Women could play an important role in that. This gap needs to be filled, and could actually be filled by females. So how can we convince women to opt for a job position in manufacturing? There is a big number of qualified women in the workforce, so we have to understand careers in the industrial sector, are not that appealing for them. According to a study by Deloitte, women who work in manufacturing feel underrepresented. It is certain that if manufacturers want to have more women working for them, they will certainly need to change their strategy related to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women’s jobs in manufacturing. Nowadays, 6 out of 10 positions are not filled due to a manufacturing skill gap.       WHAT DOES NEED TO CHANGE? 1_DIVERSITY Diversity and profitability are directly correlated. Having teams with a…

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