Innovation: Not As Fancy And Complicated As It Sounds

Written by Pedro Kirk, Project Specialist at PackIOT   Most companies are seeking innovation and new ways to present their products and services. That is an undeniable fact. However, there are huge misconceptions around innovation, like what is it, how to achieve it and finally the biggest and the worst of all: “it doesn’t suit my company”. The definition of innovation might be confusing and abstract, probably if you ask 10 different people about it, you will hear 10 different answers. This article does not intend to define it, that is a subject for another post. The idea that matters and is important to keep in mind is: innovation is a continuous process, a way to rethink standards and allow changes to happen.    Innovative vs. Inventive To be innovative does not (always) mean to be inventive! Disruptive concepts and products are the highest level of this process, it does take a while to achieve it. Until then, there is still a lot of value in the journey. Car sharing services, like Uber, or Tesla’s electrical vehicles, among several other examples, have been changing our lives and are considered references to innovation. But does that mean they…

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How An Analytics System Can Help You Reshape The Culture Of Your Manufacturing Team

Written by Leonor Rocha | Customer Success at PackIOT   Every organization has its own definition of culture. Even though we live in a globalized world, there will always be specific characteristics connected to the local and national culture that will define an organization. Culture can be regarded as a collaborative journey of sensemaking, which can be described as a process that involves the cooperation of all parts that compose an organization, in order to raise awareness and understanding from different perspectives and interests of their individuals. The culture of an organization has to be something in constant development, always shaping itself to the circumstances lived, as well as to the changes and to the evolution that occurs. So, whenever you decide to implement anything in your company, you should first think about your cultural roots. "It says that a crucial purpose of culture is to help orient its members to “reality” in ways that provide a basis for alignment of purpose and shared action."   Creating the perfect data-driven team by reshaping the one you already have Data analytics is probably one of the buzzwords of this century. Everybody wants to be part of a data-driven…

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Why real-time data matters for the packaging industry

I don't even think we should start this article by telling you the benefits of real-time data. The best approach is to begin by showing you what happens when you don't have it. A good way to explain this is to imagine a scenario where you're driving your car: not having real-time data is the same as looking through the rearview mirror while driving, without paying attention to the road. Can you imagine pilots, air traffic controllers, and airport managers relying only on data collected 12 hours ago? Or two weeks ago? They need to make decisions on real-time. It seems an exaggerated example (and it is), but it's just to make a point and warn you that your plant might be losing a lot of money if you keep on using data collected on paper and excel spreadsheets (which have become obsolete). Manufacturing plants that do not have real-time data are always one step behind of the resolution of any problem. Or worse, they are always one step behind of finding out they have a problem. Real-time data in the packaging industry (manufacturing) The evolution of technology makes changes happen at an ever-increasing speed and in…

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How To Get A High Engagement Level From Operators On A Production Line
Photo by Remy Gieling on Unsplash

How To Get A High Engagement Level From Operators On A Production Line

*By Fernando Pacheco - COO at PackIOT First of all, I would like to make something clear: I don't wish this article to be another one of those "guru" posts that you read on the internet (10 things to do to keep your operator engaged).To write this text, I tried to compile the years of experience of our team of production specialists (at PackIOT), combined with my background as a manager and researcher. I really hope this can turn into something useful for you and your team. For whom this content is intended: line supervisors, shift coordinators, plant managers, industrial directors, business managers, operators, and future leaders. In a recent survey, TTI Global has released some choking data on engagement and satisfaction in the manufacturing sector. "According to these new insights - which canvassed employees across 11 industry sectors between December 2018 and 31st May 2019 - Manufacturing employees provided the lowest employee satisfaction score (7.4/10) overall".  Based on the data they have collected, they analyzed what Manufacturing employees expect, as well as what they value the most. The highest of these continues to be ‘Understanding what is required from you’ (39%), followed by ‘Support from your line manager’ (30%).…

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Intelligent Automation: The Future In Manufacturing

Written by Leonor Rocha | Customer Success at PackIOT Everything moves so fast that, if we needed to wait for someone to process high amounts of information that are generated every hour, it would take ages to come to a concrete conclusion. Intelligent automation and other technological processes were created with a purpose: simplify processes of data analysis. We live in a fast-paced world, with a natural tendency to become faster and faster as technology evolves. Even though many might still believe it came to replace us, one thing is for sure, technology was certainly designed to simplify our lives and change them for the better. In the industrial sector, it is often regarded as an invention conceived to take over the jobs of people who work in the field. I personally prefer to see it as an assistant tool conceived to work along with humans. It contributes to strengthening our intelligence and helps us to limit our exposure to intensive and monotonous activities that no one enjoys, but which are a necessity to forge ahead. Intelligent automation has as a core benefit, the capacity to improve the efficiency of certain processes, which are often unachievable by…

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15 Essential KPIs And Metrics For Packaging Manufacturers

Every day, plant managers and executives are constantly receiving tons of information about the production of their factories, making it difficult to analyze everything and decide which metrics are the ones that make more sense to be used in their business. Manufacturing metrics and KPIs help you, monitor, analyze, and consequently, optimize your production processes, contributing to an improvement of the quality and quantity of the produced goods. They provide valuable insights that will help you meet your goals. To know which ones are the most useful for your enterprise, take a look at the fifteen metrics we selected. This blog post is part of an Online Free Guide, with more details about all those KPIs. Download now for free.  01. Throughput This metric is the rate of how many units are produced on average, by a machine, cell or line over a certain period. 02. Manufacturing Cycle Time Also known as throughput time, this metric consists of the length of time from the start of the production to the delivery of the final product. 03. Machine Setup Time (Changeover) Time spent on setting up a machine or a production line, with the specifications of the new…

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5 reasons why your packaging manufacturing factory should not have manual data inputs

Manual data entry is one of the biggest headaches in companies from different sectors. Manually processed tasks are more susceptible to human errors, which interfere directly with the performance of results. That is because inaccurate information hinders leaders in decision-making and can lead to catastrophic actions. In addition to these first points mentioned above, other numerous problems arise when manufacturing companies still use the manual method to collect, input, or store data. That's why our team of experts has created this guide with five reasons why you should not have manual data entry in your plant.  1. Manual data entry can drive to human errors As you might imagine, problem number one is related to human error. A natural feature of human beings is that we are never fully focused. For many reasons, we can be distracted when performing a task, commiting errors that can only be identified later when they have already hindered the progress of activities. And there are several factors that interfere with the probability of "human error" occurring. Either due to the complexity of a job, extensive working hours, excessive pressure from managers, among other reasons that lead the employee to be tired…

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How to use Excel to run a production dashboard at your factory?

How do I craft a production dashboard in my plant using Microsoft Excel? Let's start from the very beginning. In another article, we told you about the pitfalls of managing your entire factory using excel. It happens that many companies want to start their digital transformation and need to start internally, with a pilot project, and then hire an appropriate tool. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! Our Chief Data Officer, Eduardo Weingartner, has shot a video on the subject. On it, you will see how to use your machine data to create a production analysis dashboard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKwnFykf_AE&feature=youtu.be To complement this, Eduardo mentions some tools that can be integrated into the dashboard in Excel. When to subscribe to a production analytics software? First of all, nice question! Excel has very sensitive limitations (like Human error/data reliability, Data availability/information flow, Dashboards, and views / Important data can be hidden) and at some point, you will no longer be able to get relevant insights. This will impair your decision making for operational efficiency and cost reduction. Three of the main times to look for a professional solution are when you need more…

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What is PackML and how can it help packaging companies and OEMs?

When I first heard about PackML, I understood it as a set of states and concepts to model how machines present themselves and behave, and thus, helping different machines from diverse OEMs to easily integrate and work together as a single line. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! But as I started to dive deeper into it, I can now say that PackML is much more than a definition for communication between machines and software. PackML Interface State Model - Source: OMAC What is PackML? So what is PackML then? PackML is short for Packaging Machine Language and it is an industry-standard for the control and monitoring of packaging machines as an area of OT - Operational Technology and industrial automation. From the 3 main categories that comprise the Manufacturing Automation Industry: Continuous, Batch, and Discrete control, PackML focuses on the last 2 and although it was primarily created for the packaging industry, its definition is valid for any discrete process.  It was created by OMAC  Organization for Machine Automation and Control in conjunction with the International Society of Automation (ISA). Both entities were working on separate definitions until it…

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Is it possible to hire a remote service from a software consulting company?

Hi, I hope you are doing well. Maybe you remember that another time we've talked about some traps to avoid when building your own production metrics system. As a helpful content blog (that's our main goal), we want to talk about other situations that you might face when trying to get more insights from your factory data: how to hire a software company? Or, more specifically, how to hire a remote software company? In 2017, an International Labor Organization study entitled "Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work" brought interesting data on remote work and how this model is changing the format for hiring companies, professionals and project teams. This study shows that in the US, 37 percent of all workers report that they "teleworked" in 2015, which rose slightly from 30 percent during the previous decade. This proportion is four times higher than 9% of workers who did so in 1995 (Gallup, 2014; Gallup, 2016). This guide wants to help you to be aware of different parts of the buying process, starting from the searching and finishing with the project deployment. What is a remote software company, in this context? We will consider…

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