How Industrial Cloud Computing can help Component Manufacturers implement Industrie 4.0
29 Sep, 2019
The majority of industries rely on the availability of spare parts and components to avoid production and process-related downtimes. The manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and discrete manufacturing industries are examples, which is why component manufacturing is an integral part of every manufacturing ecosystem. As with most industries, component manufacturers also struggle with diverse challenges such as downtime, supply chain management, equipment maintenance, and meeting customer demand. This is where integrating Industrie 4.0 business models and understanding the available industrial cloud options that drive implementation comes into play.
The challenges component manufacturers face is usually defined by the complexity of the materials used, the design, and machines employed in producing components. These challenges are further exacerbated when custom components must be built for unique or custom systems. In this situation, meeting real-time demands from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) requires an innovative approach to managing and production in component manufacturing shop floors. Understanding your industrial cloud options for the implementation of Industrie 4.0 business models can assist with devising innovative solutions to component manufacturing problems.
The article will discuss:
The challenges component manufacturers face with production.
How Industrie 4.0 business models can help eliminate manufacturing challenges.
Implementing innovative Industrie 4.0 business models via the available Industrial cloud options.
Analyzing component manufacturing challenges and available industrial cloud options
Developing components to meet demand within a timeframe is one of the more difficult challenges component manufacturers face. This is because a lot goes into designing and producing functional components. The components must be designed, go through a finite element analysis (FEA), and other stress-related tests, before a working prototype can be developed. This cycle is one that reoccurs constantly in component manufacturing. In order to meet specific deadlines, the production cycle must be properly managed. Here, diverse industrial cloud options can be used to streamline the design and simulation phase while collected data can be used to manage the entire production cycle.
This model is the implementation of a data-driven plant performance optimization Industrie 4.0 business model. When properly implemented, the data produced by the cloud simulation tool and the data collected from production equipment, coupled with other production processes can be analyzed to enhance performance. Thus, tool paths can be optimized to follow shorter routes and cutting speed increased to minimize machining times. This will lead to just-in-time manufacturing and the elimination of waste and downtime in component manufacturing facilities.
OEMs who are invested in component manufacturing for entire assemblies can also take advantage of Industrie 4.0 to meet various challenges. One of these challenges contract manufacturers who develop components face is meeting the demand for spare parts for immediate maintenance work. This is because spare part demand fluctuates in real-time according to machinery use, and increased request can sometimes overwhelm manufacturers. Third-party suppliers also face this challenge as the fluctuating demand of components can disrupt production. For example, in the automotive industry, the increasing demand for connectivity and autonomous driving features is changing the landscape of electronic component manufacturing.
To adequately meet these challenges, component manufacturers must evolve and embrace Industrie 4.0 business model. For OEMs involved in component manufacturing, one of these business models is integratingpredictive maintenance features in the equipment and machines they produce. When used, these machines will produce the necessary data needed to predict when a component should, or needs to be replaced, to avoid damage and unplanned downtime. Defective machines can also be programmed to automatically place orders for these ailing components. This business model helps both the machine user and OEMs prepare in advance. For OEMs, data on the number of impending component damages provides information on the number of components to manufacture while the facility can get their order delivered in record time.
Third-party suppliers can meet the increased demand for more innovative components by integrating the data-driven inventory optimization business model native to Industrie 4.0. Here, relevant data from assembly partners and past-production cycles can be used to determine the inventory needed to drive production volume. The data from ERPs, and customer reviews, as well as, having an understanding of future trends can help suppliers plan better to meet increases in demand. With this knowledge, third-party suppliers can proceed to stock optimized inventories that ensure demand is met without falling into the wastage trap. Data-driven inventory optimization can also help third-party supplier make business pivots from producing traditional components to a newer trend, without committing too many resources to a new business model.
Understanding the role of the industrial cloud
The successful implementation of the Industrie 4.0 business models highlighted in this article can only be executed through industrial cloud solutions. This is why understanding its role and the available industrial cloud options is also important. Industrial cloud solutions are the tools needed for storing collected data, analyzing data, driving collaboration, and communicating information between machines and humans.
In terms of predictive maintenance, the data produced from the machine must be collected and transferred to a central system. This system –which is most likely an industrial cloud solution – will be responsible for generating an automatic ticket for maintenance or a new component. These solutions can also be used by OEMs to collate all the relevant data from the machines they produce concerning certain components. This means Industrial Cloud solutions also drive demand and supply chains, as well as, automated production cycles.
When analyzing industrial cloud options, it is important to check a solution’s features and its ability to be integrated into your manufacturing environment. Some important considerations to have in mind are:
The industrial cloud’s ability to collect data from all components in the facility.
The industrial cloud’s ability to read and recognize all variables.
The industrial cloud’s scalability index.
Ease of use.
To adequately innovate and meet today’s challenges, component manufacturers must consider integrating Industrie 4.0 business models in important manufacturing processes. The implementation of Industrie 4.0 requires the use of industrial cloud solutions to steer the journey to a more responsive and automated factory. Only with the successful use of industrial cloud can the benefits of Industrie 4.0 such as a leaner manufacturing process, downtime elimination, and an optimized shop floor be attained.