“Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value.”

This now well-known quote by UK Mathematician and Architect, Clive Humby was heard a couple of times at the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Expo (ADM) that happened on June 4-6 in Toronto…and it couldn’t have embodied the underlying theme of the show more perfectly.

The three-day expo hosted some of the brightest and most innovative minds in manufacturing with over 5,500 attendees who flocked to the scene to learn about the latest and greatest in manufacturing tech. Shoplogix was honored to be a part of the roster of 450 exhibitors for the first time at this year’s show. Thanks to all those who dropped by booth #941 to speak with us about optimizing your manufacturing processes!

An immediate sense of excitement was felt when you entered the space with the show floor buzzing with chatter about manufacturing technology and all things automation, robotics, and production optimization. Walking through the aisles, sudden and quick movements of robotic arms or line machines made us do double-takes and reminded us of scenes right out of sci-fi movies. We had to make room on our iCloud accounts to store all the pictures we were taking.

Going back to Humby’s quote –  it was no surprise that there was an underlying theme in many of the speaking sessions about data and the importance of “refining” information to make smart decisions on plant processes. It may have been wrapped up in broader topics about smart manufacturing, i4.0, cobots or AI, however; it was ultimately data that the expert panels were speaking about and what the industry is doing, or rather not doing with it.

To most, the data born from i4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution is…well…a giant mess. And, i4.0, in general, is a buzzword that should buzz off. But the majority of industry experts think otherwise with evidence that manufacturers should care because their competitors certainly do. In fact, smart manufacturing which is a counterpart of i4.0 will be worth $548.14 billion by 2024 – that’s up from $159.05 billion in 2015 and is showing no signs of slowing down. However, the focus has now been elevated to the next level of smart manufacturing. We are no longer debating if i4.0 will happen, rather the focus is now on navigating the sea of endless and overwhelming data to determine which key metrics to focus on and how to monitor this information efficiently.

i4.0 on the State of Food and Beverage Smart Manufacturing

Before we get into the solutions suggested on how to stay afloat i4.0 data, another noteworthy topic was the food and beverage manufacturing industry.  This is one of the few recession-proof sectors that manufacturers are increasingly capitalizing on.

Industry experts shared that there has been a lot of connectivity and an endless stream of data propelling the sector into a new digital age but warned that manufacturers will need to prepare for the increasing move to automation, transition into smart factories and leverage key data to remain competitive.

Many at the show felt that the food manufacturing industry needs to move faster in adopting smart factory practices to keep up with other industries. This will certainly not be an overnight process as many in the industry still struggle with legacy systems and a culture that resists the advancements in tech.

However, the small percentage that has caught onto smart manufacturing is now starting to realize that it is not just about connecting to robots, cobots, and the latest machinery and AI…many are realizing that you need to go beyond just getting tasks done and invest in smart manufacturing software to enable machinery connectivity to analyze key metrics that you can monitor to ultimately correct production processes on the shop floor and optimize performance to truly get ahead of the competition.

This need for manufacturing software to create and analyze meaningful data also aligns with the key trends in today’s food and beverage industry such as the move towards omnichannel strategies and sustainability/zero waste. More on this below.

Benefits of Smart Manufacturing OEE Monitoring Software

Manufacturing software such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness systems (OEE) plays a major role in the smart factory ecosystem and are used to optimize production efficiency, minimize downtime, and improve the performance of a smart factory. Implementing the right software enables manufacturers to focus on the right information at the right time and show how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve production output. Insights gained provide real-time visibility into hidden production potential and accurate actionable data to:

  1. Reduce Operating costs
    • Understand job scheduling to see real-time schedule changes on resources, production, and on-time delivery
    • Predictive maintenance of machinery to make proactive decisions and reduce downtime
    • Visual boards to increase productivity on the shop floor and meet targets
  2. Increase Quality
    • Automatically monitor and control processes and procedures to produce quality products with less waste and rework
    • Implement quality checks at the right time
    • Alerts to notify any abnormalities in machinery
  3. Increase Manufacturing Profitability
    • Increase the utilization and OEE from existing machines to reduce costs
    • Decrease time to market with shorter and more efficient production cycles allowing manufactures to keep up with omnichannel demands
  4. Decrease Time to Market
    • Greater accuracy in production means less time is spent fixing errors and bottlenecks and faster production cycles
  5. Sustainability and zero waste
    • Create a paperless plant floor with e-records to eliminate manual errors associated with paper trails
    • Build an environment of innovation with real-time sharing and collaboration
    • Continued commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability to reduce waste

About Shoplogix

Shoplogix is re-defining the manufacturing industry by making the Smart Factory platform the cornerstone of digital production performance transformation. By empowering manufacturers to visualize, integrate, and act on production performance in real-time, Shoplogix helps to uncover hidden shop floor potential and drive rapid time to value. Contact us to learn how a connected smart factory platform can transform the way you see, analyze and interpret real-time data in your manufacturing business.

Did you attend ADM 2019? What did you think of the show? Leave a comment below to share your experience!