Production evolution towards Industry 4.0

Along with the progress of the times and technology rapidly developing, the enterprise’s business model and production method are improving to adapt the fast-changing environment. Changing from traditional Mass production to few but customized and diversification manufacturing. How enterprise respond to these series of irregular challenges in order to meet up customers’ orders demand? The factors that will affect the production are nothing more than diverse and urgent order intake, material demand, actual stock, supplier’s on-time submission rate.

When sales received order, production planner will calculate whether if the stocks are sufficient enough to arrange production plan to meet up the orders requirement and set up a purchasing plan if insufficient material. Prior to Industry 2.0, the production site would at least have one of these whiteboards similar as below that was used to record and arrange weekly schedules and daily progress.

Whenever planner set up a production and purchase plan, the following has to take into consideration as they may affect the planning schedule.

  • Production Progress: Including current and future production order
  • Order Status: Received Order, forecast, Urgent Order
  • Disarray and paper work order: Paperwork is not easy to track and may cause unnecessary losses, such as extra-production
  • Inventory accuracy: Incorrect inventory data may result in insufficient raw materials and causes under production or over production
  • Machine and Mould Status: Lacking of Machine or mould may cause delay in production

Until the Industrial 3.0, the beginning of the electronic information age, from the planning of work orders and materials purchasing to the weekly, daily production line schedules also already have a variety of system support. All of the on-site information and machine parameter setting data are fed back to the system, and the system could present that information needed for the site on a new generation of “E-dashboard”.

The application of the system for the production could be improved as follows:

  1. Transparency of Production Progress

— Users from related department such as planner, marketing, they could
check the progress through the system whenever they need.

  1. Optimization of Scheduling Strategy

— The system could calculate the required production lot size and material
purchasing quantity based on the stock status and also advice the
production schedule based on the machinery status.

  1. Real-time Monitoring & Controlling of Production

— Production manager could according to the real-time status of on-site /
machinery to decide the exception handling method.

  1. Analysis of Abnormal Reason

— Review through on-site feedback and data collection of machinery to
optimize the production velocity and output quality.

As shown, there are several different lights on the electronic board that record the work order and even each process. The new presentation method allows the on-site operators to see the contents of the day at a glance, while the management can monitor the progress in the office and even outside the company through the Internet.

If you want to make the factory production smooth, you need to collect big data first. For example, BOM, manufacturing process, standard production time, mould and machine matching data and etc. Once the company has a large amount of data, an appropriate system (ERP) can be purchased to help estimate production and raw materials. After the system is stable, the company can start adding extended function systems. For example, APS assists in production scheduling, Equipment is integrated with the SFT field process system (collecting actual data), BI intelligent reporting system compiles various management reports, and etc. Finally, through the war room, this will expose the company to challenges and a bright future.