Smart Manufacturing (Part 1): Empowering The Connected Worker

John Clemons consults for Rockwell Automation and Maverick Applied sciences, a number one platform-independent automation options supplier.

As manufacturing firms digitally rework their operations, they need to leverage good instruments like cloud-based applied sciences and the commercial web of issues (IIoT). They need to additionally rework shop-floor staff from semi-skilled manufacturing labor into extremely expert linked information staff.

This primary article on this two-part sequence discusses the necessity for linked staff and the way leveraging real-time info empowers staff to be simpler. Half two will give attention to the good instruments shop-floor staff require to be linked to get the best info to the best individual on the proper time.

Why The Linked Employee?

In as we speak’s manufacturing surroundings, folks have very excessive digital expectations. Nobody desires to work for a corporation that’s in the dead of night ages relating to expertise. That is very true for the following technology of staff. For manufacturing firms, it’s so much simpler to draw and retain new staff in the event that they leverage the best expertise, which in flip helps them discover and construct a way more efficient and linked workforce.

Manufacturing firms want linked staff to enhance work effectiveness and communications. Improved communications throughout groups and websites means significantly better workforce engagement with fewer bored or annoyed staff. It additionally means staff can successfully carry out their jobs with increased effectivity and improved productiveness.

Transferring information from present and retiring workers and coaching and instructing folks new expertise is simpler when good instruments and applied sciences are concerned. Linked staff can carry out their every day work actions on the store ground utilizing wearable and cell expertise, mixed with store ground automation and management programs, manufacturing execution programs (MES), enterprise programs and a full vary of analytics and asset-tracking options.

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Sensible manufacturing expertise makes it potential to automate repetitive, advanced and high-risk duties. When staff are linked to good manufacturing expertise, they’ve entry to real-time info required to make knowledgeable, data-driven selections, which is vital for producers to function effectively and keep aggressive.

Actual-Time Course of Info

One of many first issues that linked staff want is real-time course of details about what they’re imagined to make. This consists of info on the orders and the precise operations inside the orders and consists of the manufacturing invoice of supplies and the manufacturing recipe. This info must be out there to linked staff in actual time and arranged based mostly on the general manufacturing schedule.

The subsequent set of course of info linked staff want is figure directions, drawings and different paperwork. Typical manufacturing processes require a very good little bit of detailed info on the merchandise or sub-products being made. This info is often within the type of work directions accompanied by engineering drawings and numerous paperwork equivalent to process manuals, inspection manuals, working manuals and the like. All this info is tied to the order and operations and linked with the manufacturing invoice of fabric and manufacturing recipe.

Linked staff additionally want info on the standard and inspection duties that have to be carried out. This typically takes the type of inspection drawings, which present the precise inspections to be carried out and the inspection file that the linked staff use to file the inspection outcomes. This info additionally consists of information on the kind of inspection, the goal inspection outcomes and the higher and decrease inspection specification limits. All this info must be out there in actual time to the linked staff.

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When the manufacturing course of is working, linked staff want entry to real-time details about the method. Info that lets them know what’s happening proper now, in actual time, with the manufacturing operation, course of, machine or piece of kit. It’s tools information like standing, faults and alarms, and it’s course of info like throughput, pace, productiveness and rejects. Linked staff want this info in actual time in order that they know what’s happening straight away. This info lets them detect issues earlier than they happen and turn into actual issues.

Location-Primarily based Info

Linked staff want info that’s location-based — which means info that’s tailor-made not solely to particular folks and conditions in actual time when it’s wanted but in addition to particular places the place the linked staff are working. It does the linked staff no good to offer them with real-time details about a producing course of happening in a distinct space of the plant once they’re elsewhere engaged on a distinct manufacturing course of.

Work directions are a very good instance of this. Linked staff want work directions in actual time for the placement the place they’re working proper now. Whether or not it’s drawings or manuals or process guides or no matter, they want work directions for what’s proper in entrance of them. Not for one thing that’s in one other a part of the plant.

Likewise, relating to real-time efficiency info, linked staff want information on what’s proper in entrance of them. That information may be efficiency metrics like productiveness, throughput, effectivity, downtime and total tools effectiveness (OEE). It may be the standard outcomes, rejects and rework. Both means, the linked employee wants that info proper now they usually want it for what’s proper in entrance of them.

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One other class of information that have to be location-based is upkeep info. In typical manufacturing vegetation, there are often a number of particular person machines of the identical sort, all as a part of a piece cell or a part of particular person manufacturing strains. Though the machines are the identical sort, they don’t essentially endure the identical upkeep on the identical time. Which means when a linked employee must know the upkeep standing and historical past of a machine, it must be for the machine proper in entrance of them. The data have to be location-based.


Linked staff on the store ground drive increased effectivity and productiveness. With entry to real-time course of and location-based info, the linked employee could make knowledgeable, data-driven selections in order that manufacturing operations run extra effectively and successfully.

With out linked staff, and the instruments and applied sciences that assist them, all of which drive efficiencies of their operations, manufacturing firms are going to wrestle to achieve success and stay aggressive.

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Jean Nicholas

Jean is a Tech enthusiast, He loves to explore the web world most of the time. Jean is one of the important hand behind the success of