Smart Thinking Realizes Industry 4.0

Thanks to its progressive positioning, JPB System was one of the first companies in France to set up and manage an Industry 4.0 production process. More recently, the company has diversified its technological proposition to offer a disruptive solution that tracks the performance of manufacturing equipment to improve production efficiency at all levels.

Q) What are some of the most significant changes that you have seen in the aerospace manufacturing industry in recent times?

The industry has undergone massive changes in recent years. Today’s market is more global than ever, and aerospace manufacturers have come under unprecedented pressure, with the demand for aircraft units surging and margins falling for investing in new technologies due to strong international competition. In addition to this, a pervasive challenge for manufacturers is to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of their production processes. This directly affects both the flexibility and the price brackets of the supply chain, as manufacturers have access to suppliers from all over the world.

Q) It sounds like you are speaking from experience – what are some of the challenges you are currently facing at JPB System?

From our point of view and since its creation more than a quarter of a century ago, our company has evolved a lot, especially with regard to the expectations of our customers. Not only do they focus on product quality, but they also demand fast delivery times and supply chain flexibility. Naturally, they are looking for innovative and revolutionary solutions that can be developed and certified quickly to help them operate globally.

Manufacturing Execution System Enables JPB System to Connect, Track and Measure the Efficiency of its Manufacturing Process

As any business guru will probably attest, businesses rarely enjoy long-term profitable growth without first undertaking strategic planning for the future. This is certainly the case with our own company and that is why a few years ago we made the decision to completely revolutionize our production operations and to embark on the path of the industry of the future and the Industry 4.0.

Q) Can you tell us more about what this means for your production operations?

Like any business, especially a French business competing on the world stage, we want to be as efficient as possible. In order to ensure this, we have realized that we need to be able to identify areas of ineffectiveness and apply appropriate corrective actions if necessary.

This led us to make the decision to create a more automated and connected manufacturing plant. Human resources will always be at the heart of our production, but we have worked hard to set up an intelligently connected facility, integrating automated production processes and robots, enabling real-time data collection, as well as monitoring at distance from different smart devices.

Right now, I don’t think there are a lot of companies doing this. That is, installing the latest technology to achieve fully automated in-line production, where machines can measure the part, make their own corrections or even change tools – all while ensuring that the product meets requirements. quality required.

Q) Sounds awesome – how exactly does it work?

Essentially, it revolves around an innovative Manufacturing Execution System (MES), which allows us to connect, track and measure the efficiency of all elements of the manufacturing process. By using advanced IoT that relies on AI and machine learning, we are able to monitor the performance of our software, machines and related applications.

As part of this, we have created a wireless sensor device that attaches to manufacturing machines to detect vibrations. This provides immediate status on machine performance and provides vital information from the production floor. Unlike similar solutions on the market, ours is non-invasive as it does not require connecting physical cables or cabling to machines in order to obtain production data. This intrusion is a necessity with alternative solutions which also require a specialized engineer to stop the machines for several hours in order to acquire the necessary data. Needless to say, this has an immediate impact on manufacturing uptime and threatens throughput, which can quickly increase costs.

Q) To what extent does this specifically contribute to the efficiency of your manufacturing operations?

The ability to connect, monitor and evaluate the performance of the entire plant provides an invaluable advantage when it comes to knowing how your operations are actually running. Indeed, from our own point of view, being able to see this full picture has given us a real indication of what is going on and has allowed us to improve the analysis of data like OEE, to automate the counts. cycles and better determine the root causes of any loss of machine performance.

Q) And instead of keeping this entirely to yourself, have you diversified your portfolio of solutions to develop the same technology for your customers?

That’s right – the same technology I described was unveiled at a trade show two years ago and is currently being developed at several early adoption sites. Known as KEYPROD, customer trials are going very well and we hope to be on track for a full commercial launch by the end of the year.

Q) Sounds good – we can’t wait to hear more about it in due course. What role do such systems play in promoting the Industry 4.0 concept?

Jocelyn Vecchio, Director of Engineering and Innovation at JPB System

Personally, I believe that for any manufacturing company looking to empower itself and properly embrace both smart manufacturing and the broader Industry 4.0 revolution, such systems will be a must. In fact, highlighting this point, a recent IoT & Analytics report from Aberdeen Group in 2017 showed that manufacturing plants can witness a drop of up to 15% in unplanned downtime when equipment data is captured. and analyzed.

To some extent, this happens naturally. Again, from our perspective, the current generation of younger engineers and potential employees that we see are already accustomed to these technologies like robotics, AI, and 3D printing that underpin the concept. of Industry 4.0. For them, this is already becoming the norm, or to put it another way, the future is already here.

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