Automotive Design and Production

APR 2018

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www.ADandP.media AD&P ∕ APRIL 2018 SMART FACTORY GETTING STARTED The frugal job-shop owner may well read the above description of their manufacturing-technology vendors eager to help them spend money on new IIoT-ready systems and instinctively hide his wallet. Does access to smart-factory benefits necessarily depend on investments in otherwise unneeded equipment such as new machining centers or tooling systems? The answer, according to Tom Kelly, the executive director and CEO of technology consultancy Automation Alley ( auto- mationalley.com ), is no. He advises small- to-medium-sized manufacturers to not sit still, but also not to lay out a lot of money too quickly. "Don't try to eat the whole cow," he said. "First, run some experiments, figure out what it is that's valuable to you and your customers in very 'digestible' investments." Instead of investing in, say, a brand-new, IIoT sensor and soft- ware-equipped machining center, he suggests first "getting sensors installed onto your old machine that can kick data to your mobile phone on weekends and on the second shift. Learn what of this data is useful to you. If it is useless, then learn what kind of sensors will you need to get the useful data," he said. "We don't want to suggest that the answer is necessarily 'go buy the big machine.' The person that does that could go bankrupt while waiting for Industry 4.0 to fully arrive." At an Automation Alley-hosted smart-manufacturing conference held in Detroit last November, a number of speakers agreed it makes sense to start small. Dennis Hodges, chief informa- tion officer at automotive supplier Inteva Products ( intevaproducts.com ), suggested starting with a question: "The first step is to ask yourself, what is it that keeps you up at night? Which machine or process keeps you up at night with worry or work? That's the place to start." Michael King, president of the Data Analytics & IoT division of LHP Engineering Solutions ( lhpes.com ), suggested something like a genba walk approach to getting started: "One of the important things to do before anything else is to actually walk the shop and talk to your operators," he says, "because they're already monitoring the machines today. "Ask your operators, 'How do you know, before it actually goes, when that machine is starting to go? Or before you see the data?' Some of the experienced operators will say 'I can hear the spindle going a month before it fails.' How do we capture that? You start by gathering that operator knowledge. And then you ask, how do I make that machine information visible? That would be step one." Powered by Tiger·tec ® Silver M4000 is the universal system for all users who want to have as many options as possible when milling. The M4000 range can master all machining tasks with our most efficient indexable insert powered by Tiger·tec ® Silver. Whether it is a shoulder milling cutter, high-feed cutter, chamfer milling cutter, or T-slot milling cutter, the square system indexable inserts can be used across the entire M4000 range. Save time and money, and invest in the future. As the Walter Green seal shows: The M4000 is fully CO 2 compensated – from raw material to manufacturing to storage. M4000 Efficiency across all generations. walter-tools.com/us 39

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