How Daifuku, a long-standing material handling equipment manufacturing giant, tracked technicians on-site for best engagement

How Daifuku, a long-standing material handling equipment manufacturing giant, tracked technicians on-site for best engagement

Daifuku is a a long-standing giant in business world with inception as early as 1937. It has witnessed a very long spell of solid, organic growth over the past eight decades and continues to dominate the global business arena. It is listed, at present, in the First section of Tokyo Stock Exchange which is a great pride and honour for any organization. The employee headcount has gone past 11,000. The firm was bestowed with METI Minister’s Award for Corporate Governance of the Year recently.
Daifuku is versatile in business offering Consulting, engineering, design, manufacture, installation, and after-sales services for logistics systems and material handling equipment. It has enormous experience in manufacturing and integration of automated systems. To list a few,
DAIFUKU
Industry Material-handling equipment company
Location Japan
Founded 1991
    • Conveying system
    • Transport system
    • Storage system
    • Sorting/Picking system
    • Control system
    • Material handling tools
    • Electronics/Car wash machines
Its material handling systems find applications in Food & Beverage industry, Pharmaceutical & Cosmetics industry, Paper & Printing industry, Metal & wood industry, Transport Industry etc. Its solutions are capable of meeting the manufacturing automation and labour saving needs in any organization. With automation of maintenance operations the renowned organization has scaled the next higher level in business. Here, it is remarkable to mention Mr. Hiroshi Geshiro, President and CEO of Daifuku has recently mentioned in an interview that the company has launched a three year business plan taking into account the ever increasing need for automation with a strong emphasis to accelerate digitization.

Problem Statement

Carrying out Preventive maintenance using conventional methods just created a mess with no effective mechanisms to trace service requests and these approaches did not fail to expose their inadequacies when the volume of maintenance work piled up. Managing spares was not easy as an organized approach was not in place to segregate spares, labeling them for unique identification, pull out immediately upon need for quick fixes etc. They lacked a proper solution for Attendance Management, Warranty management, and On site technicians management which resulted in a setback in progress of maintenance management.

Solutions Provided by InnoMaint

InnoMaint provided comprehensive maintenance solutions. It provided the ability to track the current location and the path of travel of a technician besides the information on total kilometer travelled along with an Estimated Time of Arrival. They were required to punch -in while entering a new premises and punch-out at the end of the day. This was especially useful as the technicians may work on different locations each day.
QR codes were associated with spares and assets for unique identification and instant retrieval of all data on the item, in a single simple mobile scan. The CMMS provided a provision for storing spare parts at customer location for faster dispatch.
Digitization of maintenance operations enabled recording of all data pertaining to maintenance on a centralized cloud server and quickly retrieve them on need. This enabled them to perform quick and easier audits, measure & improve the performance of technicians, drive quality & reliability throughout the organization etc. They were able to dispatch technicians after taking into account the current dynamic work load, skills of the technician & proximity to the facility.

Results

   Technician location tracking & travel history for quick task allocation
   Attendance Tracking for ensuring prompt visit of technician to the premises.
   Able to track effective working hours with 5 star ratings.
   Made the best use of warranty of assets and spares.
   Line supervisors can assign tasks for onsite technicians from anywhere.
✔   Improved customer and technician based inventory management

How a chain of retail stores standardized
& tracked maintenance

How PMV Maltings delivered consistent
and increased production

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How to Overcome the Biggest Maintenance Challenges in Manufacturing Industry in 2022

How to Overcome the Biggest Maintenance Challenges in Manufacturing Industry in 2022

How to Overcome the Biggest Maintenance Challenges in Manufacturing Industry in 2022

Maintenance work in the manufacturing industry is always a big challenge. Every business has a different set of needs, depending on the context of the manufacturing process. Resource shortages and increasing workloads are one thing, but the constant pressure is always there too.

There are many ways to overcome the biggest maintenance challenges in manufacturing. With technology evolving and several maintenance processes like predictive maintenance becoming much better over time, here are x ways to overcome maintenance challenges in 2022.

Challenge #1: Increasing Operational Efficiency

One of the biggest challenges of modern maintenance teams in manufacturing is increasing their operational efficiency and cutting on downtime. Inaccurate weather forecasts, delays in production, and even unexpected issues from human errors can be a big problem.

Maintenance management teams need to balance several factors, including predictive, corrective, preventive, and even replacement actions. This will allow the management to maximize asset productivity over mid to long-term periods at an optimized cost.

To resolve these issues, companies need to equip their maintenance managers with a deep knowledge of the equipment and facilities they care for. The knowledge should include asset specifications, OEM recommendations, manuals, and even guarantees. These should help create effective maintenance strategies over time.

Challenge #2: Lack of Standard Procedures

Maintenance procedures are a vital part of the manufacturing industry, and they are part of a routine. However, the issue with most plants is the lack of standards within this area. Sure, some standards help decrease plastic consumption in businesses, but there are rarely any maintenance standards, if at all.

Lack of standard procedures, together with variability in maintenance needs for each equipment, can make teams lose time. Standard operating procedures (SOP) need to codify all maintenance procedures and define everything, answering the “what, who, when, and hows” of the entire process.

Companies would need to use SOP to eliminate the vagueness of the entire maintenance process. Standards can also ensure that everything is replicable for other teams for quick and easy work, rather than figuring everything themselves.

Challenge #3: Operational Costs

Many maintenance managers look towards controlling the costs of their entire operation. Companies usually put a maximum of around 5 to 10% of their total budget towards maintenance. Depending on the size of the company, this can be a paltry sum that won’t afford the company the maintenance they need.

This results in poor maintenance for the company, with only enough to perform reactive maintenance to keep their assets online. Sure, there is manufacturing equipment that only needs reactive maintenance but heavy equipment would need preventive maintenance to work.

Keeping your maintenance budget under control is possible by streamlining your maintenance tasks. By simplifying the entire process and removing any unnecessary tasks, you can keep the costs down. Streamlining differs for each company, but you want a process that only takes fewer than half a dozen steps at most.

Challenge  #4: Cross-Functional Teamwork

It takes teamwork to effectively manage a team and help them run like clockwork every time. It’s hard to coordinate a group, especially those with embedded functional categories and their own culture within the manufacturing plant.

Business owners will likely see a problem combining teams with shared responsibilities in keeping the company’s assets in working order. It’s even likely that teams don’t communicate with each other beyond the cursory exchanges they have to do at work.

It’s important to foster teamwork and camaraderie across functional categories to improve maintenance procedures. As maintenance relies a lot on information exchange across different teams, the company must build rally points to reduce operational expenditures and institute new lines of communication.

Challenge #5: Lack of Training

Maintenance challenges stem from a team that is not ready to “answer the call.” If you have a small maintenance team, it can be hard to have a portion of the team do training while others take extra responsibilities that may even be beyond their skill level.

Regardless, companies would want to take on the slight delay in maintenance to help their teams gain extra training. Additional training can help deal with disruptive infrastructure issues and limit unforeseen circumstances within the team.

The Bottom Line

It’s almost impossible for companies to plan for all maintenance challenges. Then again, it’s crucial for companies to control areas they are having difficulties with and create preventive maintenance plans that will help prolong the life of their assets. This saves time and money that is critical in any manufacturing business.

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5 Key Benefits of Predictive Maintenance in the Manufacturing Industry

5 Key Benefits of Predictive Maintenance in the Manufacturing Industry

5 Key Benefits of Predictive Maintenance in the Manufacturing Industry

Every industry requires maintenance to retain optimum functionality. Conventionally, maintenance was divided into two categories, i.e. Preventative Maintenance and Corrective Maintenance. Preventative maintenance refers to all the standard cautionary measures taken to avert or avoid a disaster. Corrective maintenance is exercised after a problem has occurred with equipment or machinery. Predictive maintenance is a more recent corporate philosophy, which falls somewhere between preventative and corrective maintenance.

Predictive maintenance is a regimen that utilizes data analysis tools and condition-monitoring techniques to detect anomalies and defects in industrial operations before they lead to an adversity. The process can predict possible equipment failure, so you can get it under control prior to experiencing a complete shutdown. Below are the 5 key benefits of employing predictive maintenance in the manufacturing industry:

1. Reduced Equipment Failures and Repair Time

When equipment and machinery is continuously monitored in real time, the rate of unexpected glitches or breakdowns is reduced by at least 50%. The early detection of a mechanical problem or deterioration is vital to sidestep hulking fiascos. Since the issue is recognized before the equipment malfunctions, manufacturers can rescue their business from a dry spell. Repair times are automatically diminished, as the faulty parts of a machine are fixed before the situation escalates. It takes less time to restore equipment that is partially damaged, as compared to something that has fallen apart entirely.

2. Lower Maintenance Costs and Greater Asset Lifetime

Since all the manufacturing equipment is audited on a regular basis and extensive issues are deterred, the overall maintenance costs naturally go down. All the machinery and spare parts are tweaked prior to reaching the risk zone, which greatly increases their life. Faults and errors that are not immediately dealt with turn into a hazard, which is always expensive to get rid of. Industrial assets function to their highest capacity with predictive maintenance, which ultimately boosts the business value.

3. Enhanced Workplace Safety

The manufacturing industry relies on manpower as much as on automated solutions. Workers in contact with faulty equipment are prone to encounter severe accidents. When an employee incurs serious injuries due to a workplace accident, he/she is compensated through worker’s compensation insurance policy purchased by the employer. High frequency of equipment failures in an industry is a major threat to the staff’s health and safety; the employer has to pay in the form of high insurance costs, which translates to substantial business loss.

4. Increased Production

Predictive maintenance saves a business from unforeseen catastrophes that lead to prolonged shut down of operations. Therefore, manufacturers do not have to worry about not being able to retain the demand and supply chain. Since the plant can operate more consistently, there will be a noticeable increase in production. Subsequently, manufacturers can expand business and pursue new leads.

5. Improved ROI

Manufacturers who implement predictive maintenance have witnessed an improvement in ROI (return of investment) of up to 30%. The condition-monitoring techniques and data analysis tools have increased the overall efficiency and efficacy of operations; smaller input yields greater output. An increase in production paired with lower maintenance costs results in bigger profits for the business owners. Enhanced wellness of employees and minimal hiccups in operations further cut down capital costs.

Author Bio

John Adams is a paralegal who writes about widespread legal and social issues. He helps readers overcome challenges and solve many personal problems the smart way, rather than the hard way. He aims to reach out to individuals who are unaware of their legal rights, and make the world a better place.

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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Future Of Manufacturing Industry

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Future Of Manufacturing Industry

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Future Of Manufacturing Industry

Since the integration of Artificial Intelligence in the business world, the whole idea of the manufacturing industry has been revolutionized. Before getting into how it has made everything better in the business world, let us talk about what it exactly is.

What Is Artificial Intelligence, aka AI?

The integration of human intelligence into a machine is what the concept of Artificial intelligence is all about. This synthetic human-like intelligence is not replacing human effort but enhancing and optimizing every operation resulting in more effective outcomes.

The role of AI in the manufacturing industry

IoT has vigorously driven the manufacturing industry toward progress. It has optimized the operation, information from activities and support, checking and investigation, building, procedure safety, and related framework. AI and ML are the two most important concepts that have revolutionized the manufacturing industry by incorporating effective human intelligence in the efficiency of a machine.

Another paradigm of AI in the arena of IIOT is prescriptive maintenance. To augment the range of opportunities and accessible resource knowledge, to have proof-based adjustment and alternatives recommended with more prominent particularity, the prescriptive analysis opens doors to countless opportunities. When support examination and arranging time are decreased, activities are planned accurately so the results are more desirable and successful, and spontaneous personal time is more avoidable than ever. As a part of EAM solutions, it brings professionalism and reliability. AI/ML complex algorithms, information drifting and demonstrating, propelled design acknowledgment, error prognostics, and diagnostics, computerized twins, and Augmented Reality (AR) help to more readily identify and investigate asset wear, foresee the chance of disappointment, and recommend the planning and strategy to support, fix, or substitution.

Is AI Meant To Replace Humans?

There is a vast misconception about artificial intelligence that this technology will be replacing human effort shortly, which will lead to unemployment and extreme automation. The primary aim of including this very technology in everyday life is to open doors to various new socioeconomic opportunities. Mobile technology has greatly improved AI. There are some ethical and social challenges, but it has been a success overall. Since AI stepped in the world of ‘money-making,’ there has been a steep rise in the pace of advancement.

What Makes Artificial Intelligence So Unique?

For most people there, the hype of AI is unreasonable. That is because they are unaware of the possibilities that can be made conceivable with the help of AI. Presently, it has played a vital role in the development of the internet, which is (currently) the core of the technology. There has been a broad spectrum of potentials, each with many archetypes to explore; artificial intelligence is not only bringing them about but also making it easier and effective for humans to learn and understand them.

Currently, here are a few uses of artificial intelligence that have optimized the search engines, etc.:

  • Personalization
  • Email filtering
  • Speech recognition and text-to-speech
  • Fraud detection
  • Algorithmic innovation
  • Data availability
Benefits To The Manufacturing Industry
1. Firms And Organization

Manufacturing industries have a thin margin for capital investment and the profit; hence, there is a small margin for error as well. It becomes even more critical when the industry is a part of a low-wage country where the economic conditions are not entirely favorable. Human resources are expensive, especially when it is about job specialization; by incorporating AI technology, the lesser human resource would be required, which saves resources and hence keeps the profits high.

Maintenance has obvious significance, either it’s a machine or a human for that matter. Before the integration of this innovative technology, support was significant concern regarding the expense. Now, it has gone lower on the priority list as Artificial intelligence has incorporated automation in it. Smart algorithms are used for interval-based repetitive tasks.

With predictive tasks and algorithms for sequenced operations, low-line management has been made easier. Even the most minor defects are easily detected and rectified with the speed and smartness of a robot and the astuteness of a man. Artificial intelligence sure is an incredible technology that has helped manufacturers save a lot of money and make better investments, instead.

2. Quality Assurance

Do you remember how before the digitalization of the manufacturing industry, everything used to be so analog? Not that it was not good enough, but the work was slower, the quality was quite a bit more inferior, and the whole procedure was very time-consuming. It became even hastier when the deadlines were right around the corner.

Since the integration of artificial intelligence, the quality of production has not been the same. The output is generated efficiently, and the value remains top-notch, either it is a single item or a bulk production.

With the fierce competition in the market, customers’ expectations are going even higher, which is giving manufacturers a tough time for quality assurance and has made it tougher for them to meet customer expectations.

Quality 4.0 is part of artificial intelligence which uses complex algorithms to manage and organize the production team by notifying them regularly of quality issues that might occur at any stage which might include:

  • Aberrations from recipes
  • Understated irregularities in machine behavior
  • Modification in raw materials
  • Malfunctioning of machinery and more

AI provides sturdy support and results in reliable outcomes in the manufacturing industry, which might not have been the same with natural human resources. The optimization of the procedures has taken the industries’ performance up a notch, which is contributing to a better economic state. The enterprises can meet the customer’s requirements and market standards within deadlines, which has made the commerce operative and competent, all in all.

Here a few examples of how significant high-end organizations have incorporated this incredible technology and gained pace on the success bandwagon.

  • BMW uses AI for screening procedures in the controlling function for detecting and eliminating minor errors in the machine components.
  • Hulls of machines require cleaning everyone and again, which costs a fortune as the devices are vast, and human resources are needed accordingly. Caterpillar’s marine has been saving up to $400,000 annually by using artificial intelligence to improve efficiency.
3. Adaptability And Compliance

Artificial intelligence comprises algorithms and other sequenced ways to make operations better. This is the reason it makes the manufacturing industry better able to predict and adapt accordingly. Manufacturing supply chains have become augmented since AI stepped in, which has now enabled them to become highly predictive and adaptive towards the altering market trends.

Trends fluctuate; they go back and come around, which is perfect as it makes it easy for AI and its algorithms to recognize a pattern and help the manufacturing industry to come up with a short-term as well as long-term plan accordingly. The adoption has been made more precise but, with the help of Artificial Intelligence, which always helps in standing out in the market.

The lively mix of AI and machines, along with digital and analytics consultants, has made the industry comply with the changing standards of the production and market demand. The best part of AI is that it does not just automate the entire process. Instead, it makes the procedure more feasible by incorporating custom configuration.

4. Safety And Security

Quite evidently, robotic arms in the assembly line are a far safer option. However, machines are not always that smart, and with a minor programming error, come hazardous consequences.

Artificial intelligence solves this problem by incorporating the rule-based nature where autonomy remains in the hands of humans, and AI-based tasks are carried out in sequences. As for the unpredictable behavior of man, learning machines provide an excellent solution for that. Artificially intelligent system:

  • Unique, eloquent patterns are detected by scrutinizing large volumes of data.
  • Learn and improve tasks. They can be the same ones or new (predictable or unpredictable).
  • Ensures safety by detecting dangerous situations and preventing damage to humans.
  • Has sensors and feedback features that benefit in various ways.

Artificial intelligence does not only offer security in terms of physicality and tangibility but also prevents problems like Copyright Content (CC), plagiarism, etc. which can result in substantial fines and lawsuits. By pairing human and mechanical intelligence, the overall aptitude of a firm’s performance goes a lot higher; hence it is easier to make a reputable position in the market.

5. High-End Procreative Production

Artificial intelligence is reforming how products are designed now. The most primary concern is the attention to detail which ensures the most realistic and lifelike experience for the customers. As AI guarantees zero errors, the detailing is done precisely and accurately, so the end product is no less than perfect.

Different parameters are set to keep the procedure monotonous and error-free. Almost every operation becomes far more convenient because of the algorithmic nature of AI; it explores every option before homing on to a single solution. This includes:

  • Type(s) of material
  • Limitations of the budget
  • Production methods available
  • Time restriction and deadlines

The benefits of AI do not end here. Once an appropriate solution for a problem is found, AI helps in cross-checking using contraption learning and additional insight, which helps in improving the result even more. This process can be repeated countless times to optimize the results even more.

Objectivity

Objectivity is one of the significant advantages of incorporating AI into manufacturing industries. There are no default standards set by a human which one regards as ‘rational’; there are no starting points or ‘possibly logical ends’ The entire procedure is highly logical and sequenced with zero assumptions whatsoever. Each stage undergoes consistent testing, which eliminates all kinds of human errors, creating a fine free of mistakes product for you.

Final Thought

The manufacturing industry has gained momentum in terms of productions, meeting client expectations, and efficiency since the integration of artificial intelligence. Only after incorporating it in their arena, they realized that automation provided by AI is not resulting in fewer jobs; instead, highly speciated and precise tasks are carried out by each person in his field. It is not displacing humans in their area but adding more to their expertise manufacturing industries are progressing vigorously, all thanks to Artificial intelligence.

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