Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Machine Learning: What, Why, Where, How and When

Analytics Working Group, MESA Point of View (PoV)

What does machine learning mean to you?  A popular notion today is that in the very near future we will be working side-by-side with autonomous, intelligent robots as collaborative colleagues.  Or perhaps when you think of intelligent machines, you dream up lawless replicants being chased around the galaxy by Harrison Ford.   If these are the things you conjure up when you hear the term machine intelligence, you are not alone.   There is confusion in industry as to what machine intelligence and machine learning are and how they will affect and benefit manufacturing industries.

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD: PART VI: FAQ ABOUT PRIVATE, PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY CLOUDS

Goran Novkovic, MESA Member, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Emerging Medical-Device Manufacturers Leverage MES

Valérie Goulévitch – Head of Marketing and Communication at Siemens PLM Software, Gold Keystone Member of MESA International
There’s a common belief that manufacturers need to have attained a certain scale before considering investing in technology like MES, but an increasing trend among emerging medical-device companies is challenging this.

Emerging companies face unique challenges. Those who are at or near FDA approval are at the point of commercialization, and this means significant change is at hand. In the past, they had to address very small volume, but as products move toward regulatory approval, growth—and growth in volume—comes rapidly and significantly. Volumes can grow by a factor of 5x or 10x in a matter of months.

For emerging medical-device manufacturers, this is the perfect storm; one that means they have to invest in infrastructure. Increasingly they are turning to MES to help manage growth and change, which if not managed properly can result in product-quality issues—a death knell for any nascent concern.
Three principal benefits are driving emerging medical-device manufacturers to invest in MES:
1. The high-value role of information 
2. Error proofing 
3. Achieving paperless manufacturing

For these emerging concerns, the high-value role of MES is principally seen in basic work-in-process tracking and genealogy because, during this stage of development, they need to stabilize their process, make it repeatable, and achieve good yields. They need information to do this (e.g., for key tasks like root-cause analysis), and MES delivers it. 

Another key area is error proofing. As companies go from 10 employees to 50 or 100, managing and providing oversight becomes a much more daunting task. The task is complicated further by the fact that these are new employees. By automating process compliance, MES helps ensure consistent quality with “right first time” execution. Beyond the obvious demands of regulatory compliance and competing with much larger companies—and trying to establish their own brand in the midst of a sea of established brands—quality is not an option for emerging companies. They need it to be a positive differentiator.

Finally, MES helps eliminate the inefficiencies of paper-based systems that emerging medical-device concerns typically have relied on. In paperless manufacturing, electronic records replace paper-based, manual ones. There are no “paper travelers” around the facility or across facilities, and paperless systems are typically integrated into higher-level systems like ERP. Operators in paperless manufacturing facilities are presented with production tasks in properly ordered sequences (e.g., by priority, due date, or customer significance). Operators are given visual cues, such as key performance indicators, at their work cells to help enforce and speed proper action. Drawings, graphics, and standard operating procedures are viewed online, ensuring that workers are working from their most current version. Paperless systems not only prevent errors—they provide real-time alerts when issues arise.

Bottom line: Emerging medical-device manufacturers leverage MES in virtually the same way as their larger competitors leverage them. The challenges they face are the same as the “big boys;” they’re simply at a different point in the corporate evolutionary process. Increasingly, they see the value of incorporating MES at this earlier point, to speed their transition from emerging to small to mid-sized or large. After all, that is the goal, and MES is an undeniable—and increasingly recognized—asset as they move toward it.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ensuring Global Quality: 3 Areas to Watch

Valérie Goulévitch – Head of Marketing and Communication at Siemens PLM Software, Gold Keystone Member of MESA International
However goods are produced and consumed, quality is an unforgiving expectation. Customers expect quality regardless of where a product has been manufactured and who has been involved, so brand owners need to ensure that quality expectations are being met and monitored by everyone in their supply chain, as well as everyone in their supply chain’s supply chain. The magnitude of this task has kept many an executive up at night. Quality failures all too often become a lead story in the business and consumer press.

Monday, October 9, 2017

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD: PART V: WHICH CLOUD MODEL WORKS FOR YOUR NEEDS?

By Goran Novkovic, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Harnessing IoT to Nurture Responsiveness and Efficiency in Predictive Maintenance

By Ravishankar Kandallu, Data Scientist and Statistical Modeller, Tata Consultancy Services, MESA Gold Keystone Sponsor
With the advent of digital era, the world is currently witnessing a constant connectivity growth among people and equipment units due to rapid technology evolution.  A scenario unimaginable a few decades ago, where a large array of smart and intelligent home appliances and vehicles communicate and transmit data about their usage is slowly gaining prominence.  Internet of Things (IoT) forms the cornerstone technology behind this evolving mammoth technology shift. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Virtual Smart Advisors Kickstart Smart Manufacturing

By Mikes James, Immediate-Past Chairman, MESA International Board of Directors

Wondering where to start on your smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 journey? Virtual smart advisors are the perfect starting point.

I first read about ‘smart advisors’ in a report published by industry analyst Gartner. The idea aligns well with our own thoughts that decision making will shift away from people to virtual assistants. Already prevalent in the banking and services industry, virtual assistants advise us on a wide variety of choices such as what loan to take out or which local restaurant to choose. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD. Part IV: Present and Future of Cloud Computing

By Goran Novkovic, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD. Part III: Cloud Computing and Virtualization

By Goran Novkovic, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Asset Performance Management: Conceptual Model to Apply OEE to a Continuous Process

Antoine Snyman

INTRODUCTION

Even though the demand for the platinum group metals (PGM) grew roughly 10 times over the last 40 years, the price remained the stable.  This forces organisations to focus on asset management with specific attention to the measurement of utilisation and performance of assets. 

In the article titled Asset Performance Management: Proposing a Conceptual Model to Apply OEE to a Continuous Process a conceptual model was presented.  This article follows on that and the objective of is to test the proposed model with actual results and prove the validity thereof.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD. Part II: 5 Characteristics of Cloud Computing

By Goran Novkovic, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Proposing a Conceptual Model to Apply OEE to a Continuous Process

Antoine Snyman

INTRODUCTION
Even though the demand for the platinum group metals (PGM) grew roughly 10 times over the last 40 years, the price remained the stable.  Due to this, organisations in the PGM sector are faced with the challenge to produce more with their existing resources and engineering assets.  Naturally these organisations respond with cost reduction; a focus which may have a severely negative impact on the organisation’s performance (Pretorius, 2004) and focus should rather be placed on asset management; however, very few organisations operating in the primary processing stages of the PGM sector pay attention to the measurement of utilisation and performance of assets. 

The objective of this article is to present a model based on the principles Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to suggest how asset performance can be measured in a continuous process (specifically concentrators) in the PGM sector of a major mining house in South Africa.  The model can be applied to any continuous process.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MANUFACTURING IN THE CLOUD. Part I: What is cloud computing and why is it being used?

By Goran Novkovic, CQA, CSQE, ITIL, APM, PMP, PEng

This blog is part of a series called Manufacturing in the Cloud. This series aims to assist manufacturing organizations to evaluate how they can overcome challenges and maximize cloud computing benefits. As cloud computing services mature both commercially and technologically, this is likely to become relatively easier to achieve.

MES to Support the Lean Journey

How do your lean culture and your automation and manufacturing IT systems support each other? In some cases, extremely well. If you are not so sure, or if your IT and continuous improvement teams do not agree, we have a great opportunity for you.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Industry 4.0 and the Smart Services Welt

By Mikes James, Immediate Past Chairman, MESA International Board of Directors

Visionaries predict that the factories of the future will be 30% more productive as a result of smart services. To achieve this, today’s manufacturers need to invest in building algorithms for small data.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Case for Traceability Throughout the Supply Chain

By Alex Herbert, MESA Member and Manager, Strategic Accounts for Kepware

MESA’s 2017 Smart Story Awards is now taking submissions. 

In an interview with the winners of the 2016 Smart Story Awards, the second place winning story from Kepware and Faurecia inspired some follow-up questions about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). More specifically, attendees asked about Operations Technology (OT) and IT integration, IIoT benefits, and how to manage scalability and security issues as the requests for traceability drip down the supply chain. Alex Herbert addresses their questions below.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

WannaCry Ransomware Cryptoworm: What It Means To The Industrial World

By Chris Hamilton, Cybersecurity Working Group Co-Chair 


Many of you have heard about WannaCry, or WannaCrypt (Ransom:Win32/WannaCrypt) initially publicized by the DHS on May 12th. This worm is estimated to have affected over 150 countries and more than 200,000 assets in its short run to date.  It also has prompted Microsoft to release the first patch for Windows XP since end-of-extended-support (unprecedented) in attempts to curb the rampant spread of infection. The kill switch inadvertently discovered is only temporary as multiple iterations are expected, a la Conficker.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Business Value of Industry 4.0

By Francisco Almada-Lobo, MESA Member and CEO of Critical Manufacturing

MESA’s 2017 Smart Story Awards submission period  stay open until May 31st.  

In an interview with the winners of the 2016 Smart Story Awards, the top winning story from Critical Manufacturing raised some questions about Industry 4.0. More specifically, attendees wanted to know what is the business value of Industry 4.0. Here's the full answer:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Notes From The Smart Manufacturing And IIoT Round Table Discussion


MESA-2017-Roundtable-Discussion-2I am sharing below some of my favorite highlights from the round table discussions on Smart Manufacturing at the 2017 Manufacturing & Technology Conference at Cleveland. MESA International organized this forum and there were many common discussion threads and questions among manufacturers moving forward with Smart Manufacturing and IIoT initiatives in their respective companies.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top 3 drivers for MES in Industry 4.0

By Francisco Almada-Lobo, MESA Member and CEO of Critical Manufacturing

MESA’s 2017 Smart Story Awards is now taking submissions until May 31st.  

In an interview with the winners of the 2016 Smart Story Awards, the top winning story from Critical Manufacturing raised some questions about Industry 4.0. More specifically, attendees wanted to know what are the Industry 4.0 drivers for MES. Here's the full answer:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two-Factor Authentication – Uses and Misses

By Dirk Sweigart, CISSP, PMP, Cybersecurity Working Group Member

A key part of securing assets is establishing the identity of an individual who wishes to access that asset in some way.  We need to be sure that the person who is making the request is who he or she claims to be.  The asset can be a control system, a building, a VPN or an application, to name a few.  Two-factor authentication is becoming relatively common as a method of confirming that identity.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shop-Floor Decentralization: Shop Floor Marketplace Emerges

By Francisco Almada-Lobo, MESA Member and CEO of Critical Manufacturing

MESA’s 2017 Smart Story Awards is kicking off the submission period on April 1st and will stay open until May 31st.  

In an interview with the winners of the 2016 Smart Story Awards, the top winning story from Critical Manufacturing raised some questions about the shop floor. More specifically, attendees wanted to know more about shop-floor decentralization. Here's the full answer:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Working Towards an Industrial Ontology Foundry to Facilitate Interoperability

By KC Morris and Serm Kulvatunyou, Systems Integration Division, NIST

Ontologies for industrial problems have been a topic of research for several years.  Recently they are also appearing in activities by consortia groups working on standards.  These efforts, though overlapping, have been disjoint.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a single place, a foundry, to go to find a community-vetted ontology suitable for your industrial needs or at least as a starting point for your work?  That was exactly the topic of the workshop at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) last December when a group of industry, government, and academic researchers met to discuss the possibilities for such a place. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cybersecurity Guidance is Available for Industrial Safety Systems

By Eric Cosman, Cybersecurity Working Group  Co-Chair

Information systems employed in Operations (including industrial control systems) are often subject to very stringent requirements related to information integrity and performance. Functional needs such as these can lead to the identification of secondary requirements and constraints in areas such as cybersecurity. The challenges associated with securing industrial control and related systems have in turn been topics of considerable discussion, debate, and analysis for the past several years. The ISA99 committee and IEC Technical Committee 65 Working Group 10 have developed the 62443 series of standards that provide requirements and guidance on all aspects of the subject. This information is deliberately expressed in broad terms, allowing it to be applied across a wide range of industries and situations.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Internet of Services in Industry 4.0

By Mikes James, Chairman, MESA International Board of Directors
Internet A Series Of Tubes by Jeremy Brooks (CC BY-NC 2.0)



In the fourth blog post of this series, we explore how the internet of services fits with smart manufacturing. There is much talk about the Internet of Things (IoT). However, ‘things’ are just part of the plumbing. We connect devices, giving them, no more than, nominal intelligence. The real innovation is the internet of services. Manufacturers need to think through their business model: how can a product become a service with a long-term revenue stream?

Many manufacturers are recognizing and exploiting the opportunity. For example, Tesla is delivering vehicles with hardware and software which can be upgraded, their cars are sensor ready and software upgrades will provide extra intelligence, delivered via the internet. The customer could pay for the upgrades which then generates extra revenue for Tesla.
Otis is supplying elevators/lifts with sensors which send data into their cloud. The data is analyzed and Otis sells a predictive maintenance services package, again adding a long-term revenue stream.
Additionally, a new catering company in The Netherlands is supplying custom meals to hospitals. Each meal is prepared for the patient based upon data received from the hospital about the patient’s needs. The meals are prepared in an automated plant.

The individualization of mass production and the internet of services add additional revenue. The smart manufacturing plant needs to be flexible and deliver intelligent products. A major misunderstanding is that this is not a cost saving exercise; it’s a new business model to increase revenue and profitability.

It’s important to map out opportunities and match them against the realities of today’s technology. A manufacturer who was heavily investing in a factory of the future did not build this type of strategy. Enthusiastic engineers ordered additive manufacturing machines (3D printing) only to find out they could not connect them to their network using international standards. They paid a heavy price for this error and damaged the initiative’s reputation. It’s worth taking independent advice before completing your new manufacturing strategy.
The best way to avoid these mistakes and build a successful strategy is to learn from other manufacturers in a safe space. MESA is a safe harbor to share best practices and lessons learned so that the industry can collectively rise to Industry 4.0.
Join MESA’s working groups to share with and learn from industry peers and attend MESA’s Fix Event at the North American Conference this May in Cleveland, Ohio. This event is unlike any other in that you can bring questions about what you are trying to fix or what you think might need to be fixed in the future and get answers from MESA experts.  We hope to see you there!




Thursday, February 23, 2017

How Can Tools and Culture Come Together for Lean Transformation?

By Julie Fraser, Founder MESA Analytics Working Group and lifetime MESA member

In the early days of Lean, software was to be avoided at all costs. Clearly that’s no longer the case, and MESA members can vouch for that. In fact, our members find that automation and MES are key enablers for Lean.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Manufacturing in the 4th Industrial Revolution Goes Beyond 5 Senses


By Mikes James, Chairman, MESA International Board of Directors

In the third article of this series, discover the steps required to make the fourth Industrial Revolution a reality.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Use Case Approach to Cybersecurity Whitepapers

By Eric Cosman, Co-Chair of MESA's Cybersecurity Working Group

The Cybersecurity Working Group (CS-WG) was established to provide guidance to MESA members on how to address the information and electronic security of manufacturing operations and control systems. The intent is to provide this information in various forms (e.g., documents, webcasts, presentations) in order to…