4 Problem Areas When Transitioning to Industry 4.0

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4 Problem Areas When Transitioning to Industry 4.0

September 22, 2022

Industry 4.0 has come to redefine manufacturing. Smarter factories make more while using less raw material and labor. Adapting to Industry 4.0 requires a partner for the digital future that knows your pain points and has the experience to help you overcome them.

By specializing in small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises, OnRamp Solutions has the know-how to help you overcome the hurdles that are keeping you from leaping into the fourth industrial revolution.

Focusing on the Factory Floor

Your shop is what makes you money. Spending most of your resources on improving your factory and processes just makes sense, since making more and making it better is clear and actionable. But you can’t ignore the other parts of your shop. While you’ve been focused on the daily activities, you forgot the steps taken in your office. A smart factory looks for improvements on all operations.

With OnRamp Solutions ERP, streamlining your office operations has never been easier. The OnRamp ERP Finance module can automatically scan and create records for most of your financial processes and, with EDI, quickly communicate with your vendors, customers, and banking institutions. With a single database, all your records and drawings are instantly saved and shared with all needed parties. And your approval process is almost instant, since documents that require approval appear immediately in the care of the required approvers. Finally, better dashboards and reports mean that the information you need is immediately available from anywhere.

Planning, Efficiency, Productivity

Industry 4.0 concepts and the systems that are deployed for it can greatly increase your teams’ efficiency and productivity. But to ensure you are getting the most of a transition to a smarter shop, you need a better plan.

Planning systems, such as Material Planning, Capacity Planning, or Business Modelling have been a staple of most good ERP systems since their inception. What sets OnRamp ERP apart is the single point of truth that comes from having all your factory operations in one central database. In OnRamp ERP, once a new sales order is created (manually or with EDI), a single click can:

  • Determine the required raw materials to complete the order by the due date
  • Send out your purchase orders to the vendors
  • Check capacity requirements to approve OT, if necessary
  • Adjust maintenance scheduling, if required

OnRamp has all parts of your operations in one central ERP, or ERPII. By having things like MES, SCM, QMS, CRM, VRM, MRP, DCP, LPA, HR, Nesting, Accounting, and more built into one system, all your planning efforts become fast and simple. This better plan translates into a more efficient and productive shop floor.

Tool and Machine Data

You need to know what is happening on your shop floor. Knowing how long it takes to setup and run a work order or if a device is down is important. You need to know this information quickly and have the information stored and not just a piece of paper. Newer tools and machines often come with built-in hardware that can collect information of what the device is doing. This data is then accessible via software protocols so that you can be notified of what is going on without having to run to the floor. But a new tool or machine can eat up your whole budget. And you already have a working unit.

OnRamp Solutions makes shop monitors which can be attached to any machine, regardless of age. A shop monitor that will make your old workhorse seem like a new digital beast. Improve your tracking data while improving operator usability with one device, a quick setup, and Wi-Fi. Another improvement OnRamp provides is the OnRamp App that has been designed to work on barcode scanners, simplifying your warehouse staff operations by displaying what parts are where and who needs them. Finally, OnRamp’s vision system can revolutionize your paint line operations by using available technology like digital cameras to give you a constant view of how well your paint line performing.

Staff and Skill Gaps

As has been mentioned before, manufacturing has had an issue with attracting and keeping talent since before the pandemic. This means that with every passing year, your aging workforce, and all their combined skills and knowledge, are closer and closer to being unavailable.

Losing their skills doesn’t have to be critical. With the OnRamp ERP you have access to the HR module, which includes a job-specific skills requirement and training tracker that shows you what staff have the required knowledge for any job and where to go to fill any knowledge gaps. And with OnRamp shop monitors, you can display assembly instructions, checklists, or any other required documentation onto a screen where the operators need them, when they need them. Finally, quickly accessible data can give you a real-time view of the staff so you can help correct any issue quickly, before it becomes critical. All this means that with minimal training, your new hires can near the same productive output of your veterans.

Conclusion

OnRamp Solutions has been helping manufacturers adapt to Industry 4.0 for over 15 years. Starting as an internal system for a mid-size manufacturer, OnRamp ERP has evolved to be an integrated IT system with hardware and software that improves all your business units.

 

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Author

  • Vincent Bull

    Vincent Bull is the current VP of Sales and Marketing at On-Ramp Solutions Inc. On-Ramp provides comprehensive, flexible fully integrated ERP, MES software solutions to manufacturing and services based companies. He is seasoned in the interaction between software solutions and pairing that with helping human resources improve their abilities to increase their production capacity. Vincent has a passion as well for sports such as basketball and has long been a supporter of such initiatives as The Guelph Board of Approved Basketball Officials. He also has volunteered at Special Olympics Ontario, for a host of different sporting events. Vince is a graduate of Georgian College in Ontario, holding a degree in Computer Programming.

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