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Sistema shows how to avoid wasting oh-so-precious data

Rich Murr CIO Epicor
By Rich Murr CIO, Epicor

FIELD INTELLIGENCE: Smart Processes, Solutions & Strategies

Everyone knows that today a ton of data captured on the manufacturing floor goes unused due to the lack of a data scientist on staff or other resources to comb through all the information.

However, manufacturers are set to be one of the largest spenders on IoT. IDC predicts that this year, discrete manufacturing will spend $119 billion and process manufacturing will spend $78 billion. With all of this spend on the latest and greatest technologies, what exactly are manufacturers investing in and why, as they chart course toward building the factory of the future?
New Zealand-based Sistema Plastics, which designs and manufactures reusable, multi-purpose, quality plasticware, set an explicit strategy with clearly defined goals for its tech and IoT investments. The global company sought to maximize its production output and quality in the most cost-effective way possible.

Sistema took this threefold approach to addressing this goal:

  1. Integrate complementary systems

    Sistema’s factory of the future includes a lot of automation tech, including robotics and vision recognition systems. To further enable its vision of innovation and lean production, Sistema integrated the intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution it had recently onboarded with its existing manufacturing execution system (MES).

    The integration gave Sistema real-time access to bi-directional machine and quality data from these automation technologies.

    Connecting both data systems lets Sistema take advantage of efficiency opportunities.

    Tight integration and real-time feedback between Sistema’s ERP, MES and other systems delivers a holistic view of the entire operation. With these real-time insights, Sistema is able to identify critical issues, reduce waste, improve quality and enhance customer service. Everyone now has access to the same data, which helps them identify top issues to address.

  2. Reap the rewards of newly discovered predictive analytics

    Having streamlined production and generated additional efficiencies with integrated ERP and MES platforms, Sistema is currently embarking on a series of additional connectivity initiatives that will enable truly intelligent manufacturing.

    The first initiative is to harness the ERP and MES systems to generate predictive analytics by initiating sensors on all machines and consolidating the data and extending quality assurance into the integrated systems. This allows Sistema to anticipate failures, including how they are likely to happen. From these insights, Sistema will initiate a maintenance-avoidance plan to ensure production is consistent and predictable.

  3. Create unity and alignment across all business units

    From the integration of its MES and ERP systems, Sistema has realized operational effectiveness and responsiveness via delivery of a real-time, digitized, closed loop between business systems and the factory floor. This unified business intelligence is helping to make Sistema as fit, fast and flexible as possible.

    Sistema now has a single source of truth, which is vital for its finance and operations teams.

    Connecting systems from the factory floor to the back office helps Sistema embrace innovative tech that further enhances its operations, such as seamless automation of multiple processes to reduce costs.

    Sistema’s state-of-the-art production facility in Auckland, filled with automation and robotics tech, now employs system functionality and integration to ensure the company is positioned for success.
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