A look at how Industry 4.0 technologies can boost production by increasing the efficiency of manufacturing, and how digitalization is revolutionizing the metal cutting industry…
India’s potential to embark on a major digital transformation has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which created a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) in India in 2018. The C4IR is a hub for global, multistakeholder co-operation to accelerate the benefits of science and technology. With a network across India, the USA, Japan and China, the hub shares research, analysis and learning to design new technologies that harness Industry 4.0 and reinvent the way the industry operates.
The WEF also has a Global Lighthouse Network, which can be looked to for inspiration on how to improve processes through widespread digitalization. The WEF Global Lighthouse Network is a community of manufacturers who show leadership in employing Industry 4.0 technologies to transform operations. Their resulting success and resilience is demonstrated in their latest performance figures. Despite the pandemic’s disruption, 93 percent of Lighthouse facilities achieved an increase in the production output and found new revenue streams.
Manufacturers across the globe can gain insight into successful Industry 4.0 technology integration by studying Lighthouse facilities based across the globe. For example, Sandvik Coromant’s industrial tool manufacturing plant in Gimo, Sweden, was recognized as a Lighthouse facility in 2019.
The highly automated facility is praised for its digital thread that runs through its production processes. Including inventory management, machine performance monitoring and predictive maintenance, the digital thread has substantially increased productivity at the factory.
A particular success is the Gimo factory’s touchless changeover. Previously, operators would have to manually change design patterns during their day shifts to prepare machines to run through the night. Now, with investment in digital technologies, such as smart automation and ultra-flexible robots, the design patterns can be changed without the need for human oversight, saving time and resources.
Seeing the benefit of Industry 4.0 technologies in its own manufacturing facilities, Sandvik Coromant is committed to providing digital solutions to its customers and supporting them in incorporating the latest technologies across the factory floor.
Take its CoroPlus® MachiningInsights platform, for example, an expansion of the Sandvik Coromant CoroPlus® suite of connectivity software. Manual collection of data and documentation is an inefficient and tedious process. By installing a digital program that can collect data and provide valuable insights in real time, such as the CoroPlus® MachiningInsights platform, manufacturers can streamline production and gain valuable insights into their workshops.
The platform can gather data directly from machines to provide accurate and instantaneous information to the operator. This allows facility managers to uncover opportunities for efficiency improvements along the production process. By comparing real-time and historical data, the platform can give insight into machine performance, such as developing faults and stoppage causes.
Being able to detect faults before they occur, such as by using vibration data, is an integral part of any predictive maintenance strategy. The ability to estimate when a piece of equipment might fail means maintenance can occur in an organized way before the failure occurs, avoiding the sudden and costly onset of unscheduled downtime. According to a recent report by Deloitte, predictive maintenance can reduce breakdowns by 70 percent and increase equipment uptime by 20 percent.
However, it is not only sudden breakdowns that can be a source of inefficiency in machining processes. A great deal of time can be taken during the design, planning, and set up of machines. By digitalizing these steps, machines can be up and running in a matter of minutes, with just a few touches of a screen.
In addition, a digital program can use insights from previous process runs to improve the next, allowing for continuous improvement and highly optimized processes. For instance, the CoroPlus® MachiningInsights platform can use real-time and historical data to reduce time spent on design and planning, set-ups and machining by 5 percent.
Once machining begins, all of the data collected by the platform can be displayed on a dashboard that is accessible from a browser on any device. The information can be used for activities such as resource planning, asset management and cost prediction. A collaborative feature is also integrated into the platform, allowing workshop-wide problem solving and communication.
Seeing the benefit of Industry 4.0 technologies in its own manufacturing facilities, Sandvik Coromant
is committed to providing digital solutions to its customers, and supporting them in incorporating the
latest technologies across the factory floor.
By becoming digital, manufacturers can not only optimize production to increase productivity in the present, but also prepare for the future. The pandemic has highlighted the need for manufacturers to be resilient, by displaying agility in the face of global and industry challenges. By connecting machines and digitalizing processes, changes to production can be carried out quickly and seamlessly.
With each manufacturing step optimized, digitalization creates efficient operations that can be leveraged to make a quick recovery from impediments to production. Manufacturers who ensure their production processes are agile and resilient will continue to prosper, even in the face of unexpected challenges.
Digitalization is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry, making production fast, efficient, and flexible, therefore helping manufacturers to meet company targets in an evolving landscape. The metal cutting industry in India can leverage emerging Industry 4.0 technologies from across the globe to increase productivity and help progress towards the country’s five trillion-dollar economy goal.
President, Sales - India
Source: Sandvik Coromant