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How to prepare for Industry 4.0 through intelligent machinery

Industry 4.0 is loosely defined as the computerisation of manufacturing and welcomes the exciting new concept of intelligent machinery. One crucial outcome of Industry 4.0 is reducing production time, by integrating intelligence via a PC into machinery and the manufacturing process. ATM Automation are responding to this by giving intelligence to our systems and work benches through our control system with Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Our control systems are the heart of the BuildAssist range and are predominantly used within the Automotive, Medical and Plastics industries for a wide range of technologies including, assembly, clipping, vision, welding and bonding. This OEE software calculations refer to three factors: availability, performance and quality. 

Availability - takes into account the down-time loss and is calculated on the percentage of effective operating time in respect to planned or ideal production time.

Performance -  focuses on the speed loss and is calculated on the percentage of pieces effectively produced in respect to programmed target total and ideal run time.

Quality -  looks at the loss of quality and is calculated on good pieces produced and total number of pieces produced.

These indicators are applicable using time range, production line, machine, shift, batch and operator filters.

OEE gives clear and crucial information of company productivity which enables managers to establish means of improving production assets, machine efficiency, optimise production time and reduce waste. If the control system shows a low OEE score, this will cause your company an increase in unitary production costs and will consequently lead to a reduction in profits and opportunities. For a production line running 24/7 this would mean a loss of 4% of productivity potential for every hour lost in a production downtime event. The ability to analyse production data to detect the bottlenecks and downtime events enables your company to take immediate action to reduce loss.

As an example, if OEE software was able to recover just a 2% loss, this would lead to retrieving 3.5 hours productivity time per week. On an annual basis, that's 168 hours of productivity gained which translates to a significant increase in profit.

Based on a theoretical OEE value of 100%, the most efficient and high productivity company will generally reach an OEE value equal to 80-85%. Without using any control methods, most companies operate on average at an OEE value level of around 60%. 

For information on our machines and control systems for the Automotive, Medical and Plastics email us on sales@atmautomation.com or call on 0116 277 3607. 

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