15 Nov 2020 Manufacturing: Four Technologies You Should Invest in Today
Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the manufacturing sector. The business world is changing faster than ever and will not wait for you to catch up. Take your eyes off the competition for a short time and boom!, you have been outpaced.
Participating in as many seminars as possible or attending every fair out there will not help you become an industry leader. Admittedly, you will be able to take the pulse and stay current on industry trends, but you will have to invest in the different technology innovations identified below to ensure the survival of your company.
- Augmented reality
Only in Quebec, 86,223 workers have suffered a work-related accident in 2017, representing 236 accidents each day. In the same year, 62 people died as a result of an occupational accident.
Augmented reality refers to the use of photorealistic, three-dimensional virtual reality technologies powered by computers to enhance the presentation of the real world.
It can be integrated into your manufacturing operations to assist your staff, from product design and assembly all the way to maintenance.
Your employees will be able to access in real-time any document they want to reference while performing a task, without having to take their hands off the production line or to physically move away.
Where training is concerned, this technology significantly lowers the risk of occupational injury to your personnel. Your employees will benefit from comprehensive training that will no longer be limited to reading manuals or performing repetitive tasks. On the contrary, you will be able to simulate several hands-on scenarios and therefore better prepare them for unexpected events and specific occurrences. The technology acts as a mentor and supports your staff throughout their practice and the exercises, even once the training has been completed.
Through specially designed eye glasses, augmented reality lets you visualize assembly schematics in three dimensions with a simple vocal command. Your production line workers will therefore see in their visual field key instructional animations that will appear to assist with the completion of their tasks, and will as a result be able to reach unprecedented efficiency and productivity levels.
This technology also greatly facilitates machine maintenance. Unlike the traditional and obsolete method, technicians wearing augmented reality powered glasses will be able to view and follow step-by-step instructions. Also, if a technician is dispatched to fix a broken piece of equipment, the system will help him diagnose the issue within a few seconds.
In other words, augmented reality acts as a personal work assistant for each one of your employees.
Field Service Lightning allows you to safely store all this documentation in the Cloud, while ensuring remote and immediate access in real-time for your staff.
Your employees’ safety does not equate to a financial benefit, yet they are your company’s most precious asset. Protect them!
If you would like to know more about this topic, we have prepared a list of examples showing how augmented reality improves worker productivity.
If you watch the news, you probably already know that Quebec is currently facing a shortage of manpower. Companies are spending time and money to attract employees in order to ensure their business continuity. The challenge extends beyond hiring. Once recruited, you must be able to retain the talent and hide it from your competition’s eyes. Just to give you an idea, there are currently 150,000 positions available in Quebec’s manufacturing sector and 1.2 million jobs will need to be filled in the next ten years.
Add to this issue the aging of the current workforce and the lack of successors. Quebec is not unique in this situation, several countries are facing the same challenge, such as the Czech Republic and Japan. According to the OECD, the Empire of the Rising Sun is already losing one million workers each year and its active population should therefore be 40% lower by the year 2050.
Thankfully, automation is here to fill the workforce gap. It goes even further: the technology at the center of the fourth industrial revolution enables business continuity and routine daily tasks without necessarily harming productivity. In addition, occupational injury hazards are almost non existent for jobs considered dangerous for human beings.
The solution offered here is not intended to replace human beings with machines, but rather provides the answer to a pervasive issue. Repetitive tasks should be automated with robots that are maintained and designed by Man.
Alain Lemieux, president and manager of Epsilia, armed with several statistical reports, confirms that “companies who have made the transition to Industry 4.0 have improved their production by 60%, lowered their operating costs by 50% and enhanced the quality of their products by 42%”.
Salesforce has put forward CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote), a solution that automates the quoting and billing process to generate quotes and sign deals in less time. Follow this link for more information on this solution.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
We are talking about physical devices, each with its unique digital identity, which are connected and able to exchange information. For the manufacturing sector, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the more accurate term. It simply indicates a sub-category and it is defined the same way.
The most popular example is the ability to control the lighting in a room or security cameras from a smartphone. These settings can be controlled remotely since the devices mentioned above are connected together via the Cloud.
In the manufacturing sector, IIoT can anticipate and prevent equipment failure by scheduling maintenance service at the right time. Based on historical data, the system can proactively avoid downtime and quickly identify issues as required through the use of comprehensive and recurring diagnostics. As a result, your production line becomes both connected and smart.
Gone are the long downtime hours as the technician disassembles each part looking for the problem. On top of the savings you will achieve on the costs of maintaining your assets, your production continuity will boost your productivity and allow you to be more competitive than ever before.
These systems compile an enormous amount of data and continually self-improve based on their analysis. Similar to humans, connected machines gain experience and knowledge with time. However, data transfer between machines is immediate, which is not possible with humans – at least, not yet.
Some businesses have been able to adapt this technology to their restocking process to avoid out of stock events. With the help of sensors installed on each machine, IIoT is able to know the current level of resources and to place a supply order as needed. Not only does it maintain an optimal stock level, but it prevents waste and overstocking.
Your employees have to constantly check the supplies and place orders based on their own forecasts? Good news, you can now configure your machines to automatically restock themselves, which frees up your workers who are now able to focus on their jobs.
With Salesforce, you can connect your departments together to enhance their productivity, and connect your business to its clients to offer them the best customer experience. The Cloud platform allows you to get a complete picture of product usage and performance by associating IoT devices with real customers..
To learn more about the various business opportunities arising from the Internet of Things, follow the link.
Blockchain, which is linked to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, idealizes a non-centralized data storage and transmission system that is both secure and seamless.
Always looking to innovate and to improve its products, Salesforce has been able to integrate blockchain technology with its customer relationship management system (CRM). This addition protects the sensitive information about the business and its stakeholders from potential hackers.
Your stakeholders’ trust is based on the assurance that their personal and banking data is protected. Your system must be flawless. Even a minor hacking event could compromise your company’s reputation in the industry.
Salesforce’s secure platform lets you pay your suppliers’ invoices and receive money owed by your customers without having to worry.
Moreover, the San Francisco based software developer is currently working on a comprehensive cryptocurrency solution which could be unveiled very soon. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay current on the latest and greatest!
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive our latest blog posts right in your inbox!