Next-Level Digital Capabilities for High-Speed Assembly Line Automation
JR Automation and Flexware Innovation are bringing new innovations to market for manufacturing and assembly operations under Hitachi’s newly formed industrial holdings entity. From upfront consulting to help our customer partners with their digital transformation strategy and engineering designs to automation and integration services, Hitachi is on the front line of technology and manufacturing capabilities for the future. Hitachi has been building capabilities to assist customers with seamless connectivity across all machines and production lines to enterprise-level business intelligence.
Hitachi’s Fusion of Industrial & Digital Capabilities
Do you need to increase your Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) while avoiding worker fatigue? Are you looking for a better way to view end-to-end data to make superior operational decisions? Is your cost per unit under pressure from inflation and material price shocks? Do your manufacturing operations require a particular set of regulations or safety standards? Hitachi has digital technology and automation services and solutions to help with your industrial problems. Over the past several years, Hitachi has acquired premier industrial capabilities to make our customers’ dreams a reality—connecting the shop floor to the top floor so that manufacturers can harness the data flowing through their operations.
JR Automation and Flexware Innovation are part of the Fusion for Industry family of companies and have been offering best-in-class digital and automation capabilities since the inception of digital technology in manufacturing from Industry 1.0 to today. Having worked with 85% of the Fortune 100 medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, JR Automation and Flexware Innovation understand the processes, systems, and validations/verifications required in the space. Combined, they have the capabilities to take your production line automation and digital integration to the next level and to do so end-to-end. They also have a close pulse on how automation is affecting various industries, from automotive to pharmaceutical and JR Automation shares first-hand the impact automation is having on warehouse manufacturing.
Flexware is a trusted adviser in the manufacturing world. Working in automotive, food and beverage, utilities, and medical life science industries, Flexware is no stranger to the nuts and bolts of ecosystems and production regulations.
Our enterprise solutions are configured to each company’s unique digital ecosystem. Flexware starts by learning about your business within its four walls and designs technology integration solutions based on your organization’s needs. Through the dedicated use of data capture tools, Flexware turns data analytics into easy-to-understand visualizations so customers can make more sound business decisions that affect efficiency, output, and more. Flexware Innovation explains the impact of data capture in the industry.
Enterprise Solution Services Include:
- Enterprise Architecture to Assessment Systems
- System Upgrade (Microsoft Dynamic or Legacy Systems)
- Digital Transformation & Cloud Solutions
- Health Check to Determine Gaps, Risks, and Improvement Opportunities
- Specialized Engineering Teams for Technical Training and Support
Keeping your production level high while collecting real-time data is essential for any industry. Creating a digital system for collecting data from the factory floor can be daunting and time-consuming. More factories are moving to digitalize and integrate software to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to make business intelligence decisions based on real-time data.
ERP systems are vital digital integrations used to manage operational activity. Flexware can help by integrating ERP systems to bring visibility to scheduling, predictive maintenance, manufacturing output, inventory management, and quality. By upgrading to a smart ERP integration, businesses can make more-informed decisions to become more efficient and improve their bottom line.
Ditch the “paper-based” manual process and create a digital solution to enhance:
- Data Integrity: Streamline audits and investigations, building a more robust production chain of integrity while enhancing overall product and process consistency.
- Safety: Minimize operating risk and human error, tracking and tracing manufacturing movements to enhance production line work, worker training, and output quality.
- Planning for Demand: Sense demand and manage your supply chain to keep critical material in stock and production moving.
- Customer Experience: Knowing that you have the supply and that your machines are running at optimal levels reduces time to market and improves production output.
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)
It is no secret that all manufacturers seek a foolproof formula that increases productivity and improves production line efficiency. Born in digital and working in industry since 1996, Flexware has been engineering and deploying MES and dynamic integrations for top-level pharmaceutical, automotive, discrete manufacturers, and food and beverage companies.
With a robust skill set in upgrading assembly lines with digital, crafting MES solutions that improve production efficiency, and working with customer partners to drive down unit costs, Flexware has been a trusted partner for many across the following MES capabilities.
MES Services Include:
- Custom Manufacturing Software
- Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Solutions
- Legacy Software Upgrades
- Dispatching and Scheduling Solutions
- Integrated Real-Time Labeling
- Track & Trace (Traceability)
- OEE and Performance Monitoring
- Data Historian & Implementation
- SPS Implementations
MES solutions don’t need to be complicated. That is why Flexware created the Spark MES platform, which provides a scalable and ignition-ready framework to fit your production and operating needs.
Factory automation and ensuring your machines have the best interface to complete the job are crucial to operating your production line. JR Automation not only builds your assembly line robotics but also fully integrates Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems with the cell or machine Human-Machine Interface (HMI) systems.
No two assembly lines run the same. Customizing an HMI/SCADA system to collect data to run your machinery at optimal levels to make real-time decisions or adjustments while your assembly line is running is one of the most critical aspects of manufacturing. Companies without a reliable monitoring and control system have a higher risk of production downtime and higher cost per unit, which in turn affects your OEE.
HMI/SCADA systems can be attached to any production line machinery and will help improve the performance of:
- Supply Chain Management
- Warehouse Tracking
- Machine Performance (Monitoring Inspections and Maintenance)
- Tracking, Feedback, Delivery – Connecting Information to CRM Systems
Adding integration software and digitizing factories is the first step to making manufacturing work more effectively, but automation is how factories work smarter and not harder. Automating processes with robotic integration and digital solutions will bring together all the integrations to make your production line run smoothly.
JR Automation’s robotic automation systems (FlexChassis™ Modular Automation Platform) and Flexware’s digital software solutions are designed to create a seamless automation solution for your production needs.
Automation Capabilities include:
- Legacy Automation Upgrades
- Automation Engineering
- Panel Building
- Skid Equipment Development (OEMs)
- Process Control
- Vision & Object Detection Solutions
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)
- Industrial Safety Audit
The bottom line is how can any of these capabilities help with the Return on Investment (ROI). In today’s world, customers want products faster, and factories must keep up with consumer demand. Businesses that don’t upgrade their systems and processes risk getting left behind and losing profit due to the inability to keep up with demand and missing out on partnerships and contracts since they cannot produce in a timely matter.
OEE is one way to measure ROI, but companies should consider more than their output levels to determine the cost of upgrading.
Other Factors to Consider when Determining ROI:
- Security: More stringent standards and regulations are being put into place. Can you produce products with consistency that is safe for consumers? Is your company able to handle an audit? Is your data traceable and secure?
- Employees: Avoid worker fatigue by upgrading production lines with automation while enhancing software and integrating siloed systems for back-office personnel. Your factory will reduce burnout from old processes and work more efficiently in the long term as you gain greater insights from connecting data.
- Time Savings: How long does your company take to pull data for an audit, operational management, customer services, or business decisions? Digital will reduce the hours needed for researching, compiling, massaging, etc., all of which affects your ROI.
- Competition: If you don’t upgrade to digital integrations, are you at risk of your competition boosting production with upgrades and taking business away from your company?
When you factor in your production line’s increased productivity and efficiency over time, along with OEE, technology integration upgrades to your organization make the most sense to keep up with consumer and business demand.
How to Upgrade Your Factory Digital and Technology Systems
Ready to add digital solutions, automation, or upgrade your manufacturing processes? Hitachi is ready to help implement proven solutions to transform your factory floor and business processes. Click on “LEARN MORE” and fill out our contact form to connect with JR Automation or Flexware for your seamless digital solution needs.