SMT007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 83

42 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019 Feature interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 In his white paper A Generalized Approach Can Help All Manufacturers Move to Smart Fac- tories, Zac Elliott, technical marketing engineer at Mentor, a Siemens company, outlines a struc- tured organization for smart factory implemen- tation. While there can be one set of challenges to overcome when building a smart factory on a greenfield site, firms restricted to pre-existing facilities face a different set of hurdles. I-Connect007 Managing Editor Nolan John- son caught up with Elliott to get his thoughts on how things have proceeded since the paper was published, and to talk strategies for smaller firms and brownfield companies. Nolan Johnson: Zac, there are a lot of shops still using mostly manual processes, and facing a potential transition to becoming an Industry 4.0 facility? The first question is: are they too late to even participate? Zac Elliott: It is not too late to participate in the smart factory transformation, but it is due time to start developing a strategy for your busi- ness. As discussed in the white paper, trends Smart Factory Transitions Are Attainable—With a Plan in the electronics industry are accelerating the pace of change for manufacturers. As busi- nesses are pushed to evolve, there are many opportunities to implement smart factory oper- ational improvements. Having a sound strat- egy means embracing the change and moving the business further, faster. Johnson: That's good news for our colleagues, I'm sure. How do they get started on such a process? If a company has to wait until they've changed everything to get the pieces to provide a return, that's a daunting prospect. What's the best strategy? What do they do first? Do they concentrate on the equipment on the floor? The ERP? Something else? Elliott: The best strategy will go after quick wins in order to gain traction and realized returns early in the overall smart factory evo- lution. While most businesses in the indus- try have similar challenges, every factory is unique in terms of expertise, equipment, exist- ing capabilities, and so on. A proven method- ology is to use lean manufacturing tools like value steam mapping to identify waste in busi- ness and manufacturing processes and then to define the improved future state.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT-June2019