Welcome to the Plant Floor Error-Proofing with Software webinar.
Presenting this webinar is Brian Satrun, Atlas Copco’s IQS Product Manager. During the webinar, Brian is discussing options for implementing process control within manufacturing. The webinar begins with a brief history of the four industrial revolutions our world has seen. Currently, we’re in the fourth industrial revolution: Industry 4.0, sometimes known as “The Internet of Things.” Industry 4.0 involves the use of data from interconnected devices in order to make decisions in real-time based on what is happening in a manufacturing environment. When faced with the question of why manufacturers should implement error-proofing methods, Brian explains that error-proofing software will help you get to Industry 4.0.
Brian then goes into the importance of quality in manufacturing. Subpar products have major business impacts. Quality issues come into play with human influence. It’s inevitable; operators are only as good as their best day. Even your most experienced operators will make mistakes by using the wrong tools, parts, or building in the wrong sequence. With this in mind, Brian asks the question: if there are mistakes being made, why should we continue to use people during assembly? Then, Brian explains is that humans are more adaptable and flexible to change than robots or automated machines. We should focus on continuing to use humans in manufacturing but giving them the help they need, through software and hardware components, to reduce the errors that will happen down the line.
The webinar continues into the topic of the five layers of automation. The first layer is ‘Operation’ and the idea is to control work performed on a specific task. This layer involves the use of measurement equipment and devices like smart tools, sensors, and torque controllers. The next layer is ‘Process’, which is controlling the work performed in a sequence of tasks using programmable logic configurators and supervisory control data and acquisition. The third layer: ‘Progress’, and that refers to controlling work performed throughout the entire build specification using manufacturing execution systems. The fourth layer is ‘Business’ and involves controlling what you’re building and ordering using an Enterprise Resource Planning software. And finally, we come to the ‘Adaptive’ layer, which is the core of Industry 4.0. It controls decisions at all layers when seeing trends or deviations in real-time.
With the ‘Adaptive’ layer still in mind, Brian explains that only about 5% of manufacturers are using this layer. The ‘Adaptive’ layer uses machine learning through artificial intelligence. This is where Atlas Copco’s Scalable Quality Solution (SQS) software comes in. Software is agile and flexible to the ever-changing markets and is a necessary component in manufacturing today. SQS drives workflow, controls user access levels, collects torque results, traces part data, digital I/O results, and records incomplete operator tasks. It’s completely scalable, meaning that you can choose to use SQS on a single cell or on an entire production floor.