A lot of excitement surrounds Atlas Copco's brand new, traveling technology exhibit that’s powering Industry 4.0.
November 12, 2018
The Smart Connected Assembly Roadshow officially kicked off its North American tour on Thursday, October 11th in Auburn Hills, Michigan at an open house event for employees, customers and members of the press. The Roadshow’s main goal is to show customers our Industry 4.0 enabled assembly tools and solutions for them to experience firsthand, directly at their facilities.
Atlas Copco Tools and Assembly Systems General Manager, Bob Flynn (pictured above), spoke to employees at the start of the Roadshow Open House. “Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution of manufacturing and beyond,” said Flynn. “What is happening within the manufacturing and technology industries is changing the way we work and live. From the utilization of cloud-based systems to 3D printing, to additive manufacturing and augmented reality, Industry 4.0 is no longer a vision for the future, but a present-day reality.”
The Roadshow wasted no time, making our first customer visit on the 16th of October to a Machine Tool Builder (MTB) customer of Regional Sales Manager Rick Stitzel. Since the Open House, the Roadshow has been to 10 customer events in less than 30 days.
When asked what the biggest success has been for his customers, Stitzel replied, “The Roadshow has led to one of our customers wanting to implement our solutions across the board in their plant. They’ve since asked us for help in consulting with them to improve their entire Manufacturing Execution System. QA Platform 4.0, ToolsNet 8, and Single Quality Solution (SQS) have been key factors in our continued success, in a plant already full of our tightening tools.”
Stitzel also commented on what he has seen the most excitement about, “The ability to finally use the data they’re capturing in a smart and effective way to improve their throughput and quality is huge. They were starving for a company or platform that could support them with data analysis across all departments. Atlas Copco is just that partner and the Roadshow helped bring that vision and concept to life.”
The Roadshow’s driving force is Smart Connected Assembly, Atlas Copco’s vision for supporting Industry 4.0 manufacturing. During events, our solutions are explained and demonstrated by Atlas Copco product experts and our sales team. Customers are able to interact with Smart Connected Stations, which include Quality Assurance, Wireless Freedom, Superior Productivity and Smart Connected Services.
Atlas Copco Regional Sales Manager, Colin VanBibber, shared his biggest Roadshow success so far, referring to his Machine Tool Builder (MTB) customer, “The Head of Industrial Engineering was so impressed with the Wireless Freedom station that they want us to walk their line and transform the pallet assembly plant into using all wireless tools.”
When asked how the Roadshow experience has been overall, he added, “The Roadshow truly brings our Smart Connected Assembly vision to life. Not only does it provide my MTB’s with an immersive experience, it also showcases the direction we’re going and fosters a lasting strategic partnership for the future.”
Large crowds have been another standout for events in the Detroit area, with 344 customer attendees officially registered as participating in the first 10 events. Our largest turnout to date? More than 125 customers came through at our Automotive customer's Global Manufacturing Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center.
Paul Tabor, Atlas Copco’s Global Key Account Manager for this customer, described the success of the event he helped facilitate, “For the past 12 to 13 months, we have been engaged in discussions with them around how to apply Industry 4.0 philosophies and processes to our equipment that would increase value in their plants. The Roadshow has allowed us to migrate from those philosophical discussions and showcase tangible solutions and opportunities, right at their front door. The Management team embraced the Roadshow as an excellent educational tool for their Manufacturing staff. Their Manufacturing Engineers quickly began suggesting to us where specific solutions could be applied.”
Our customer's PTME Manager helped define a key characteristic of Atlas Copco presentations, in particular Smart Connected Assembly. “We get invited to several Industry 4.0 presentations in which the supplier wants to show us a ‘solution’,” he said. “But we haven’t yet finalized what we need… so how can they be convinced they have ‘the’ solution for us? What I like about your event is that it did not tell us what our solution needs to be. Instead, you showed us several key products that add value and are ready to be integrated the way that we decide we want them integrated.”
“The Wireless Freedom and Superior Productivity demonstrations created a lot of interest and excitement amongst the Manufacturing Engineering teams,” comments Tabor. “Our Quality Assurance team did an outstanding job engaging Maintenance and Quality staff members, while the Management teams seemed very interested in our next steps with ToolsNet 8 and Smart Connected Service opportunities.” The Smart Connected Assembly Roadshow will continue to tour the United States, seeing customers on its way to Mexico, with an 8 week stint in the country that starts on January 21st. To see the Roadshow hype video and learn more about the North American tour, visit our Smart Connected Assembly Roadshow page.